Friday, December 31, 2010

I got goals.................

New year, new you, new years resolutions, blah blah blah lalalalala.

More than with the changing of the calendar, I just feel it is time to change myself.  And this time I am for realz.

I'm going to become smaller.  I don't know how much smaller, I'm not sure I care.  But I am going to get control of this mess I have created.  Eat better- more fruits and veggies, less oreos and bread (sigh.....) maybe not less bread- but healthier bread?  Even that whole grain stuff? See- I am really serious.  It is a hard thing to wrap myself around- I obviously just don't eat well at all.  But now- my children (my emily in particular) is eating the same way.  If not for me- then for her, right?  I also have been feeling like I did right before I got the big gestational diabetes alert (sluggish, tired, sick at my stomach, peeing a lot, just blech) only this time I'm not pregnant.  I know that I have 'diabetes' (yeah yeah whatever)- but I haven't don't much about it other than switch to diet drinks.  No time like the present- and I just want to feel good.  Really- I just want to feel good.  So there is numero uno.

Bible Study.  Somehow this seems to get pushed and pushed and pushed until it falls from todays plan and moves to tomorrow where it gets rearranged again.  I need this in my life- and it has to be a priority.

Less screaming.  I am a yeller.  I hate it- but it is who I am.  I get all yelley anytime I get upset- and that is something I want to work on.  I now have three little yellers underneath me, and I hate that too.  First I'll work on me- then them. 

Isn't it funny how upsetting it is to see something about yourself that you don't particularly care for become present in your children?  It makes me even more mad at myself.  Then I get all 'stop that right now' with them- which has to make the sooooo confused because I'm sure they see that trait in me.


And just one more to make it an even four:  This year I will enroll my youngest child in kindergarten and not have a total and complete nervous breakdown (only a partial one).

There- that aught to do it.

Happy New Year 2011, Adios 2010 (wow, the fastest year yet I do believe).

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The bendaroos of 2010

Each year at Christmas there is some 'new' something or other that is introduced that kids totally want and parents cringe and hide from.

 Enter Orbeez.
 Two years ago at the air show there was a vendor who was selling these teeny tiny hard balls that when placed in water swell up into marbleish sized jelly balls.  They were squishy and wet and cool to feel- and the kids wanted them BAD.  But they were vase fillers for cut flowers.  And they were sold like 3000 to a tiny bag for $4.  Good deal?  Yes.  Mess? Yes.  We said no.  I was worried about chemicals and contaminants and wondered about the kids pawing them and then absorbing whatever it was that made them what they were.
 Someone got their thinking cap on and brought out the exact same item- only marketed as a toy.  This time- 1000 for $7.  Wish I would have put on my fancy cap- sounds like a heck of a profit.
 'Orbeez are superabsorbent polymers.  A polymer is a large molecule consisting of many smaller molecules, which are joined together.  They are classified as superabsorbent because they can absorb up to 150 times their own volume in water.  The water is absorbed into the spaces between the molecules.  These polymers were invented for agricultural use to irrigate plants during times of drought.  Today they are used, among other things, in food packages to absorb liquid and in diapers to prevent leaks.  Do not eat Orbeez.'
 Pour your little bitty tiny hard balls into water.  They get all fuzzy and cool looking as they swell up.  And in 3 hours or so you have a jelly ball that bounces.  And fall off the counter.  And roll all over the floor.  And 'pop' when you step on them.  I have picked up HUNDREDS of orbeez in the past 3 days. (And yes- that is Aqua Sand you see in the background.  I'm a glutten for punishment.)
 The thing that I really do find amazing is that if you leave them out of the water- they really do shrink back down into a teeny tiny hard ball (think cookie sprinkle with me folks).
Here they are in various stages of growing and shrinking.  Tell me you don't just want to touch them.  Tell me you aren't plotting how to get your own bag at the store?  I know you are.

Sad thing is I just have this urge to fill the bathtub with them and jump in.  I also have the desire for Jello every time I touch them.  But don't eat Orbeez.  Although wouldn't it be interesting to swallow a handful of the dried pellety ones and see what happens?  In theory.  Not that I'm going to give it a whirl or anything.

After all- every single piece of everything that came with them with the exception of having it stamped onto each and every tiny ball says NOT to eat them.  But if one did- there is a special page in the book to take to the hospital with you that tells them what it is and how it works.
Good to know.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


There are days when I think of 5 or 6 things I want to blog about.  And I think 'I should write them down so I won't forget'.  But they are soooo important and sooooo creative that I'm sure I won't forget.  And then I hit a week like this week where my brain has turned to applesauce and I have NOTHING I want to write about- and I never did write those super important things down and so I have nuttin.

