Saturday, May 31, 2008

A Hairy Haircut Appointment

The bad news is I'm too sick to attend church this morning. The good news is I'm home alone, in a quiet house, with time to blog! So I thought I'd share an amusing memory with you.

Back in da day, roughly 60 years ago ....... my best buddy started dating a guy named Wayne. Well, his best friend was Kevin, and he & I hit it off. We made quite a foursome on weekends, hitting the town and singing along to our Loverboy cassette. ("everybody's workin' for the weekend") Wayne and Kevin both lived in a nearby town, about 20 minutes away. A whole 'nother county! Exotic, don't you think?!

During our budding romance, I remember that Kevin vacationed in Florida for a week. Upon his return, he was so excited to give me a genuine pearl mounted inside a heart pendant. You know, one of those "you choose the oyster and keep the pearl inside" things. Again, so exotic!

Not long after that, I ventured to a new hairdresser I had heard good things about. During the course of conversation, she mentioned the small town where she lived. I said, "Hey! What a coincidence! My boyfriend Kevin lives there!!" She put the scissors to her side and said "Kevin WHO?" Well, as I said his last name, I distinctly noticed her grip on the scissors tighten. Not a good sign. My blood ran cold at that very moment.

Turns out he was dating us both at the same time. ME -- Caught in a love triangle! (EXOTIC!) I suddenly wondered if she & I had matching pearl love pendants, but didn't think it was the ideal time to inquire. I could always pose that pressing question during the taping of our Jerry Springer episode.

Anyhoo ...... NOT a good feeling, sitting in a beauty shop chair, locking eyes at the reflection in the mirror of a woman scorned, who's wielding sharp instruments, and terrified that she's about to go all "Edward Scissorhands" on me. The very definition of "vulnerable", folks! I had visions in my head of walking out of the beauty shop sporting this look:

So I managed to utter the only three words that seemed to matter at that point ........ "just a trim".

And I never dated Kevin-from-the-next-county again.

Tales of a Wardrobe Malfunction

Any of you ladies ever experienced wardrobe malfunctions? Now relax, I'm not going to the "Super Bowl" place on this particular topic.

This specific wardrobe malfunction will focus solely on hosiery and hosiery alone. This is rated "G", thankyouverymuch! Sit back and (hopefully) enjoy this recent incident I'm about to share with you.

One Sunday morning, I was walking into the church sanctuary and for every step I took, I could sense my pantyhose were creeping downward just a little. "Houston, we have a problem". It started an inch below my waistline, then I could feel the waistband resting mid-hip, and it just started going south at a rapid pace from there. It's like the dam had burst and there was NO holding it back now! I had a flood of Leggs pantyhose on my hands, folks! I just knew if I didn't do something quick, I'd most certainly be hosting a pile of nylons around my ankles any second.

My options were limited, as services were JUST about to begin and I was serving on worship team. I had to be on stage, ready to go with my game face ON at the stroke of the first note. No time to run (or even hobble) to the restroom!

So, I scrambled and enlisted my trusty soprano counterpart to stand guard outside the storage closet just off the sanctuary. I only needed three seconds to give them a good tug and GO, GO, GO.

I ducked in the safe confines of the closet, and frantically began tugging and pulling and darn near had my skirt over my head when ...... are you ready ...... the doorknob turned and in a milla-second's warning, our band's guitar player barreled into the room. YES, at the exact--worst--moment.

I don't care if you're Heidi Klum, people -- viciously wrestling with your pantyhose while hoisting your skirt in a dark closet isn't a good look for ANYONE.

The poor guitar player was just as startled, alarmed, and scarred for life as I was! It seems my soprano (former) "friend" had gotten sucked into a vortex of idle chit chat and was completely unaware that our protective barrier had been breached. For the record, she would make a lousy Navy Seal. To this day, I wonder if it was all an elaborate set up, beginning with the hosiery company ......

My face is still red. But you gotta love it.

Things That Make You Go "Ewwwwww"

I've been sick for the last few days with a nasty virus -- one that has left my tonsils covered with icky sores. I made my husband humor me and take a look down my gullet with a flashlight, to which he reacted with a repulsed "ewwwww, yuck"! Honestly, I was hoping for that reaction to validate my moaning and groaning during this plague.

