Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Saturday kicked off with a huge parade, which 3 of our kids marched in with their school float.
And there was plenty of good, simple fun to be had -- such as:
*a kids' fishing clinic
*inflatables (where I was blocked entrance because of some silly "weight limit", thankyouverymuch) ha!
*Irish folk dancers (I WANT one of those curly, bouncy wigs!)
* a cookie decorating tent (where I made off with a tub of icing when no one was looking.......)
The sight of the carnival rides made my kids' eyes bulge with desire. Can I just get four little words off my chest? THREE BUCKS A RIDE! Okay, I feel better. I guess the carnival workers are saving up for some front teeth, so it's for a worthy cause.
I had wanted to see the Miss Andover pageant, but they finished it ahead of schedule. Apparently there were only a few contestants, so it didn't take much time to flip a coin to declare the winner. With that in mind, I'm going to dust off my baton, tap shoes and evening gown, and might just give 'er a shot next year.
Evan found the carnival games enticing, and gave it his best shot at the basketball shooting booth, and came REALLY close to sinking it. Not bad for an 8-year-old. Watch out, Kobe!
Our day had several highlights, one of them being when Evan had the opportunity to try and catch a pig in a mud pit, and was subsequently hosed off by the fire department.
Then our little guy went head-to-head with his daddy and others in a pie eating contest. They were given HUGE cream pies, to be eaten with hands behind their backs. Hubby came out victorious in that challenge, as he'd been in earnest training for years.
And although I was duly proud of his success, I did think it was over-the-top a bit when he strutted and talked smack to the other 8-year-old competitors. Clearly, he's been influenced by watching too much professional wrestling.
Greg scored some Dairy Queen certificates as first prize. Of course, he won't be interested in redeeming those for quite some time ...... as he's been utterly nauseated ever since the fierce competition. He and Evan both seriously groaned for the remainder of the weekend, folks. You've seen those Pepto Bismol commercials? Well, pie eating contests were the inspiration for them.
But hey, it was quite a memory in the making! And I'm not allowed to make pie or even talk about pie while under this roof as a direct result. I'm pretty sure I can think about pie, just not verbalize those thoughts. Maybe by the time Thanksgiving rolls around.......
Friday, September 26, 2008
Evan confidently raised his hand and answered "it's a scary looking person who only wears red and black." (insert confused look from the teacher) ...... Um, not quite. Anyone else?
So Evan was embarrassed and didn't really catch the true meaning of the word. As he was telling me all this, and I was wondering "what in the world could he have been thinking of, when he offered that answer?" Gossip ...... hmmm .......
Can you guess? Scroll down .......
Turns out he was thinking of the word "gothic" or "goth", and had THIS mental image:
On a separate note, I was on my way to meet a friend for lunch yesterday. She told me to call her as I arrived at her office parking lot, and she'd scoot out and meet me.
On the way there, I realized that I didn't have her phone number stored in my cell phone -- but I was 90% sure I remembered it. So I dialed that number and was greeted by a cheerful "hello". Being the goofball that I am, I said "Hey, get your skinny little arse out to the flag pole and let's go to lunch"!
PREGNANT PAUSE ........
Voice on the other end, "um, EXCUSE me?"
Wrong number. Oops!
Thursday, September 25, 2008
And in honor of such a special occasion, I'd like to come clean and make a shocking and painful confession.
Here goes ......... (deep breath) .......... I'm Kevin.
On Facebook, I was invited to take a "Which Office Character Are You" quiz. A silly, just for fun sort of thing. Only for me it ended up being decidedly UN-FUN. That's because my quiz results revealed that I was indeed KEVIN.
You may not even know who Kevin is -- I can sense your puzzled look. He's not even important enough to be included in the show's picture above. If you need a refresher, take a look at this clip.
Yes, I'm flattered. And simultaneously suicidal.
In an attempt to "change my Office identity" if you will, I even retook the Facebook quiz, intentionally changing my answers and hoping to end up as Pam, or even Jim ...... and I'm not lying when I say that my identity came back as KEVIN. Again! Even with my submission of completely different answers.
Ouch. I hope you'll still be my friend. Meet me for Kool Aid happy hour?
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Our little town has hit new heights in the realms of classiness.
Hard hitting news indeed ...... especially if you're constipated.