Things have been so busy that I'm afraid I am now just a complete blob.  Nothing whitty, funny or strange to offer.  But I am starting to work on my new years resolutions- and I'm thinking I might share them.  Although brace yourselves, because this year they are kind of serious.

So there you go- a big wad of nothing.  I'm off to get dressed and drag my crazy kids to work with me.  THAT should go well.

Monday, December 27, 2010

In just 48 short hours

 I'm not complaining- I am just being real here.  Being the momma makes for a lot of tireless work.  In the past week I have baked, iced, cleaned, shopped, prepared food, dipped in chocolate, delivered gifts, written christmas cards (should you not have gotten one- no hard feelings I scaled way back and only sent a few- so merry christmas), sorted receipts, wrapped and wrapped and wrapped gifts, and cooked.  All in preparation for Christmas Day.  I LOVE Christmas time.  It is worth the preparation.  And I am always super disappointed when it is over.

Here is a recap of the actual 48 hours of Christmas. (disclaimer- most pictures don't go with the thoughts- so don't get too confused)
 We prepared, and delivered, trays of baked christmas goodies to all of our neighbors except two.  They were not home- not excluded.  They still sit on my counter today.  We are going to take them this afternoon- I swear.
 (side note- I have missed my dad extra special this year). We got to visit with both sides of our family.  Everyone except Aunt Lori who was down with the flu.  I think she was either really sick- or a genious.  I'm still trying to decide (a whole day at home alone with nothing but christmas movie marathons, a warm blankie and twinkling lights????)  But she missed out on barbeque weinies and children asking how long until we open presents every 15 seconds for 3 hours.  I'm the winner here- at least I think.
 I have smiled more than I have in weeks.  I swear.
 I have cried tears.  Lots of tears.  And I have laughed until I cried.  And I have cried because I was overwhelmed.  And because I was so happy.  And I have cried because I ran out of corn syrup. (who gets their monthly visitor at Christmas  I have laughed lots of laughs.  I have had a super huge sinus infection and started antibiotics.  I have pushed through all of the things to do even though I just wanted to crawl into bed.
 I have shared my favorite fancy meal with my family (christmas morning= wine glasses, clothe napkins, a birthday candle for Jesus always, quiche, bacon, and whatever else we decide is appropriate).
 I have stood in amazement at the excitement of the holiday.  I love seeing how filled with anticipation the kids are- it is my favorite time of the whole year- except possibly Halloween, and Thanksgiving, and the kids birthdays.  Apparently I love it all.  But especially Christmas.
 I have assembled the Target dog and a garbage truck out of legos. Against my will.
 I have almost mastered the fine art of picking up Orbeez without squishing them.  If you are unfamiliar with Orbeez- I will post about them later, promise.  How could I be blessed with the gift of 2000 tiny balls of squishy bouncy jelloish stuff and not blog about that?
 I have washed 2865 dishes.  Really.
 I have replaced a string on a guitar.  A skill I never thought I would get the chance to aquire.
 I have felt so blessed to have a God who would send His Son to die for us.  And as always, I have really spent some time reflecting on Mary.  As a mother- I can't help but relate to her.  And I have also found blessing in my husband.  A man who would go to the store to buy special gold wrapping paper (the expensive kind) to wrap my presents in.  He thinks he short changed me- he has no idea how blessed I really am.  But don't tell him because it keeps him on his toes.
 I have gotten to sit down for 45 minutes total- but not all at one time.  But hearing my children 'squeal' is totally worth the work.
 I have prayed for my father in law- and mother in law.  And I have HATED cancer.
 I have heard 314 ballads on a new electronic keyboard.
 I have had a sleepover with my favorite little man.  And beast. 
I have listened to Dan teach Sam to 'shave'.
I have cut 648 toys from packages.  Toys that cost less than the packaging they were in.  No joking.
I have installed 897 batteries, cleaned up 16 trees worth of wrapping paper, felt my hips cramp from wrapping said packages while crawling around on the floor, cut through plastic tape with my teeth, scrubbed crock pots, sliced cheese and sausage, chopped vegetables, eaten 6000 calories (I'm not even joking), watched christmas specials with the kids (while building stuff with legos and playing board games with a four year old Hitler faster, bigger, better), began planning a certain someones 5th birthday celebration, worn brand spankin new underwear thanks Dan! , cried tears of joy- love and happiness, and washed laundry because no one gets a day off from that.