So that got me thinking of other things that have made me go "ewwwww"! I've got a little down time right now, being sick and all, and have been compiling a mental list. Brace yourselves, it might not be pretty. Here goes:


1. Let me start with an "easy" one -- I positively cannot stomach anything remotely having to do with the regurgitation process. I can't see it, smell it or even HEAR someone getting sick -- or else I start to gag. I can't even stand the word "vomit" or its synonyms. I'm grateful for my hubby, who serves as our official Puke Patrol. HE COMPLETES ME, PEOPLE!

2. When spending the night with my grandparents as a child, I got a bed time drink from a cup in the bathroom. Well, the next morning I discovered that it was the very same cup Grandma used every night to soak her dentures! (oooh, I just threw up in my mouth a little bit at the memory. PUKE PATROL!!)

3. A well-fed bird left us this love offering on our picture window this morning. NICE.... When Evan saw this handiwork, he said "WHAT has that bird been eating, anyway?!" Mr. Puke Patrol needs to get that cleaned up STAT. :-)

4. When visiting another relative, I was half-way finished eating breakfast when I noticed movement and wiggling in my bowl of Raisin Bran -- yes, BUGS. I mean, I'm all for fiber, but ....

5. Our kitty recently had a bout with worms. You know how I know for sure? Because my son picked one up out of her litter box, WITH HIS FINGERS and showed me.

6. When viewing a house to bid a cleaning job, the homeowner introduced me their pit bull puppies, who sleep curled up inside the folks' pots & pans.

7. When my grandpa was getting remarried at around 80 years of age, he pulled my dad aside and assured him that "it wasn't just for the sex." Which brings to mind my next entry:

8. On vacation my parents would force us kids to "go on ahead of them to the pool; they'll catch up with us". I never put 2 and 2 together ....... until one fateful day when ..... ummm ....... well, I ummmm....... FORGOT MY POOL TOWEL and went back to the hotel room to retrieve it. Let's just say that certain images were burned into my 12-year-old retinas that remain to this day. 22 years of hypnotic therapy have helped me block that out a little.

That's all I can think of off the top of my head. What about you? What things make you go "ewwwww"?

Thursday, May 29, 2008

"LOST" Season Finale Spoiler (sorta, kinda ....)

I hate to be the one to let the season finale secret of "LOST" out of the bag, BUT.......
suffice it to say:

Photo Courtesy of Flickr

Up & Coming Artist

This original artwork is courtesy of Natalie, whose signature work typically boasts star eyes, a single buck tooth, the lone "mind of its own" hair on top, and my favorite -- the coconut bra.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Wordless Wednesday -- An Unexpected Visitor

How about THIS as our family picture for Christmas cards?! Just like the Crocodile Hunter, huh?! She's a BEE-UUUUU-TY!

Bon Appetite!

We can officially cross off #17 from our list, folks! Only 21 more to go..... Today was IRON CHEF DAY!

Our talented in-house chefs went head to head this afternoon in a heated battle supreme.

The competition kicked off with offerings of a sherbet shake (orange kool-aid with sherbet) vs. double chocolate sandwich (wheat bread with chocolate pudding and Cocoa Puffs).

Second course consisted of chocolate chip muffins topped with chocolate pudding and sprinkles for a festive touch vs. Barbie waffles drizzled with syrup and dusted with Fruity Pebbles.
A tough judge's panel.

For the record, Evan won round one, Alli won round 2 -- TIE! We're ALL WINNERS!

And I think THEY'LL be making dinner tonight.
Call us for a catering menu!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Yes, I can laugh at myself !!

You might recall a goofy picture that I recently posted of me & my son being silly for the camera. In so doing, I unwittingly made myself vulnerable to a cyber attack!!! My "sweet, thoughtful" friend took the liberty of enhancing, NO, DEFACING that photo to give me what I'll call a MALICIOUS MAKEOVER!

Is it just me, or do you agree all I need is a top hat to do a mean Slash impersonation?

Alright, let's just face reality and admit I'd make a better Chris Sligh from American Idol.

