Friday, October 29, 2010

Supporting the preschool

Sam's backpack contained a note this week asking for four clean and empty food containers to stock their grocery store shelves with.  They are going to be studying the four food groups.
Always happy to do my part.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Four glorious days

This is without a doubt the best time of the whole year.  I love the pumpkins, the crunchy leaves, the crispness in the air, the apple orchard, candles in jack-o-lanters, hot cider, bonfires.  There is no way I could ever be convinced that this is not the absolute perfect environment. 

Ally- once again avoiding the camera.  But I almost got her!

We snuck out to the zoo boo last week.  We got there too late in the evening to do all of the activities (there was a unexpected clothing emergency, then a shoe emergency, followed by a potty emergency- which led to another clothing emergency.  I wasn't sure we would EVER get out the door.)  Regardless, we are going to try and go back tomorrow to hit what we missed.  HOWEVER- check out that cute baby above.  His mom made their costumes and his hair is a blue feather boa glued to a baby cap.  I used to get to make the kids costumes- and I lived for it (although I wasn't very good at it).  Now- they are more interested in the store bought costumes.  Sam could be persuaded, but I have no idea who it is he's talking about that he wants to be so we just bought his too.  whoa is me.  But I'm still making one of those cute feather caps.  Not sure who is going to wear it, and I don't really care.  I'm still making one.

We had to fly around to zoo just to get the trick or treating in and the train ride.  The kids kept slowing us down looking at the dag gone animals.  Geesh.  I kept barking for them to stop looking at those crazy animals and hussle to the next station, move!move!move!  As if we have time at the zoo to look at animals.  Kids these days- no priorities. 
Can you even believe the nerve of this lady?
As we were walking around the zoo- this lady just appeared in front of me.

Can you imagine?  It was like she was waving around an armed rifle or something.  Just 'BAM' out of no where- tiny baby toes.  My ovaries quivered.  My uterus whimpered. My heart began to hurt.

Just like it was nothing- there she was with her tiny toed baby.  They should have made her put socks on it.  Or leave. It's just too dangerous to go waving around something like that to overthemiddleaged women who may or may not be encroaching on menopause and whose breasts will never lactate again.
But then as I sped around them to keep up with my herd- I told my heart to settle down. 
I have three sets of pretty awesome little feet myself.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The abbreviated version.

Kid missed bus.  The early one.  Had to wake up all household to drive her to school. (I'm still finding it amazing that I slept through my alarm for an hour. wow)

Boy Kid keeps melting down.  Unable to control emotions.  Mom is over it.

Class parties today.  Room mother (aka- me) still hasn't planned the games.  Put that one on the short list and accomplish before 2:45.

Had blood drawn yesterday.  Apparently (for the first time in my entire universe) I am allergic to whatever bandaid they used.  I have HUGE big watery blisters in the bend of my arm.  Pretty.

T-4 until Halloween.  Still have not visited pumpkin patch or haunted house.  Thank goodness it is fall break.

Kids laundry baskets are overflowing and Sam is out of pants.  I am out of pants too.  Thank goodness it is fall break.

Big girl kid got her first 'strike' at school.  It breaks my heart.

I am physically and emotionally exhausted.  Thank goodness it is fall break.

Dinner is apparently going to roll back around tonight and I am going to be expected to have a plan for it.  Blech.

Can halloween candy be considered dinner?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

On the uphill swing

So it's official, another day of birth has come and gone.

We were blessed with the wedding of a dear sweet young couple on that day.  I say blessed because there is NOTHING better than a fabulous wedding- and this one included such dear and wonderful fabulous friends from church so it was a PAR-TAY!  It was, without a doubt, one of the best evenings we've had in a long time.  The kids danced, I danced, Dan even danced (kind of- in his own dan dances kind of way).  There was cake and shirley temples and beautiful fresh flowers.

But the most amazing part to me was the wedding.  Dear me, I love baptisms and weddings.

At one point the minister had them hold their palms up to each other and he talked about the hands that would comfort them, hold them, love was gorgeous.

And he talked about the nail scarred hands of Jesus.

There was unity sand (these new age whipper snappers- in my day we had candles and we liked it : ) and they braided a rope representing each of them and God- and a scripture was read from Ecclesiates (or Ephisians- it was an E book) about a rope of three strands being unbreakable.  And it was beautiful. 