I'm so tired I think I'm going to die.  But it's monday again and I have to go to work for a while.  With all three kids in tow.

Can't wait for the new years celebration.  At least I don't have to wrap anything for that holiday.  And I get an extra day 'off'.

Just a side note here- Dear Mr. Winter, you're on.  Now Christmas is over and all of the excitement of the rest of the season is all yours.  Bring.It.On.  Snow Snow and more Snow.  I want to sled, build snowmen and sip hot cocoa.  I heard tales of rain and warmer weather.  No.  Bring the snow.  Thanks!  Love, your biggest fan.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Just tell them

In a world that seems to become more scary day by day, I find only comfort in the scripture sent from our Lord.  He knows, really knows, and I know He cares.  The scary part for me is not how it affects ME- but how it affects my children.  I can not choose for them, I can not make them believe, I can not fill them with faith.  They have to find that on their own.

But I have to lead them there. 

I'm not so sure how people who are raised without any faith or spiritual direction ever find their way- but I am so very grateful for those who do.  I know I want so desperately for my children to 'get it'.  To be filled with the spirit, accept Jesus as their savior- really really accept him, hear God speak to them and want to listen to what he says, always drop on their knees in prayer, to have the comfort of a constant companion in Jesus and the Lord.  It is the most important thing to me in my life.

And I am trying to lead them there.  I pray so desperately for God to help me lead them there.  I need them to be there.  They have to get there.

So it is very important to me at this ever so glorious time of year that I make sure they really understand what a huge deal about Christmas is.  It is exciting to wait for Santa, to decorate the lawn, to look at lights, to play in the snow, to get time off of school, to have parties, to get presents- yes that is all very exciting.

But today as I talked with Allyson about how God could have thrown us away as an experiment gone bad, just wadded us up and pitched us as a mistake on a picture- I felt myself get so emotional.  He chose to send himself as a baby- to send a final way to save each and every one of us.  A savior born as a babe- the greatest gift in the history of the world.  We just have to accept him as the son of God.  And as our Savior.  THAT is exciting.

It's that simple.  But we live in a world where not many people are teaching their children the lessons of the Lord and I just can't understand why we are robbing our youth of that gift.  Why would we not want our children to have the gift of eternal life- of complete salvation.  To have that peace.  Why don't we want them to have comfort in a world that is so uncomfortable?

Teach the children.  Give them faith.  Tell them about Jesus.

For it is His Birthday.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Baby Jesus and a bus

There are things that come pouring from our mouths as mothers that we could have NEVER imagined saying in a million years prior to kids.  Things like 'everyone check your shoes for poop', 'who put the phone in the refrigerator' and 'don't shove food up your nose'.  They are all very valid things to say mind you, but only if you have small people living in your home.

Every year at Christmas we put out a nativity.  It is a fine, handpainted variety- each and every detail carefully etched out with different colored paints.  It includes a manger and a small bed of hay for the baby to lay on. Only the finest items for our home I tell you.

 It is not a one of a kind- and if you are in the market for a new nativity for your abode I would highly recommend this one.  It is the Fisher Price Little People Nativity playset.  I LOVE IT.  I'm not sure why- but it speaks to me.  It will decorate our home every year at Christmas for the rest of my days.

Every year I love watching the kids play with it, and arrange it, and discuss it.  It's hands on and it's very me.  We are not fine or elegant people and I would drive myself insane glue porcelin Kings back together.  So this fits in our family.

This week, as I was trying to sweep all items back to their original homes in our house, I was gathering the manger out of the entry way and I noticed that some of it was missing.  And before I could think a thing about it I found myself screaming down the hall to Sam "Where is baby Jesus?  Sam- do you have baby Jesus?  Is he in the barn?  Did you put him with the circus?  Come on you guys- I can't find baby Jesus.  Look around- does anyone see him?  And Joseph too- I can't find Joseph.  He's probably with Jesus."

Thank heavens it's winter and the windows were closed.  The neighbors would think I had lost my mind.  Or would finally have the confirmation they have been waiting for.

Rest assured that Jesus and Joseph did in fact turn up.  They were on the school bus- just as I suspected.  And now they are back in the manger where they belong.  At least until the Monster Jam comes to my living room- then they'll probably head over there.