So......What do you think? Should I make an appointment for a perm? HA! Good one, Amy! (that's totally something I would have done!)

Can I have your autograph?

Go to the website below for a fun personality test, using your handwriting!

The results of my analysis say:

You plan ahead, and are interested in beauty, design, outward appearance, and symmetry. (true)

You are a social person who likes to talk and meet others. (true)

You are affectionate, passionate, expressive, and future-oriented. (true)

You are not very reserved, impatient, self-confident and fond of action. (hmmmm...not so sure)

You enjoy life in your own way and do not depend on the opinions of others. (true, unless your opinion differs from mine.....)

If you take this personality test, let me know if it's accurate for you! If it shows that you have serial killer tendencies, you might want to keep that to yourself........

Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The day....that.....would.....never........end

It's our first official day of summer, and I thought we might ride the tide of "it's a novelty to not have to attend school" wave for at least a day or two ...... wrong!

It seems like time is standing still here! Feels like the calvary (daddy) should have arrived hours ago, and it's only 4:20pm. Did someone play a cruel prank and rig our clocks somehow? (not funny!)

The kids are bored and wanting to be constantly entertained. So I made them sit down and write a list of possible things we could do. They put their heads together and brainstormed, and here's the result:

#16 is my favorite. :-) Now.....what can we do TOMORROW?! Any ideas?

His Cinderella

Please lift up Steven Curtis Chapman and his family in your prayers today. It was heart-breaking news to hear that his 5 year old daughter went home to be with Jesus yesterday. Take a look at his website, along with this to get to know sweet little Maria. I can't imagine their pain.

Our whole family has fallen in love with one of SCC's latest singles called "Cinderella". It is a touching song about how quickly our seasons of parenting go by -- as our children grow and then they're gone.

Ironically, my husband has been working on that very song and will sing it at church on Father's Day. It will be all the more meaningful and poignant now ..... Life is fragile and precious.

Let's all hug our kids a little closer and cherish the blessings we've been given.

Name that Grandpa

My life is so good. I am blessed FAR more than I ever deserved.

However, it makes my heart truly sad that my kids never got to meet my dad. He was an awesome guy, big in stature and in heart. A real man after God's own heart.

God chose to take him home, only months after he walked me down the aisle.

So ....... I make a conscious effort to keep Grandpa's memory alive for my kids and talk about him often.

Recently, I was chatting with my 6-year-old, and telling her an old family story. She said, "What was Grandpa's first name again?" I gave her a hint that it was a character in SpongeBob (which she knows very well)! Here's how it went:

Nat: Squidward?
Me: No.
Nat: Mr. Crabs?
Me: NO.
Nat: Sandy?
Me: NO !!!!!!!!!!!

I'd like to think that she was kidding with me, but can't be certain. For the record, his name was Gary.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Tails of a cat in heat

When I first saw this cartoon, I laughed out loud. Hope you'll share my somewhat warped sense of humor!

This hits close to home, as it would appear that our precious kitty is "heating" again, as our 6-year-old calls it.

We had suspected our neighbor's cat, "Runt", had stolen Peanut's purity last month -- he was definitely sending her the "wanna make beautiful kittens together, baby?" vibes.

Good girl for abstaining! We've had the "true love waits" talk with her, but she seems uncomfortable wearing the symbolic silver band.
So until these urges pass once again, I'm going to hide her garter belts and whips!

Fancy fingers!

Our little cheerleader painted "CHEER JAGS" on her nails to show her team spirit.

And I'm happy to report that Natalie is finally feeling better and will be attending the LAST day of school. This morning, she even constructed this "apartment" for Peanut in our kitchen!

Now if I can manage to NOT trip over it....

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

By Popular Demand .....

All 3 of my readers have requested, nay, DEMANDED updates on yesterday's post. Well, who am I to keep them in the dark, wondering, tossing & turning at night, with no closure?