We started going to our church about 14 years ago.  We became members 11 years ago.  This beautiful bride who was joined in marriage was about Ally's age when we first saw her.  And now she is a woman.  Joined in marriage.  And that is what makes me gasp.  Not how many candles are on my cake.  Just how quickly time changes.

At the reception, her mom and dad snuck onto the corner of the dance floor and her mom laid her head on her dads shoulder and they danced.  Together, both of their eyes shut, in the midst of 100 people but alone in their own world.  And I wiped the tears from my eyes.  Because I could see them many moons ago at their own wedding, starting their journey and wondering where the Lord would lead them.  Just as Emma and Ryan were.  It was such a beautiful sight.

Emily danced her heart out.  Sam ran around with friends with plastic spoons over his eyes doing 'the spoon dance'.  Allyson sat and watched, breathing it all in.  She did dance with me one song.  But otherwise sat and watched.  It will be just a moment in time before she could be that beautiful bride.  And that, my friends, is why birthdays get hard as you get older.
Sunday evening Dan surprised me with both of our families coming to the house for dinner.
It was a blessing.  And a nice ending to a perfect weekend.  Plus- my mom came down for dinner AND we actually remembered about her new fangled oxygen before lighting the birthday candles and didn't manage to blow her up.  That made it a perfect day.

What?  You expected pictures of the most beautiful wedding I've been to at held at their families farm?  Yeah- about that.  I forgot my camera. 

Friday, October 22, 2010

Perfect in his own way

 Yesterday, I leaned in behind Sam and we looked into a mirror. 
 And I showed him what kids meant when they asked what was wrong with his eye.
 And I pulled up on his eyelid and showed him how the doctor was going to make both of his eyelids the same.
 And I watched him as he realized that there was something different about his eyes.
And then he and I shared the rest of our lunch together.

Since birth, our opthomologist has been watching his eye very closely.  I knew this day would come- the perfect window before he begins school to 'fix' his eye.  And it is now.  Like a flash it is upon us.  It is scheduled.  But I can't help but to wonder if we are doing the right thing.  I find his entire being to be completely perfect.  I believe God made him exactly how he wanted him.  And I find his eye to be a bit charming.  I can imagine as a grown man it could be part of his character.  And yet we are going to continue on with the surgery.  A surgery that will do more than to correct is eye, it will protect his self esteem.  Because kids are mean and they tease, and will continue to do so.  This is supposed to be the right thing to do.

But it sure is weighing on my heart.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Our bodies aren't the only things lookin' old

When Dan and I registered for our wedding........14.5 years agoish......(gulp)........I fell IN LOVE with a plate pattern.

For the most part with our registery I was not hung up on anything in particular.  If there would have been a generic button for 'blender', 'can opener', 'pots and pans', 'sheets', 'towels', I would have just selected that and let our guests go hog wild.

Except for these dishes.  They were Mikasa Flower Basket White and Dan said there was no way we could register for something that cost so much per place setting.  But these were going to be our everyday dishes.  I didn't register for china because we already had 2 sets that were passed to us from family and in our marriage we've aquired a third gifted set.  So see, we didn't need 'fine' china. 

But these super gorgeous, oversized, salad plate looks like a giant flower, bowls have a light basket weave around the edges, beautifully made and lovingly crafted dishes- we (I) NEEDED them.

So I scanned them.  Beep.  And then I waited.  And hoped. Hoped that someone would perhaps choose to buy a place setting for us.

And we did receive 5 beautiful place settings of them for our wedding.

And for our one month anniversary my husband surprised me with 4 more.

9 perfectly perfect in every way place settings of the best dishes on earth that we would use for every meal we would ever have for the rest of our entire lives.  And we would live happily ever after.  The end.

We're down to 6 5 salad plates, 6 bowls, 7 dinner plates and 8 coffee cups.

Funny story.  Mikasa discontinued this pattern like a year after our wedding.  So now they are apparently collectors items as the plates sell for $20-$30 EACH at replacement china shops and the coffee cups can be up to $30!  Apparently since they didn't make it for long, it is rather rare.  Of course.  Because that is my luck.

For a moment I contemplated selling what pieces I have left (not the broken pieces) as apparently they are as valuable as gold.  But I can't do it.  Instead, I will spend a few more years looking at garage and estate sales hoping to find a box full of my dishes.  And perhaps I will bite the bullet and just buy the replacements.