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Christmas Story

Friday was the last day of school for the kids until after the new year.  And, as they do every year, Sam's preschool class acted out the Nativity story during the last 10 minutes of class. 
It is one of my favorite things to look forward to at Christmas.
 This year Sam was a king.  Last year he was a donkey.  In the weeks leading up to Christmas they act it out every day in class switching around the parts- so everyone had got to be all of the people at some point.
 As I stood in the back and watched what was my sixth preschool nativity 'play', I was startled as I felt a giant tear roll all the way down my cheek and drip onto my shirt.  I suppose it caught me off guard because I didn't realize I had began to cry.
It is so overwhelming to me to imagine that God's plan to save the world, to save us, began with a tiny newborn baby.  So helpless. So little.  So pure.  He used normal people to orchestrate the most beautiful dance for all of eternity- Mary and Joseph, the shepherds, even the kings.  I wonder if they all knew, I mean really knew, what was happening as they stared at that small tiny baby.  That he would grow and save us all from our own sins.  That his mother would stand next to him crying as he was cruicified to do so.  That we would all be so anxious to meet him in heaven.  It's overwhelming now- I'm sure it was then too.

It was also difficult to watch this acted out by my favorite group of 4 year olds and know it was the very last time I would get to do so.  As my youngest wraps up his last year of preschool- it also wraps up our families involvement there.  All three kids, two years each- 6 years of our lives.  I can't imagine how strange it will feel not to go to that church three days a week to retrieve my overly excited preschooler anymore.

Dang- there goes another one of those tears.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Whoa there!

Wowza!  Yesterday I was feeling some super funk.  Today- back to normal.  Yay!  My husband even called me yesterday after reading the old blog and said he was feeling sorry for me.  Nothing to feel sorry about- I finally got the motivation to sew the girls curtains for their room, vacume up the horrible mess I made with the christmas decorations at the top of the stairs, run new lights up half the christmas tree (the half that mysteriously quit working last week) and get Mary Joseph and Baby Jesus out on the front lawn where they belong.  Good day my friends- good day.

But while I have his ear- might I express my concern over a few other areas................

My sweet family (Dan this is for you AND the kids.  Since they don't read my blog you will have to enlighten them)  (thank you),

The bathroom countertop is NOT a laundry basket.  The basket in your closets?  That IS a laundry basket.

The small area to the left of the VCR- not a laundry basket either.  Even though your socks will in fact fit in there *side eye to Sam*.

The candy basket is not a general snack shop.  It is a candy basket.  If you are hungry- try actual food.  It is kept in the other cabinets- close to the candy basket cabinet.

Stop drinking my diet cokes (children- not Dan- Dan you are welcome to my diet cokes).  If you are thirsty- drink something else.  Anything else.  Just not my diet cokes.  They are my life blood and I need them.

For your coat hanging pleasure we now offer two areas for such use.  One is an actual closet- interestingly enough coined the COAT CLOSET.  The other are the coat hooks located right inside of the front door- which is convenient since you come in there.  The floor, the dining room chairs, the sofa and the barstools are in fact NOT coat hooks.  (this seems so familiar- have I blogged about this before???)  Puh-leeeeeeze stop putting them there.  Even you Dan.  Yes you.  I know- you are going to wear it again so why put it away.  It's like that whole make the bed thing, I can't explain it.  It just is what it is.  Do we leave the dishes all over the kitchen table since we will eat there again?  No.  Do we leave the car running since we will drive it again? No.  Same thing here- just put your coat in the closet- not on the barstools.  And then your wife stays happy and all is well in our world.  The end.

I am going to begin baking christmas goodies.  You will be tempted to eat them every time you see them.  Please don't.  I will make them available to you in limited quantities as the timing is appropriate.  But to just waltz into the kitchen and pop one of my home made hand crafted bites of buttery deliciousness casually into your mouth- not happening.  Please.

We now have lego land mines in the living room.  Please begin wearing shoes while in the house.  But not the ones you just wore in from the snow.  Those will be dripping wet stuff.  Take those off (and put them on the tray by the door- the tray that catches all of the freakin' water- not casually tossed here and yonder all over the house) and put on some dry ones.  They are probably piled up next to the door.  Under your coats.

And speaking of drippy wet snow (this ones for the children)- Daddy has shoveled the walks and driveway.  Therefore- there is not a need to go tearing across the front yard that has snow 6 inches deep in it to get to the bus/mailbox/bird you are chasing.  If you are in fact not dressed in 'play in the snow' clothing-      stay    out    of    the    snow.   Your pants are covered, your shoes are covered, and there is snow inside of your socks.  Quit.

