Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A Woman Scorned

My girls are Jonas Brothers FANATICS.

It's reminiscent of my childhood crushes on Scott Baio and Shawn Cassidy. And Leif Garrett was a looker as well.

This is how Natalie reacted after learning that I was Kevin Jonas' soul mate, according to a magazine quiz I took with the kids.

She's devoted to him and fully intends to be his wife some day. Even if he is 20 years old, and she's just now entering 1st grade.

Can you say "Anna Nicole Smith tendencies"?

What about you? Who were your celebrity crushes as a child (or currently)?

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Swimsuit Edition

We had such fun at the Stoney Creek Inn pool in St. Joe, Missouri. The kids had a blast jumping in the pool over and over as I tried (and tried, and tried) to get a mid-air shot.

I really can't remember a time in my life where I begged someone to "Take another picture of me in my swimsuit"! In fact, if and when a camera emerges at the beach, I instinctively put up my hands and start threatening! "I pity the fool"!

Natalie preferred to lounge in and around the hot tub area. By the way, those bears are NOT real -- just paintings. She was in NO danger. =)

Congrats are in Order, Friends!

It's a GIRL, and a BOY, and let's see, another GIRL .... Six little kittens all together!

The kids & I tagged along for an overnight business trip this week .... and upon our return home, there were SCREAMS of joy (mostly Greg) to discover that our family size had doubled while we were away!

I'M A GRANDMA, of sorts -- six times over, as a matter of fact! It was really precious to watch her literally cuddling her kittens with her paws and purring while they nursed. I thought to myself "she's a much more relaxed first-time mother than I ever was"! Two words: nervous wreck. But let's focus on the cat ......

Peanut opted for an under-stated location of simple elegance to deliver -- otherwise known as our basement storage room. To be honest, I was hoping to hold her little paw, feed her ice chips and encourage her through the whole ordeal. (BREATHE, kitty, BREATHE!) But she's independent that way and seized the slim window of opportunity while we were away.

Oh, and Heidi Klum and Nicole Richey have got nothin' on Peanut -- she's got her svelte figure back already, just one day after giving birth.

We'll be accepting flowers and casseroles on behalf of the new mommy, if you're so inclined.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Pampering Party for Poor Peanut

To the delight of my children, our beloved and very pregnant Peanut got a makeover. I'm guessing she wasn't amused. (although you can't deny that the pink "earrings" bring out her eyes)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

One Man's Treasure .....

is another man's JUNK !!!

The kids have gotten inspired to have a yard sale.

Translation: "Mom, get ready to spend countless hours having a yard sale for us, because we'll tire of the whole scene before the first customer has even paid."

I challenged each of them to gather some "treasures" to peddle -- and then had to offer more specific instructions when they were all offering items belonging to their siblings. i.e., Find at least FIVE of your OWN items to offer up, and they need to be bigger than my hand. (We adhere to a strict "no Happy Meal toys qualify" policy, thank you!)

And on a side note ..... it's amazing how much value things suddenly hold around here when it's potential merchandise. Talk about renewed passion!

My little guy is clearly a mogul in the making and is approaching this money-making proposition very seriously. Case in point, see Exhibit A below:

He wrote the following on this bag of gumballs (which he extracted from his Easter Bunny gumball machine from Easter, 2004): 5 cents each, OR $2.75 for whole bag.

Obviously, we need to do a little brushing up on the math skills ..... If the customer bought the gumballs individually, the total would only be $1.05.

Hmmmmm, perhaps he's hoping no one exerts the brain cells to actually do the math. It is SUMMER BREAK, after all. And I, for one, officially miss school.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Guilty Pleasure(s)

This post may be controversial, but here goes: I LOVE "PROJECT RUNWAY" on BRAVO! I'm shouting it from the mountain top, unashamedly!!!

Season 5 kicked off this past Wednesday night, and the designers were challenged to create a runway look from -- are you ready -- items ONLY found in a grocery store! WHAT?!

The creative uses of every day items were impressive ..... such as coffee filters above (likely the 4-cup size), thumb tacks to adorn the belt and vaccuum cleaner bags cleverly painted and used for the skirt! (this was the week's winning look)

Not surprisingly, the "evil scientist getting ready to clean her toilet" look didn't go over so well with the judges -- and this designer was sent-a-packin'. (If you look closely at the picture, even the model has an expression that suggests, "what the?")

Can you guess what this blue dress is made from?