Because they are THE DISHES afterall.

But it does tend to make ones eyes kind of teary when one sets down a plate of bacon and the plate just falls apart on the counter.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The best week evah

I absolutely, positively LOVE the Fall.  October in particular.  Absolutely without a doubt look forward to it all year long.  And here it is 20 days gone already.  But we have made the most of them, and will continue to rock it right up until the snow flies and the pumpkins are molded.

 Last Saturday- we were invited to a family style halloween party.  It was entirely outdoors.  There was a small bon fire (poo poo on you mr. fireban!) and colored halloween lights strung to absolutely everything.  They judged costumes, roasted weinies, we ate carmel corn and spider cookies, there were games and pinatas and a hayride (that may have looked like a small lawn mower pulling a really small cart- but heh who cares), there was a giant inflatable cat thing, there was tree climbing and tire swing swinging- laughter and giggling and kids running through crunchy leaves.  I swear to you I did not want to leave- it was the absolute perfect Fall evening in my book.  My only regret was not taking my camera, I swear it was right out of a movie or something.

Sam has decided to be some robot something or other that I can not at all relate to instead of a tow truck driver- which I was totally on board with.  Nothing I love more than making the kids costumes.  This year I 'made' them at Target.

 Last night we went out as a family for our anniversary dinner. Dan is working nights this week- but I was still so thankful we got to have a nice dinner out.  We even encouraged the kids not to wear sweat pants and character t-shirts.  And we managed to go somewhere other than fazolis, which is our normal nice dinner out. (What?  Italian, all you can eat breadsticks and .99 kids meals- how can you go wrong?)  Emily 'dressed up' and I will forever kick myself for not taking the time to snap a picture of her in a layered black fancy skirt, a white long babydoll style tank top, three pony tails, a glittery blue neckscarf, crystal high heeled shoes and glow in the dark hoop earrings.  It was an honor to hold her hand as we entered the restaurant.

The kids managed to behave and we all had a wonderful meal.  There is a concern though when you eat at a restaurant with clothe napkins and have a child (cough cough emily cough) who managed to overfill her mouth, get all gaggy and have to spit it out in order to keep from throwing up.  We are just too glamorous for words.

Speaking of our dinner- we were seated and then watched several other tables be greeted, get drinks and bread and even have their orders taken and yet we still hadn't heard 'boo' from a single waiter.  This is when I went all ultra-sheek and approached the manager and said (in all my ultra-sheekness) "Look, it is our wedding anniversary and we've gone out on a limb here bringing all three of our kids out to dinner at somewhere other than Chick-Fil-A.  They are like a ticking time bomb X3 and we've got no time to waste.  Are we even seated in someones section or what?"

I'm so classy.  Somewhere in 14 years of marriage and 3 children I have lost a lot of my polish, but I do still manage to chew with my mouth shut most of the time so I think that counts for something.  And it did manage to get a server to us pretty quick.  And the manager brought out a complimentary dessert- which we all found delightful.  (Ever heard of blanched grapes?????  They are red grapes, soaked in vinegar, made all hot and mushy with chocolate drizzled over them.  They are just as tasty as they sound.  I had to use Emily's napkin)  But the profiteroles they were served with were really good.  And yes- I spelled that wrong.
 On to other Fall wonderfulness.  On any given day you can find my robot costume wearing kid in the front yard riding his quad.  I love to watch him play outside.  And I love the beautiful weather we've been having.  And I love how active the squirrels are in the Fall.  And I love seeing those giant wooly bully caterpillars crossing the roads from field to field (really though- where are they all going and why????  could they have really polished off all eatable items in one field and be moving on to the next?  and does everyone swerve to avoid running them over?  or just me?)
And look who has taking up photography???  If only someone would take up cleaning. 

So on the horizon we have my birthday.  Which I love every year- I am like a big kid.  That is the day that I use my birthday as an excuse to get everything I want.  Like going to the zoo, seeing a movie with the kids, having popcorn for dinner, a trip to the pumpkin patch- whatever I want (which is all of the above).  And my birthDAY is more like a birthWEEK because I use the excuse for a full blown week.  It is the best week (in my opinion) of the whole year.  Starts with our anniversary, and ends a few days after my birthday.