One more thing about the coats.  Is it really necessary for everyone to take their coat off the minute we get into the car?  And then throw them on the floor?  Where your wet drippy shoes begin thawing out over the top of them?  And then you want me to wash them, again?  Just leave your coat on.  We are not driving to Omaha.  We are going to Target.  No more than 20 minutes to anywhere we go.  Just leave them on.  For the love of all things warm and snuggly- LEAVE THEM ON.  In addition to the wet mess thing- I am tired (so very very tired) of standing in parking lots barking at you to find your coats, mittens, hats, zip them up, blah blah blah.  It is winter- wear your coat.  The end.

I think that about wraps this up- at least everything that comes to mind right now.  Thanks for listening.  I expect immediate results.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

I'm not who I thought I was

Let's just get one thing out in the open- we are not perfect.  I am not perfect either.  I just am not.  I never declared I was and never thought I was.  I am not perfect.

But damn- it sure does hurt for someone to just blatantly point that out.

We all grow in different ways- and this week I am apparently being polished a bit to improve on myself.  Be a better parent, a better friend, a better wife, a better neighbor, a better Christian.  I am not a person who can take words with a grain of salt.  I take them straight to my heart- and dang it hurts.

I suppose that I had kind of given up.  Life had become so very heavy that my shoulders kind of caved and I just laid down under the weight.  But today I will get up, dust myself off and work on doing it all again.  Only better.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Our first present is under the tree.

It is from Sam- to Emily.  Even though they spend the largest part of every single day fighting- he sat for hours making little tiny cuts along the edges of a left over piece of fleece fabric and 'made' a blanket for emi.  Just a small piece of pirate wrapping paper and an entire roll of tape later- he emerged with the most beautiful present I have ever seen.

I hope she feels as blessed as I do.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Science Fair Excitement!

I can't believe it- it is finally time for me Ally to complete a science fair project.  I she has been waiting for this moment all of my her life.  There is nothing I she loves more than a great science fair project.

Except it is voluntary.  And she decided she didn't want to do it.  OVER.MY.DEAD.BODY.  We ARE doing it.  I need this.  She needs this.  But just to be sure- I called the school to see if I could submit my own project, apparently it is just for the students.  Which actually works out, since I have one of those.  So we I decide- science fair is a go.

What should I she do?  So many possibilities.  Mold.  Decay.  Dissolving minerals.  I she couldn't decide easily.  Finally- a decision was made.  How will plants sprout with three different liquids.  Water- diet dr. pepper- vinegar.  I really wanted a fourth- vegetable oil.  But she drew the line.

I prepared a spreadsheet in excel to track my her progress.  It has a line and box for every day- one box for each different liquid.  I We hung the seeds (pea pods) just barely over the liquids with tuling net.  Ally made labels for each jar.  (clearly I would have printed them on small labels with a border- and I might have spelled them all right.) I we put saran wrap over the top to make them nice and cozy warm.  And then I we placed them in some gentle sunlight.  And that was 5 days ago.  And now our her babies have sprouted. 

Which is because I talk to them every day, I'm sure.

Holy cow this is so exciting!  All but the vinegar have little baby roots and sprouts.  Yay Yay Yay.

I she can hardly wait to make the three sided display board for the final project.  I'm she is envisioning fancy colored stickable letters- typed up journals- a final report to blow their socks off!  We she will line up her final plants- present my her hypothosis and my her final findings.  We she will color pictures on the board and mount everything on colored paper.  I may even finally have a reason to buy one of those paper shape cutting machines- after all education is important and Dan can not deny that.  Maybe we she will embellish with some glittery glue.  Too much?  I think not.  Nothing is too good for the science fair. It will be so much fun!

I am concerned though, as to what one wears to the actual science fair.  Should I wear a suit- or is a simple dress good enough.  Hair up?  Down?  A Bun?  Too scholarly?  At least we have a month before those kind of decisions have to be addressed.

Sunday, December 12, 2010


Dan and I were blessed with the opportunity last night for a sitter.  Which equalled a real live grown up dinner in a real live glass dishes restaurant with some real live friends.  YAY!

After dinner- the rain squelched any plans of drunken tours of christmas lights on foot- so we said farewell and planned our last two hours of freedom.  Which of course meant  a trip to Toys R Us.  Kids change you- there is no denying that.

However, we were both stoked to get to browse the aisles sans children - with each other.  This hasn't happened in over a year.  And with the upcoming Christmas holiday- we both were anxious to get to shop for the kids!