Go ahead, I'll wait while you think.....

NUTTIN' BUT PLASTIC CUPS, FOLKS! I would be more impressed if it weren't for the fact that I constructed my entire last year's Fall wardrobe with nothing but plastic forks.

Of course, these models are so tiny, they could have strung 2 Dixie cups together with a strand of cooked spaghetti and called it a day.
(and just between you and me ...... I suspect that one of the male designers might have gay tendencies ....... )

Friday, July 18, 2008

I've Got Some "Splainin" To Do

Hubby was online earlier tonight and stumbled across something that made me chuckle -- and blush simultaneously. He had clicked on the "history" button ..... and was wondering why the "hoes.com" website appeared on the list. Hmmmm, valid concern. Can't argue with that. I tried to blame our 8-year-old boy at first, but then decided to come clean.

You see ..... it's the craziest thing ..... When shopping for shoes online (for my beloved, no less), with my lightning quick typing speed, I accidentally omitted the first "s" when typing in "shoes.com" in my browser. I clearly favor speed over accuracy. That's one dilly of a typo, folks!

By the way, I know you're wondering ...... "hoes.com" does NOT, in fact, carry career shoes (at least not for Greg's profession)!

And NOW we'll install that parental filter we've been meaning to get around to ....

Thursday, July 17, 2008

May We Rummage Through Your Sale?

One of the things I like about our little town is ..... we LOVE us some yard sales. There are always a slew of them to peruse -- and the BIG day for them around here is Thursday.

To our delight, LOTS of locals decided to have sales today (undoubtedly in an attempt to pay off their recent fireworks overdose .....) Loan sharks were loitering about, ready to break some knee caps if that case of cherry bombs wasn't paid off by noon.

We found some swanky dress-up shoes and matching sparkly clutch purse for Natalie for a grand total of 50 cents. FASHION PLATE on a budget. (For the record, I tried on those shoes at the yard sale and it was reminiscent of Cinderella's step-sisters ... but I'm not bitter)

Evan was thrilled to find a mother lode of Pokemon cards at another sale, which will hopefully keep him occupied until school resumes. (Note the slightly crazed look in his eyes)

We found a hair straightener for Allison, and a brand new craft set for Holly. (yes, she made it home from camp last night and had a wonderful time).

What about you -- What's the best garage sale find you want to share?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

In Your Face, Davinci !

Natalie (6) proudly displays her masterpiece. Entitled "I love Mommy" (I think.....)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

When my Holly Leaves

Our second-born, Holly, is a complex & wonderful little girl. With big blue eyes and a sheepish grin, she's the biggest monkey on the playground and fish in the swimming pool.

This week she has been gone to church summer camp -- the only 3rd grade girl to sign up. Everyone else was older.

I find myself thinking CONSTANTLY, "I wonder what she's doing ...... I wonder if she's making friends ...... I wonder if she's acting shy or feeling comfortable enough to show her silly side ..... I hope she's thriving and making fantastic memories."

I've been lifting up more prayers for her than ever while she's away -- that God would protect her; that He would surround her with positive Christian influences and friendships; and most of all that her relationship with HIM would deepen.

I can hardly wait to see her tomorrow night when they return, and hear how it all went. This entire week I've felt like I have a dull ache in my heart with her away. Like something's missing. Like it's just not right around here.

Remind me of that next week when she's driving me crazy! It's a GOOD thing to miss each other every now and then and gain renewed appreciation, don't you think? Hopefully she's missed us just a little bit too. I think one of the hardest parts of parenting is letting go........

Monday, July 14, 2008


LET THE RECORD SHOW THAT I AM UP ON MY CURRENT EVENTS. The "important" ones, that is.........

You may recall this little mishap last year. A memorable sight, to be sure.

Well, have you seen this??? De ja vu. I can't believe tragedy struck AGAIN last night, two years in a row! At least the whole world wasn't watching. Maybe only half.

Geesh, my heart goes out to these girls!! And their mothers. I can't imagine sitting in the audience on pins and needles, watching my daughter compete at such a level. And then see her crash and burn. And then applaud herself in an attempt to play it off. (Maybe no one noticed ...)

Can you imagine the pressure?! I practically needed therapy when my oldest made the finals in the "Andover Idol" contest! And that's not QUITE as vast a venue, mind you. All 13 of us in the stands were nervous for our performing children, nonetheless.