For starters, Nat is a tiny bit better. By that, I mean that she's managed to make it from the kitchen bench to the couch. She has a nasty virus that simply refuses to move on! It's comforting to be surrounded by her favorite Webkinz in the sick ward.
I hope she'll be well enough to attend the last day of school tomorrow, where they'll have FUN IN THE SUN DAY! (the equivalent to the Olympics, except with water balloons & bean bags, and no representatives from other countries, and no medals, but pretty identical otherwise)

Also, I wanted to update you on my catastrophic injuries at the hand, or should I say leg, of our ladder. I'm embarrassed to post this, but I wanted to document my injuries. Note the bruise on my hip, right below my six-pack abs. Also see that I now wear a helmet when walking through our garage, just to be on the safe side. Better safe than being clobbered at the hand of an ordinary household ladder, I always say!

The sight I'll miss most .....

Friends, "D" Day is upon our heels ..... da last day of school. Before I begin, I'd like to state emphatically for the record that I LOVE MY KIDS!!!! However, 8:04 a.m. has been my favorite time of the day for 9 months now -- the time their bus picks them up.

Just LOOK how happy those kids are in the picture -- they WANT to go to school. Never mind the fact that 2 of their tires are off the road, I'm sure they'll be fine.

Back to me ..... It's been so lovely this year to get reacquainted with Matt Lauer in the morning, and maybe even kick around pertinent topics with the ladies of The View. Just me, Kelly Rippa and a cup-o-coffee. Such solitude!

That will all change once summer "break" starts (which is absolutely NOT a break for mothers, but don't get me started).

I've entertained the thought that perhaps my kids should attend summer school, in an attempt to raise slacker grades in the range of only 95-97%. I never realized WHAT an education nut I truly am!

So until next August, I'll be doubling my Zoloft dose and hope you'll give my regards to Regis. Motherhood is surrender!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Not Exactly Full Tilt ......

Here's a shot of my kindergartner this morning -- I think she may have strep...again. I hope she's not too terribly attached to those short-timer tonsils of hers. Imagine intense, gutteral groaning sounds accompanying this picture, and you'll get an idea of how her weekend was.

We're quite a pair, Nat and me ..... I'm battered and bruised from a hard core family work day. My hubby woke up ready to conquer the world, or at least the honey-do list, on Sat. morning. Not one to let such an opportunity slip by, I joined in, assembled the troops (kiddos), and we kicked booty around here!

We were all finished, and basking in the rich, rewarding feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment, when the unimaginable happened. I'm talking UNTHINKABLE. While stepping over a ladder, my pant leg got snagged on its sharp corner and yanked me back like a carp on a fishing line. (poetic, huh?) In direct opposition, my brisk, healthy momentum continued to carry me forward -- right towards the garage floor. It's like it happened in slow motion, and I had an eternity to anticipate my impending impact. My internal dialog went something like this: "I'm faaaaaalllllliiiiiiinnnnnnggggggggg!"

It was sort of like the asteroid hurtling towards Earth in the movie Armageddon (Where ARE Bruce Willis and/or Ben Affeck anyway?!)

The only saving grace was that there were no witnesses to my delicate decline onto the pavement. Think NOSE DIVE. I'm certain the sight would have scarred my children for life, on so many levels -- and thus, require years and years of therapy. For the record, concrete is NOT a forgiving surface. My knee will never be the same -- just when I'm shopping for a cheerleading skirt!

The worst part is that my resulting aches and pain are way out of proportion with my PUNY bruises (which I feel inclined to share with everyone I encounter). They say things like, "Yeah, I guess I can make out a bruise.....if I squint my eyes and focus real hard". And I don't mind sharing with you that I doubt their sincerity.

So, until next work day ...... watch out for those ladders -- they bite!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Greg Louganis beware !!

Family Festivities at the Frog Farm

Spring has officially arrived -- I know because our window well full of frogs is HOPPING with activity! (quit rolling your eyes....)

The kids had feared that our "frog farm" had gone belly up over the winter, and were so excited to see them re-emerge from the depths of the soil. Actually, I have no earthly idea what they do all winter, but I'm guessing they bury themselves deep and hibernate like a bear.... For all I know, they head to Daytona.

A few years back we discovered a couple of frogs that had ended up in our window well. Over time, their family has grown -- at last count, there were 7. One for each of us, even Peanut! I'm going to name mine Francesca Frog, I think.