(Sorry, I just couldn't resist). I'm heavily influenced by my boy's potty humor.
AHHHH........I'd like to go on record as saying that 7:56 a.m. is my very favorite time of the day. 7:56 and ALL IS WELL! Just me and the cat, winking at each other with a look of satisfied peace and tranquility and an unspoken agreement of "you leave me alone, and I'll leave YOU alone".
As I was pouring my first cup of coffee, mouth watering and humming a happy tune, I heard a most confusing and equally unwelcomed sound. The garage door opening. Hmmmm..... wassup? That ain't right.
My children poured back INTO the house, saying that they'd apparently MISSED the bus. Huh?! They reported the bus must have come early, because there were no other kids at the bus stop.
Just as they were explaining that to me, we heard the unmistakeable low rumble of the bus ..... and caught sight of it as it was pulling away. Now they really HAD missed the bus.
Oh well, no biggie -- I'd have to run them to school, and saw the whole situation as a direct sign from God that he wanted me to have THIS for breakfast today:
OK, maybe I'm "reading into it" a little, but why else would my loving Heavenly Father make me physically leave my cozy home before 8:15 a.m.?! Hey, as I always say, "when life gives you lemons, go get an Egg McMuffin."
So I threw on some ratty clothes and sunglasses, because me old face had yet to be spackled and painted for the day, and headed out the door.
After dropping the kids off, I headed to the Home of the Egg McMuffin -- and was disappointed, nay, horrified, to discover roughly 22 cars in the drive-thru line. Apparently, God had been casting out the McMuffin vision widely this morning. OH THE CONFUSION.
So I had two choices -- wait in the LONG line and spend approximately $6.42 in gasoline cost ..... OR ..... (deep breath) leave my vehicle and GO INSIDE to place my order. THE AGONY OF SUCH WEIGHTY DECISIONS THIS EARLY IN THE MORNING!
You'll be happy to know that, in the interest of NOT frightening small children in the McDonalds vicinity with my disheveled and downright frightening appearance, I opted to stay inside my vehicle and head home. You're welcome.
So -- NO children will look like THIS because of my deep, burning, selfish desires for a breakfast sandwich. My conscience is clear, and I'll just go pour myself a bowl of Raisin Bran now.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Ah, the glamour and glory of being a mother of a toddler.....
The whole time I was reading it, my internal dialogue went something like this: no, no, no, no, NOOOOOO!
Thursday, September 18, 2008
At her child's school, they host something called a "Ya-Hoo or Boo Hoo" get together.
After parents drop off their kids on the first day of school, they are invited to the gymnasium -- where they enjoy refreshments .... and subsequently share in celebration OR shed some tears together.
There's a "YA-HOO" corner, and a "BOO HOO" corner, depending upon your first day of school feelings.
I'll be honest -- I'm of the YA-HOO persuasion. I've always been excited and happy (deliriously happy, even) to send the kids off to school ...... and if I'm really honest, some of that is selfishly based.
Sure, there's a tinge of "oh, my baby's growing up"..... but it's quickly followed by a "SEE YA", and my subsequently skipping to the car -- ALONE.
So.....what about you? Which corner would you migrate to? Are you doing a joy jump like the overalled lady above, or doing an ugly cry like our "friend" to the right, on the first day of school?
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Mom and my pastoral staff might want to skip this post...... but for the rest of us heathens, it's good for a laugh!
Just click here:
Saturday, September 13, 2008
MOLTEN CHOCOLATE CAKES
Melt in microwave:
1 cup butter
1 1/3 cup chocolate chips
Add to that mixture:
1/2 cup sugar
Then add 4 tsp. flour
Bake in cupcake liners, filling 2/3 each full. 450 degrees for 8-10 minutes (should still be "jiggly" in center, much like my thighs)
Sprinkle with powdered sugar, and enjoy AFTER cooled (or you'll blister your tongue!). If you make a batch, let me know how they turned out!
Friday, September 12, 2008
In my picture, I'm convinced I'm a shoo-in for the part of Tracy Turnblatt in "Hairspray". And you should see me MOVE. Stop laughing.
Isn't hubby a FOX, who looks like all he needs is a guitar and a microphone?
Now you know how we spent our Friday night (and thereby supporting the notion that there's NOTHING to do in Kansas .......)
I do hope the neighbors won't call the cops for disturbing the peace.