I was impressed by the 3476 different lego sets- some equalling the cost of a small vehicle.  Who knew?  I just thought legos were legos and maybe you could pick a color- but there are even brand name sets from movies and stuff and there is NO WAY IN HECK I am going to select one of them.  Because you know who assembles those complex pieces of art?  ME!  And I lack patience.  So until little mans hands and brain can work together to read the 16 pages of instructions that come with those gorgeous things- we just need plain blocks that take imagination please.  Maybe some wheels.

Then on to the arts and crafts area.  Oh how my girls love this stuff.  All the sets.  Make your own erasers.  Make your own crayons.  Pixos. Orbeez. Ahhhhhh.  Dan's eyes glassed over.  He asked about the time.  What time our sitter was there until. What time the store closed.  What time it was in France.  I got hurt feelings- he was rushing me and I NEVER get to browse. 

I gave up and began walking to another section.  And then I realized that there are in fact whole sections of the store that we no longer need to shop.  Whole sections.  Small plastic wobbling people sections.  Small fisher price people sections.  Little bitty teething toy sections.  My baybeeeeeeeez!


Dan stopped at the skate boards.  He feels it's time for a beginner one for Sam.  Which I rightfully pointed out he has- one with a handle (also known as a scooter).  I have ZERO desire to put my child onto a board with fast spinning wheels and send him flying down the driveway.  We are raising the next evil kinevel and he needs NO encouragement to do dangerous things.  I. can't. do. it.  There has been more than one day that I was thankful he couldn't get his bike up the rockwall to ride it down the slide- a skateboard is WAY too portable.  My vote- NO.

Off to radio controlled cars.  And as Dan began talking megavoltz and driving capacity- shock this and steering that- I couldn't help but long to be across the aisle in the fancy girl section of make up, socks, polly pockets.  I left him there alone.  Cold.

But he came to get me.  He needed my opinion.  Blah blah- steering- blah blah batteries- blah blah capacity.  I couldn't understand a word.  And all I could see were the same exact vehicles in different sizes and prices.  They are all the same thing- I vote the $20 one.  But trying to be supportive I found a pretty yellow one with light up flame tail pipes and promptly brought Dan to it.  Because it was so shiny and pretty.  He started again with greek.  Whatever.  I went packing to fingernail polish land.  I speak that language.

We left the store with a $20 game that was on their list last year but sold out in all of the stores.  And that was it.  No RC car, no arts and crafts, no polish- and most certainly no skateboard.

As I curled up last night with the kids to watch a christmas movie- emily was rubbing my back and I was building a lego boat with sam, I asked Emi what she was hoping Santa would bring for Christmas.

A wooden guitar.

Perfect.  That I can do.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


This week is busy.  It is the week of the kids kingdom crafting night at church which means that my husband is tripping over grocery bags full of glue, felt, glitter and beads- my counters are full of partially assembled crafts for small hands to finish- and my fingers are covered in burns from hot glue.  So there is the reason for the half baked blog this week.

In other news-
 Allyson had her first band concert this week.  (Santa hat saxophone right in the middle).  They were amazing- and I could not take my eyes off of her.  I am so proud of her and the neat kid she is.  And I also found myself grateful she didn't pick the trombone- what a boring and loud instrument.

 Sam's eye is healing- it looks even better than this now.  Almost not bruised at all and the swelling is ever so slowly receding and taking his eye lid up with it.  Thank you, sweet and merciful Lord, for his ease in healing.
 Emily started basketball this week- she's pretty amazing herself.
Ally starts basketball tonight.  We now have commitments every night of the week- except Friday on most weeks.  Most nights we have more than one.  Send gas cards and casseroles please.

We don't know any of these people- but occassionally when sitting through a 2 hour concert you give your child your camera and let them have at it.  And you end up with 100 pictures of people you don't know. 
But I'm sure someone is really proud of them.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

You can thank me in advance.

Todays posting contains some very deep reflections- you are welcome.

Yesterday I was in need of some time for personal rejuvenation.  And nothing says quality me time like a trip to the dentist.  Before you judge- I DID NOT have another cavity.  No sir ree.  Just a broken filling.  Like a large gaping hole in my back tooth that ripped my tongue up like box knife.  So there it is.  Also, I was in need of a cleaning.  As my last one was in March.  Of 2009.

In my defense- the last time I was there they did this periodontal screening thing which basically amounted to treating my gums like a pin cushion 3000 times and I had sworn off the dentist for good.

Well- until that whole root canal thing.  Oh wait- I mean two root canals.  And that pesky gum tissue lasering thing.  And now this broken cavity. 