Anyhoo, there was much celebration and frolicking with the frogs yesterday. The kids had fun finding bugs to toss down to the frogs, calling it their "Frog Thanksgiving Dinner". It's the simple things in life, don't you think?!

Friday, May 16, 2008

WE Made the Cheerleading Squad !

It's official -- WE made the cheerleading squad! (yes, "WE" -- I'm unashamedly cheering vicariously through Alli)

Not to put any pressure on her, but as of now she's my only hope for redeeming my endless years of nerdhood and perpetual wallflowerness in middle school.

I was never, ever even brave enough to TRY -- so I'm truly proud of her, just for auditioning alone!

If you're in the neighborhood this winter, drop in to see our sweetheart cheering the basketball team and rallying the fans -- and look for ME in the stands mimicking her every motion, like the stage mom I was born to be.

I wonder if Lane Bryant carries pleated short skirts..........

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Comedy Central, Here I Come!

Apparently people have been talking -- and word on the street is that I'm stinkin' hilarious. (which is a whole 'nother level than just plain old hilarious) Honestly, I've cracked myself up years now..... and am happy to find some kindred (albeit warped) spirits.

This began a few months ago, when a mega church invited me to speak to their womens' group and billed me as a stand-up comedienne -- no pressure there! After agonizing over what to share -- and guzzling cases of Pepto Bismol -- I took the stage and they absolutely LOVED me.

Because I'm modest.

I spoke at a different church this morning, and we had such a great time together. They seemed to especially like this true story of mine: Picture this .....

I was about 13 months' pregnant, with a grocery cart piled high as the Grinch's sleigh. As I was leaving the store, a severe storm had rolled in and rain was coming down by the bucket -- I'm talking monsoon, people! There were about 50 folks standing in the doorway, waiting for the rain to let up. Well, I was in a huge rush, as it was dangerously close to the pick-up time at Alli's preschool. (I couldn't risk getting a dirty look from the teacher again....)

So I kindly asked the rain-watchers to step aside, as the prego was making a run for it. And of course, I use the term "run" loosely. The folks parted like the Red Sea, in disbelief (at my stupidity, I'm sure). Well, I gave it my best pregnant girl dash, knowing I had approx. 100 eyes on my behind. It was about half way down the row that I discovered .......

I had absolutely NO idea where I had parked.


I'm sure I drove here ....

So as I zoomed .... well, lumbered, up and down the aisles, back and forth, back and forth, half giggling and half mortified, it was a painful realization that I really should have thought this operation through much, much better before launching.

I believe I've found my "niche" in sharing my down-to-earth, humorous life experiences, with a sprinkling of Christian teachings and scriptures. God has been so faithful to give me LOTS of material, just with my everyday life! So I'll use that to bring Him glory in turn, and hopefully encourage some hearts along the way. God bless!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Challenge: Can you tell WHICH ONE IS THE STATUE?

Our boy, the ARTIST -- whose creation of a Nutcracker King was featured at the County Art Museum. Look for his work next at the Sistine Chapel.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Pass the Sunscreen!

I came home this weekend to find my 4 kids had been very busy putting together a beach party in our living room. Of course, living in Kansas, we have to use our imaginations if we want to play at the beach!

This "surprise luau" was in honor of Mother's Day -- Isn't that adorable?!
And, of course, Peanut got in on the action --

Friday, May 9, 2008

Faithful Fan(s) from Far, Far Away

Well, perhaps I exaggerate with my title.

However, I just stumbled upon a really cool site that probably every blogger known to man has been aware of except me --! If I wasn't already obsessed with "my little blog that could" before, now there's a whole new dimension added to its draw.

On that website, I am able to see a graph -- a GRAPH, people -- just like a board meeting, to track the number of folks who visit my blog daily. And I mean BOTH of you. Hi mom.

I haven't figured it out quite yet, but I'm relatively sure there's a search mode to ascertain what they ate for breakfast -- BREAKFAST, people -- just like IHOP! (Anyone else just get a hankerin' for multi-flavored syrup choices at your fingertips?)

Back to the website stuff: I can pull up a map -- a MAP, people -- (oh, I wish I'd asked for a laser pointer for Mother's Day), and see markers of all my loyal readers' vast locations. I'm talking ALL over the world. I'm also able to tell that the majority of them looked at my blog for less than 15 seconds....