Here's our oldest, ready to audition for Barney's girlfriend in The Andy Griffith Show.
Not to be outshone by her younger sister, who needs only a leather jacket and a hickey to nail the part of Rizzo in Grease.
And let's not overlook Chachi's younger years before joining the cast of "Happy Days".
And I fully expect these books to be flying off the shelf as a direct result. In fact, there's already a vase set out for the flowers Doubleday Publishing will likely send me in thanks.Let the record show that I hereby recommend the book at the right, "Exercise Can be Fun", which the kids brought home from school. I may even do a knee bend with Natalie, just for kicks.
And don't miss this author's other publications, including:
"Sweating is Sweet Stuff",
"Blisters are Bliss",
" Jolly Jock Itch",
"Athletes Foot is Fantastic",
"Pain is our Pal"
and my personal favorite:
"Root Canals are a Riot" -- which helped prepare me for my "surprise" root canal earlier this week.
That should be enough to keep you busy all weekend -- Happy Reading!
Only a few days before, my sister's family evacuated from Lake Charles, Louisiana, to avoid Hurricane Gustav. And they had to almost immediately turn around and flee from Ike.
At least they have lots of notice of what's coming their way.... And then accordingly agonize over whether they should hunker down or hit the road. All the time second-guessing themselves and wondering if they're doing the right thing.
Hey, if you're in the "cone of uncertainty" as the weather channel calls it, it puts you in the position of being a gambler. Are you going to fold or let it ride and take your chances? In the words of Clint Eastwood, "Do you feel lucky, punk?"
Oh my gosh, I totally just quoted Clint Eastwood. Anyhoo.....
Living in Kansas, we don't fret much about hurricanes. Mostly because the most significant body of water around here, um, the puddle at the bottom of our driveway.
Now granted, we have our weather issues too. Maybe you've heard of "Tornado Alley"? Perhaps "Twister" rings a bell? Us midwesterners inspired that flick. We've had our share of close calls with tornado warnings, but I've yet to see a cow fly past our mailbox.
Tornados don't give as much notice as hurricanes. They're not ones to call ahead and let you know they're on their way. They're not very considerate come to think of it, or maybe just more spontaneous. We don't even have time to name them.
If it's spring or fall time and you live in Kansas, it's just a given that you're in the "cone of uncertainty"!
I will say that the technology here is amazing, pinpointing any tornado activity. The weather men are literally able to spout off intersections where the tornado is touching down. Practically saying things like, "Hey you in the white Dodge minivan with the McCain bumper sticker -- take cover"! "Someone tell the girl in the Bobby Jack t-shirt and seersucker shorts to check her mail AFTER the storm"! And so on and so forth.
I'm convinced that no matter where you live, there are "pros and cons". Whether it be the weather, earthquakes, or other things like scorpions or poisonous snakes, we all have our local stuff to deal with.
So, what's the "thing" you deal with, where you live?
Thursday, September 11, 2008
At the time, we were living in NW Arkansas ..... I was 6 months pregnant with our 4th child, juggling 3 babies/toddlers. Chances are good my hair was in curlers and I was wrapped snugly in my favorite ratty robe. But, alas, I digress.....
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
One of our daughters (whom I'll call "Monkey") has a recurring stomach problem. It is rather unpredictable, which makes it difficult to pin point the "common denominator". We had thought it was maybe a lactose intolerance issue -- but even with limiting her diet and taking an occasional Lactaid tablet, the stomach aches (cramping) continue to flare up here and there.
Well, she had gone most of the summer without any of those symptoms, and our hope was that she had outgrown this phase in her medical history.
No such luck. The school nurse called last Friday, and I had to go retrieve Monkey from school for that very reason. I wasn't too worried about it, as she had overdosed on the pizza buffet the night before, with an ice cream chaser. Even the hardiest of us lactose tolerators would suffer consequences -- can I get an Amen?
The weekend was uneventful, with few complaints. But then ...... it was back to school time and the stomach aches started again. My gut feeling (pardon the pun) is that she has a "nervous stomach".
The school nurse just called me .... again ..... we're becoming well acquainted. Monkey is lying down in the nurse's office as I type this, with stomach cramps. She'll call me back to come get her from school, if that tummy doesn't settle down soon.