After some serious thought I decided that my whole 'no more dentist' thing wasn't really working- so I made my appointment.  I climbed in the chair and I exchanged pleasantries with the tooth tech gal. And then I leaned in and, ever so gently made full eye contact with her, and explained that she was under no circumstance to stab me with anything while barking out numbers.  My mouth- my rules.

She obliged- but did manage to carve out all of my gums and make me cry like a little baby.  Stab, scrape, stab, scrape. Wipe up blood. repeat. Then it was off to the big chair.

Stab me with a needle.  Chat chat chat.  Nothing.  Stab again with needle.  Chat chat chat.  Nothing.  Stab stab stab, nothing nothing nothing.  Drill, scream, stab, chat chat chat, drill, wince, stab, chat chat chat, just grab the chair arms while he drills and it hurts hurts hurts.  Old filling out.  New filling in.  Done.  Ahhhh.

Only one problem.  He noticed a cavity.  Biscuit Munchers!  I left the office without an appointment.  I just need a break- all this me time is really wearing me (and my checkbook) out.  Remember my two root canals- yeah, they still need crowns.  Uhg.  Turn of the year looks like I can schedule in a few hours of quality personal reflection while staring at the ceiling and inhaling tooth dust.

Really- why are there not televisions in the ceiling at the dentist anyway?

The point of this story is that this morning while looking through the paper, I noticed an ad.........

It was like he was mocking me.  With all his perfectly white and clean sparkly teeth.  Listen up Fido- you have it easy.  Chew on a stick and your teeth are perfect.  Bark at your bowl and someone fills it.  Poop in the yard and then go roll in it.  Curl up in the middle of the kitchen floor for a nap. Load of garbage.  Where is our stick?  Why is there not a dentastick for humans?  Especially for kids.  How easy would that be- just throw them a chewy cleaning thing and off they go.  Crap I tell you. It would beat the heck out of dragging them back to the bathroom every.single.night to rebrush their barely brushed pearly whites.
Which brings me to my next revelation.........

Emery Cat. 

Where is the justice in this?  First- they only offer these for cats.  Meanwhile- I get to wrestle my grunting beast around trying to saw off his blessed nails.  Not to mention my kids.  Who on earth enjoys chasing down wiggling children while trying to groom them?  Can there not be an Emery Kid?  Sure kids lack that natural desire to scratch- but perhaps with every 10 scratches a Skittle pops out.  Or- with my children- you could attach the scratching board to the other children- these seem to like to scratch each other. 
Poof- nail trimming problem solved.
(just to clarify- this is the beast- not a kid)
Or- just thinking out loud here- we just let them chew those bad boys off?  Whose rule is it really that they can't bite their nails?  I mean, sure, that is what I have taught them because that is what I was always taught- but if they freshly scrub up their hands prior to their chewing session, really what could it hurt?  And why not the toes?  I say if you are limber enough to put your foot into your mouth- power to the people.  Just scratch that 'thing to do' off my list.  And perhaps chomping on nails would clean their teeth?  Two for one!

And just a final thought here- because Dan and I disagree on it and I love airing out our dirty laundry. 
Who says children can't 'draw' in the condensation on the windows anyway?  Dan is forever barking at the kids to stop.  But really- why?  Why on earth would he even care?  He does not know even where we store the window cleaner- let alone share in the chore of actually washing them.  And typically he doesn't even notice a mess in the house unless he steps in it.

So where does this come from you ask.  His mother I'm sure.  I bet he was always told not to draw in the condensation on the windows.  I'm sure I was too.  But really- power to the people.  Draw away kiddos.  Have at it.  I'll wash them eventually and give you a fresh pallet.  Dan- cut it out, it really is okay.

Just get out in the garage and get to building that skittle popping Emery Kid contraption.  And while you're at it- make one for Lew too.

Monday, December 6, 2010

me, Me, ME!

One of the biggest changes when you have kids is that you no longer get to do what you want to do.  In fact, you are no longer even part of the equation.

You may want to go to some fancy Italian eatery for your one big eat out for the week- but instead you grab a bag of McDonalds and head home (or worse- eat it at the one with the indoor playland). (I say 'worse'- but really Dan and I use that as a date night.  Afterall, the kids kind of disappear and we get to talk in between 'hey- look at me up here' and 'I need more ketchup'.  win win?)

You may want to browse through your Sunday sale papers and coupons, but instead you play legos.  And by play I mean you lay on the hard floor and watch Sam play and only touch the certain legos you are instructed to.