Anyway, I certainly hope those visitors are not James Bond kind of folk, gathering evidence of delicate issues like various uses for red peppers and Suburbans marked with a "P".

I can see the congressional hearing now...... "No sir, my intent was simply to spread joy to the world of blogging with tales of my circus visits and my would-be love affair with my cat".

Visit me in prison?

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Charmed by Charleston and my Chihuahua Chum

Honey, I'm home! And I'm reminded why it's stressful to travel, especially by air.

On the way out of town, there was a weather delay -- those doggone Kansas storms are downright wicked! They had to reroute me through Newark, San Diego, Jacksonville, then to my final destination: Charleston, SC (not really, it just felt like it)

On the return trip, there was a maintenance issue ("Folks, we have mechanics looking at the engine to see if they can figure out where a spark is coming from. They have their manuals out and are doing their best.") Hmmmmm, am I the only one who thinks that DOES NOT instill confidence in travellers?! We ended up having to deplane (which makes me think of Tattoo), and I began to wonder if I would be spending the night in the Atlanta airport. (and hoping they offer layaway at Ben & Jerry's....)

Thankfully, we were on another plane in no time and on our way to my happily ever spot called Wichita...a mere 2 1/2 hours late. The whole time I kept thanking the good Lord that all 4 of my kids weren't in tow....AND that I splurged and bought TWO magazines to entertain myself!
But back to the trip -- I had the BEST TIME EVER! There's nothing like a long-time, great friend. One who you can pick right back up with, as if you've never been apart. We talked, and talked, and talked, and talked -- much like excited Chihuahuas interacting. We may or may not have been annoying to those within a quarter mile of our presence.....and they may or may not have been thankful when we moved on out of their hearing......

Anyway, Lisa & I had a ball walking around downtown Charleston. There were open air markets, tons of gift shops, great restaurants, and charming scenery all around. We enjoyed a horse-drawn carriage tour as well as a harbor tour by boat. We created new memories with silly little things, like when we ordered Starbucks and told them wrong names, just to be goofy (see below). "Order ready for Bambi and Lola"! How can a gal NOT giggle at that?!

I'm sure that at some point I will, in fact, grow up.

It feels good to be home, and I feel fortunate to be surrounded by such wonderful blessings of true friends and wonderful family.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Happy Mother's Day to ME

Well, guess what? (imaginary drum roll, please) I'm headed to the beach tomorrow! As an early Mother's Day gift, I'm getting away for a long weekend with one of my dearest & oldest friends, Lisa. (she's not THAT old -- you know what I mean....) She lives in SC and will meet me in the quaint & utterly charming city of Charleston.

My personal tour guide (Lisa) has booked us for every form of tour available (horse drawn carriage, walking tour, by boat, bus, hot air balloon, trolley car, helicopter....) Everything short of a tiny Chinese man pulling our rickshaw.

And THAT's just Saturday's schedule.

Lisa & I worked together at a law firm for years before I got married and moved away. Suffice it to say, we have been through a lot together. I mean, a LOT. Lisa was with me every step of the way while I was a naive pilgrim in the savage world of dating. That girl dated vicariously through me -- sharing every broken heart, every disappointment, and then rejoicing when I found Greg and being my bridesmaid.

She even had the guts to discourage my marrying that gay guy a few years earlier -- now that's a REAL friend.

I haven't actually seen Lisa for about seven years (thank goodness for e-mail). I hope she recognizes me, as I've entered that delicate "season" of life where I discover acne nestling into my wrinkle crevices. Sort of midway between puberty and menopause. Somewhere between hot pants and hot flash.

I still face the daunting task of deciding what to pack........ hmmmmmm, what makes me look fabulously thin, what weather should I plan for, and most importantly, what matches the darling apple green spring purse I bought at that yard sale? Such weighty matters! That reminds me, I've got to pack my Spanx to wear with my swimsuit. I'm not sure I'm ready for the FIRST swimsuit appearance of the season. Brace yourselves, folks, it's not gonna be perty.

I'll write with a comprehensive Charleston report when I return. Until then......