My advice to USA's next Miss Universe contestant -- WEAR SOME GOOD STURDY BOOTS with traction, for crying out loud. Those stiletto roller skates aren't working for ya!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Mission Impossible

I have a bit of hard-hitting news that chubby girls all across the globe need to be informed of. Real Geraldo Rivera type stuff.

Yes, I'm bold enough to speak up and take a stand! The producers of "20/20" have indeed been contacted, but don't seem to share my urgency..... hmmm, perhaps Judge Judy would be receptive. I wonder if that restraining order is still in effect.

See "EXHIBIT A", paying particular attention to the key word which is written in blue.
F -- I -- R -- M -- I -- N -- G

The official definition of firming, according to Merriam-Webster: to make solid or compact. Or as I interpreted the label, thin thighs in a bottle.

Being a reasonable and responsible consumer, I did heretofore conclude that a $5.69 investment would be worthwhile and prudent..... and more cost-effective than liposuction.

LET THE RECORD SHOW ..... that my thighs have decidedly remained UN-FIRM during the use of this product. BOTH times I applied it. NOT solid NOR compact.

Of course, I can appreciate that it would be like expecting this shaker of salt:

To melt away this:

I'm just sayin' ........

I'll just have to settle for my UN-FIRM, yet tan -- OK, off-white -- colored legs..... and forget about mini skirts! The way God intended it.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Update from the Maternity Ward

Here are a few shots of 2 of my favorite "lil gals" -- Holly and Peanut. You may notice Peanut's tummy expansion -- we can feel the kittens moving!

These scenes were a little out of character for our mommy-to-be ......

She's going through her pregnancy much like I did mine -- with the mantra "leave me alone and don't even think about touching me!"

When I was a little girl, I witnessed our cat having kittens ..... as I recall, it resembled a position similar to this, except the cat wasn't smiling:
I'll keep you posted! In the meantime, how many free kittens should we put YOU down for?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Tis But a Flesh Wound

I'm going to warn you, this post is downright gory. Small children should be accompanied by adults if viewing the below contents.

Seriously ......

I'm giving you one more chance to look away ....

At the risk of being scarred for life --

Wouldn't you know ..... the one night I need to throw, er, lovingly prepare dinner quickly for my beloved family and be out the door pronto -- the spaghetti sauce decides to throw up on me.

When opening the can, the lid flipped and splattered me like a machine gun. This is a lot like Scarface 17 ..... "Say hello to my little friend, the Hunt's spaghetti sauce can"

Mowed down by tomato sauce -- that's a new one.

I don't know -- does it show? I was all "gussied up" (does anyone say that anymore?) for our womens' group at church and everything! But just to prove that I can ALWAYS laugh at myself:

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Shorthand: Natalie Style

During church last Sunday, I noticed our youngest was intently taking sermon notes ..... in her own "special" shorthand.

There were pages and pages of notes that all looked exactly like this one.

She claimed to be writing what the pastor was saying ..... but I suspect it actually says "my mom made me wear this stupid dress I don't like".

Oh well, at least she wasn't playing tic tac toe. Or drawing funny pictures of the deacons. Or mommy.

Summer Time and the Water Feels Good

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Calling Daniel Son

As luck would have it, we arrived in Louisiana just in time for Evan and Natalie to be Bethany's guests (victims) at karate class. Here they patiently wait for class to start -- you may notice Bethany smiling broadly ...... because she KNOWS what they're in for!

Now, my kids have seen Karate Kid, and probably expected to be waxing someone's vehicle or perhaps trying their hand at catching a fly mid-air with chopsticks........

However, the teacher (who was downright scary to me) had a different agenda in mind. Think hard core ..... sort of like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Toddler.

Here, she assists Bethany in completing her 370th sit-up, grunting
"Yes, Ma'am" between each.

My little sis assures me that the teacher is a sweetheart -- but she does have a tough classroom style. I found myself watching with clenched teeth, thinking "DO IT RIGHT, NATALIE, OR SHE'S GOING TO BE ON YOU LIKE STINK ON ...." well, never mind what I thought.

For the record, Evan was holding his own until Bethany did an illegal sweep of his leg and took him out. His only retaliation, of course, was the one-legged, arms-in-the-air-like-a-zombie move.

At one point, the Lord of the Dojo commanded all the parents to come on the floor and assist their children in forming the proper foot position to most effectively kick the bajeebies out of their foes.

I was too terrified to move, so I in turn, utilized the "trickle down theory" and commanded my nephew, Garrison, to go work with Natalie on the mat.