As a kid, I don't remember having a nervous stomach, but I was definitely a worrier. And a chewer. And a picker. I spent the better part of middle school with tiny bleeding spots around my fingernail bed. And I still have lots of nervous habits, which I fear I've passed on to my Monkey. She's always got her fingers in her mouth.......
So, any advice on what can I do for her? Any ideas, before I have to take her to the doctor?
I'd welcome any comments ...... and in the meantime, I'll sit here chewing my fingers, willing the phone NOT to ring.
Monday, September 8, 2008
Think about them one at a time before going on to the next one.
1. Falling in love.
2. Laughing so hard your face hurts.
3. A piping hot shower on a chilly morning.
4. No lines at the supermarket.
5. The season premier of your favorite t.v. show.
6. Getting "fun" mail.
7. Taking a drive on a pretty road.
8. Hearing your favorite song on the radio.
9. Lying in bed listening to the rain outside.
10. Hot towels fresh out of the dryer.
11. A book so good you can't put it down.
12. A bubble bath.
14. The beach.
15. Finding a 20 dollar bill in your coat from last winter.
16. Laughing at yourself.
17. Looking into their eyes and knowing they Love you.
18. Midnight phone calls that last for hours.
19. Running through sprinklers.
20. Laughing for absolutely no reason at all.
21. Having someone tell you that you're beautiful.
22. Laughing at an inside joke with FRIENDS
23. Overhearing someone say something nice about you.
24. Waking up and realizing you still have a few hours left to sleep.
25. Your first kiss.
26. Making new friends or spending time with old ones.
27. Playing with a new puppy or kitten.
28. Having someone play with your hair or scratch your back.
29. Sweet dreams.
30. Hot chocolate.
31. Road trips with friends.
32. Watching your child succeed.
33. Swinging on swings.
34. Making chocolate chip cookies.
35. Having your friends send you homemade cookies.
36. Holding hands with someone you care about.
37. Running into an old friend and realizing that some things never change.
38. Watching the expression on someone's face as they open a much desired present from you.
39. Watching the sunrise.
40. Getting out of bed every morning and being grateful for another beautiful day.
41. Knowing that somebody misses you.
42. Finding that item you wanted so much but held off buying, NOW on the clearance rack!
43. Getting a hug from someone you care about deeply.
44. Knowing you've done the right thing, no matter what.
45. Praying with your child to invite Jesus into their hearts.
What about YOU? What "simple pleasures" in life give you a natural high? I'd love for you to leave a comment and share!
Lord, keep Your arm around my shoulder and Your hand over my mouth.
Sunday, September 7, 2008
TRENTON, N.J. -- Neighbors called police Wednesday morning after hearing a woman's persistent cry of "Help me! Help me!" coming from a house. Officers arrived and when no one answered the door, they kicked it in to make a rescue.
But instead of a damsel in distress, officers found a caged cockatoo with a convincing call.
It wasn't the first time the 10-year-old bird named Luna said something that brought authorities to the home of owner Evelyn DeLeon.
About seven years ago, the bird cried like a baby for hours, leading to reports of a possible abandoned baby and a visit to the home by state child welfare workers. But it was only Luna practicing a newfound sound, DeLeon says.
DeLeon says her bird learns much of her ever-growing vocabulary from watching television, in both English and Spanish.
Moral of the story -- This call for help was simply for the birds! (ba dum bum)
Friday, September 5, 2008
Before we know it, the kiddos will be donning their trick-or-treat costumes. Which makes me wonder -- How old is TOO old to trick or treat, anyway? And NO, I'm not wondering on MY behalf ..... my 12-ear-old mentioned that a group of her friends might all go door to door begging for Dum Dum suckers one more year. What do you, the jury, think about that proposal?
I will admit that I've been judgmental at times as the primary candy-passer-outer at our house. Those of you who bring your newborns trick-or-treating ..... It's cute and all, but we all know that YOU'RE the one who's going to be sucking down that Almond Joy, not junior (you know, the one with NO teeth).
And can I just say outright that if you boys have to shave, and you girls are "more developed" than me -- chances are GOOD you have passed your prime in the partaking of the trick-or-treating festivities. There, I said it! Don't tell me that you haven't had those thoughts at some point.