You may want to put out a fabulous bowl of the best smelling christmas potpouri ever- but instead you don't because you tire of picking it up off the floor all.the.time and digging it out of the register vents.  And when your kids are old enough to leave it alone- say 4, 6 and 11 years old- it will have completely lost is wonderful smell.  And you have lost your ability/desire to pay $11 for a bag of scented wood chips.

You may want to go see some fabulous new movie in the theater you have been waiting for forever (Eat, Pray, Love- I know it's not even in the theater anymore- THAT is how often I get out) but instead you will throw wheelbarrows full of cash at a 16 year old ticket taker to see something animated instead.  And then you will run a small blond child to the restroom 14 times during the film because he has a bladder the size of a peanut.

You may want to scream the F word at the top of your lungs when something really really bad happens to you and you just KNOW it will make you feel better (sorry mom- I don't really say THAT word) but instead you scream FOOOOOOHHHHHHY! because little ears are never far away.  And it won't provide the relief that the other word would.  I mean probably would- if I ever even said that word, right mom?

You may want to just curl up on the couch with a warm blankie and pillows and watch some decorating show about cake people because you have been sick for going on 5 weeks- but instead you will play sardines and like it because your little people told you to.  And then you will prepare meals for your little mafia and clean it up and get out playdough and clean it up and empty the trash and start some laundry and wash sheets and empty the dishwasher and mop up melting snow.

You may want to go to some christmas crafting fair and look at all of the wonderful creative offerings from people who actually posess talent- but you won't because chasing your children around shouting NO! and begging them to puleeeze stop picking-hitting-kicking-fighting is just better done at home.

You may want to buy a new comforter with matching sheet set for your bed because yours is worn out and old.  But you won't because your child needs a new coat and the other has outgrown their snow boots.  And Their wants/needs trump yours.

You may want to snuggle up and watch a classic movie from your childhood like say..........Wizard of Oz........but their over stimulated cartoon loving selves will talk, bicker, ask for drinks, beg for games, fight over chairs the entire time and it won't be fun anymore.

I suppose the moral to this lesson is that having children and a husband puts you in the best place of your life to serve the Lord.  And to do that properly you do it selflessly.  It is no longer about you- and that is okay.  Because a person who is filled or focused on serving themselves is NEVER happy. The self-centered philosophies of our world are something that we christian woman must protect outselves from- because it causes nothing but destruction to our souls.  We hear that we should serve ourselves first- but the older I get the more I realize this can not be true.  Serve God first- and as a mother and wife, we do that by serving our family.  Even if it means building a train track instead of reading a book.

I am not selfless.  More times than not I find tears running down my face because I feel a bit neglected.  I am working on this- I have to not make it about me.  And truth be told- I love serving my family.  I love being a mom.  And I love being a wife.  And I love being a child of God.  So there are times I have to be alone- and there are times I don't get to be.  Most of the time I don't want to be- because I have gotten used to my posse, and I love them. 

I'm off to throw some hunk of beef into the old crock pot.  Not my choice for dinners (take out anyone?) but today holds work, replacing a filling in one of my aging teeth, piano lesson, girlscout meeting, and a few errands.  So I suppose it will have to do.  And I will feel blessed to have it to serve to my family- even the three ungrateful ones who will turn their noses up and declare that they don't like it.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

My three ring circus

 For my birthday all I wanted was tickets to the circus...........
 and thankfully (for me) Dan obliged with five tickets to fabulousness!
 And it WAS fabulous.
 And it was thrilling.
 And I thought Sam was going to pop out of his skin when all of these motorcycles got in this cage and started going loopty loop.

 But when this guy fired up his motorcycle and began driving across the high wire right.above.our.seats, I'm relatively sure I heard Sam pick his career path.

And if that is the case- I will be the guy running around underneath of him with a fire extinguisher and a net.  Which solves my problem of what to do when my children grow up.

 Allyson loved these guys and their colorful stringy costumes.
 Emily loved the girls in their fancy dresses and costumes.
 And I loved the view from my seat.

Just a few items of interest.

The circus has changed significantly over the years.
1. They ride segways in the parade.
2. The three rings are inflatable balloon things instead of the stackable metal curves.
3. There are very sexy acts and costumes.
4. Giant tv screens with graphics come up and down from the ceiling.
5. Light up whirly gig wand things are $26.  We own 0- which makes us the meanest parents in the world in Sam's book, and I'm okay with that.
6. There is still a lady who hangs from her hair.
7. I will still always feel sorry for the elephants and tigers.
8. There is still nothing better than a really great circus!