Bethany loves karate and takes class very seriously. I fully expect her to be able to kick her aunt's rump any time now.
I'm feeling a Karate Kid III in the can soon!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Our Very Own Juno

Maybe you'll recall my mentioning our cat, Peanut, before ..... If not, this might refresh your memory:

Right before we left for vacation, my children noticed, well, how shall I say it delicately........ a change in Peanut's underside (let's just say they nick-named her "Nips" -- 6 to be exact). That was our first clue that our sweet little girl had been around the block, quite literally. The kids are convinced that 6 kittens are on the way -- and I didn't have it in me to explain that, if we follow their logic, every pregnant woman on earth would be birthing twins.....

Anyhoo, they have already started talk of each "adopting" one until they're old enough to give away. Evan scrambled to be the first to claim the name: Zelda, the Mighty Warrior, for his kitten. Somehow I doubt his sisters would fight him for that right....

That reminds me of when I was a kid and my dad brought home a new puppy. I was in about 1st grade, and wanted to name her "Lucky Charm" or "Leprechaun" ...... Well, my two older brothers out-voted me and named her (no joke) "Lobo, King of the Wolf Pack". Does anyone else see a pattern here with boys naming pets?!

Before we left for vacation she resembled this:

When we got home 2 weeks later:
I'm no doctor, but I'm pretty sure we need to attend Lamaze SOON. BREATHE, Kitty, BREATHE !!!! Hee Hee Hooooooooo

What NOT to Wear

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy 4th of July! Got earplugs?

We're enjoying a lazy morning around the house, and I thought I'd blog a line or twenty.... in my nightgown, if you wondered. Hey, what's the hurry? In honor of our men and women who have served our country, I'm embracing my bathrobe. It's my own personal way of celebrating....

I'll dress in my Betsy Ross garb and grab my powdered wig in time to join the fireworks extravaganza at dark -- when our usually cozy, quiet cul-de-sac eerily begins to resemble a war zone. It's about as close to Baghdad as you'll ever get in the States.

I've never seen people so serious about their fireworks arsenal as they are here in Kansas! Folks are practically mortgaging their homes for a supply of explosives that would put the Taliban to shame. Sweet little grandmas who are usually busy kneading pie crust have blown their Metamucil money on bottle rockets and yelling, "THERE SHE BLOWS -- FIRE IN THE HOLE" and diving head-first into bunkers, knee highs-a-flappin' in the wind. Gotta love the enthusiasm, even if I'm sore from instinctively hitting the deck constantly while my neighbors play "Front Yard Fallujah".

On a serious note ..... Isn't America great?! I'm truly grateful for our freedom and for all the men and women who have served and sacrificed to preserve that liberty. May God richly bless you and yours. Happy 4th!!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Honey, I'm Home!

Did any of you out there miss me, or even notice my absence from the bloggosphere?! We got home last night from a two week vacation. For the most part, I had no access to internet during our time away -- which is pretty much equivalent to that Man vs. Wild television show.

We had a great time overall, although some circumstances along the way were .... well .... certainly "memorable". Here's my recap of the "12 Days of Vacation":

On the first day of vacation, my children gave to me -- a dead rat lying on the beach.

On the second day of vacation, oh what did we see? An ocean full of stinging jellyfish.

On the third day of vacation, what's that on your face? Allergic rash brought on by the sunscreen.

On the fourth day of vacation, mom what did you eat, to cause you such violent vomiting?

On the fifth day of vacation, kids what's that you have? Water balloons which are their "babies".

On the sixth day of vacation, called the family doc -- requesting drugs to treat our swimmers ear.

On the seventh day of vacation, my mom was sick again -- this time we had to dial 911.

On the eighth day of vacation, we caught a lot of fish -- even with that puny Barbie pole.

On the ninth day of vacation, my mom she underwent -- gall bladder removal surgery.

On the tenth day of vacation, we had a lot of fun, playing in our back yard swimming pool.

On the 11th day of vacation, we drove the 4-wheelers -- and had a dance party at poolside.

On the 12th day of vacation, the doctor sprung my mom, and then we let off lots of fireworks.

So there you have it in a nutshell -- except I couldn't figure out how to incorporate the phrase "we ate non-stop for 14 days straight to the extent that our stomachs nearly ruptured". Call 911 again!!

And now, it's back to life, back to reality. OK, WHO packed this dead rat in my suitcase?!