Moving on ...... A few years ago, I served as the room mom for Allison's 3rd grade class. As such, I was expected to plan a "Fall Party". Instead of going the route of witches and goblins, I opted for a GROSS OUT party, a la Fear Factor. It was such a blast, even if some of the kids are still undergoing therapy as a result. I'm confident they'll get over it by their senior year.
We divided the class into teams and they took turns going head-to-head, racing to eat really disgusting "delicacies" -- such as "cow brains" ..... but the piece de resistance was chocolate pudding, served inside a diaper for dynamic presentation. (It's important to mention that the diaper should be unused.)
Then the kids eagerly lined up for a helping of kitty litter cake, scooped out of a kitty litter box for full impact. To make that, you crumble up prepared cake, then mix in some gooey pudding, then top with "styled" Tootsie Rolls on top for garnish. It's a hoot, and a memory for sure!
And there's nothing that says "I'm a serious room mom" like calling other moms and asking them to bring goodies to the party such as "boogers on a stick" (pretzels topped with cheez whiz + green food coloring).
Yes, my friend, we walked the fine line of INTRIGUING and DISTURBING that day.
Those kids are STILL talking about that party every time they see me. And are likely still talking to their counselors about it as well.
Funny thing ...... I've NEVER been asked to be a room mom since. Maybe they're waiting until the litigation is over.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Another family arrived shortly afterwards, and I overheard their little girl say, "This lake smells like a toot". Like I said, glamorous.
We had a big time, splashing, hitting the beach ball around and digging in the sand. Well into our outing, my youngest informed me .... (deep breath) ..... that my legs looked like I was wearing WHITE TIGHTS. ouch.
Clearly NOT the look I was going for on the beach. And this is WITH the aid of self-tanner. Or in my case, self-off-whiter.
It reminded me of our honeymoon in Cancun ..... Upon arrival, a local said to me, (insert Mexican accent) "You just get here to Mehico? You so WHITE!!!" (as in disbelief) The kicker was, I had indeed gone to the tanning bed faithfully before hand. Again, ouch.
I'll just embrace my inner lilly whiteness now.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
THANK YOU, LORD, for keeping this promise and comforting my kids' hearts. They bounded out of bed this morning, excited to head back to school. I couldn't believe that there wasn't even a mention of the kittens this morning! Even when I kept saying, "Isn't it SAD that the kittens are GONE?" and "I'll bet we'll never see them again". Because I'm compassionate.
Seriously, it was interesting to observe how all our kids dealt with their grief differently.
* Allison curled up in the fetal position on the couch, facing away from everyone, and quietly cried.
* Holly went outside and sat by herself, struggling to hold in the tears.
* Evan weeped and wailed on the loveseat -- and I'm fairly certain he would have torn his clothes and sat in ashes had it dawned on him.
* Natalie wouldn't let the remaining kitten out of her sight and held it close until bed time. (that last kitten is "spoken for" and will be leaving soon)
* Greg was obviously in denial, as he pretended to NOT care that much. His pain must run DEEP and may very well surface disguised as rage and frustration during an Ohio State football game.
Aren't you glad that God cares about whatever burdens we may be carrying, no matter their size?! His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.
Monday, September 1, 2008
Lots of swimming + playing in the sand + endless junk food = a grand time to be had by all. We came home exhausted, happy and just a little sunburned. Well worth the price of admission! So that covers the "best of times" part of our day .....
The "worst" of times (for my children) occurred when we returned home knowing that most of our kittens would be heading to new homes tonight. I had placed an ad online just yesterday, and overnight they were all spoken for already!
So one by one tonight, the kids bid farewell to their beloved kitties. Let me tell you, it was absolutely HEARTBREAKING, all the way around. Such innocent, simple grief.
One man told Evan that he was surprising his young son with one of our kittens (Evan's kitten, as a matter of fact), because this boy had just gotten over the grief of losing his cat to kidney disease. As this man left, he asked if it would be okay if his son called Evan to thank him. Isn't that wonderful? So it helped a little to know that the kittens will bring such joy to others.
I just tucked 4 kids in bed who all had tears streaming down their little faces ..... and I just wanted to take their hurt away so badly. I know that the pain will fade over time for them, and it's just a fact of life, but to be a mother is to empathize with all your children go through.
And this is major for them.
So maybe tomorrow I'll try to write something funny ..... but tonight my heart is just heavy for my sweetheart kiddos.