And this year- we get to go to a wedding on my birthday!!!  My second favorite thing to a perfect autumn season?????  A wedding!  I can hardly wait, what a blessing!

And then Halloween.  The main event.  Wow- what a wonderful time of year this is.  After we got home from dinner last night- we decorated for Halloween.  Now the house is full of jack-o-lanters and ghosts, our porch is loaded with pumpkins and we are ready for that beautiful Fall evening when we go out and beg for candy.

It doesn't get any better than this.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


It was on this day, fourteen years ago, that Dan and I became one.

 It was, without a doubt, one of the best days of my life.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Warning Labels

Have you ever looked at the warning label on a ladder?  It warns agains risk of falling.  It really does.  And as I read that, I thought about who it is that required that warning to be on a ladder- an item used to climb up higher than you normally can reach.  Or the risk on an electrical cord that warns against........electrical shock.  Power saws that warn about sharp blades. 

Of all the crazy things.  And yet we can get married and have babies without much warning at all.

Sure Dan and I had premarital counseling from our minster.  It was very biblically based.  Not a word about 'real lifeness'.  And babies- well they just come out of no where.  Bam!  Here's your baby.  My OB did give me a book called "What to expect when you're expecting", and I even had one called "What to expect the first year"- but in retrospect, those are the easy parts.

I suppose if I were in charge of labeling marriage and children with warning labels, a few I might include are as follows:

Warning:  You will one day have your entire being judged upon finding out your child 'may' have swallowed a silly band and you simply want to check with the doctor to find out if that is a problem.  As your husband begins to make you feel like a moran for simply making a phone call- you may or may not 'shut the van door a little too hard' and make your kids wonder what in the heck is wrong with mommy.  As you quietly try to share your opinion with said husband in a loud voice outside of the recycling bins in the grocery parking lot (which may have included words that we don't normally use)- you may or may not forget that the van windows are open and your children will hear the entire thing.  And then you will cry yourself to sleep, knowing that your husband doesn't consider you any part of his 'team' and your child is probably dying of lead poisoning from that made in china silly band.

Warning:  This child will one day manage to break the neighbors garage door opener because he/she was following the advice to 'ride it up' while she presses the button.  Even though you technically find the fault to be on neighbor girl (it was her idea- hello), you are going to bust out your checkbook and fork over the cash for half of the repairs.  This warning would be on two of my three children.

Warning:  This little being is going to require to be clothed and fed- even when you are tired, sick or on vacation.  This is going to be your responsibility.

Warning:   One day you are going to find yourself trying to figure out how to drop off the vehicle payment at the bank with your spouse in the car while hoping he doesn't notice you are at the bank dropping off the vehicle payment.........that was due a few days ago but you may or maynot have forgotten to pay it.  You might consider unbuttoning the top button of your blouse and see if that does the trick.  Warning within a warning:  This trick only works for the first few years of a marriage, use it wisely.

Warning:  This little human being is going to grow quickly- and they are going to learn to mimic everything about you.  If you are not quite the person you would hope you are, you are going to have to work on that.  Or you are going to spend years trying to fix your child with no luck.  And you are going to see all of your flaws in them.

Warning:  This parenting gig is not easy.  You will dream about gazing lovingly into your spouses eyes while cradling your newborn baby and think that he will be filled with thoughts of love and happiness.  But in reality you will be bickering over who gets to change the next dirty diaper and who is going to stop eating their dinner (again) to take a child to the restroom.

Warning:  As children grow older, it becomes more difficult.  The easy part is when they are little and into everything.  Just prepare yourself.

Warning:  There are going to be days that you just want to quit.  Throw in the towel.  Call it off.  That is not an option.

Warning:  Your husband is going to have to flop around work schedules and one year he might be working nights the week of your wedding anniversary.  Whereas you used to escape for a romantic weekend of coupleness with the chitlins at your inlaws, you now will go out for a kid movie and steak n shake a few days before (since he won't be home on the actual day).  The real warning is that you will actually find this to be a real treat since you didn't have to cook AND got to sit down for part of a movie.  I say part because you still had to run to the restroom 3 times with children.

Warning:  You will find yourself asking for things like circus tickets or disney on ice tickets for your birthday.  And it really will be what you want.

Warning:  Your spouse is not going to 'get' you.  He will not understand why you feel the weight of the world resting square on your shoulders, why you find it necessary to do laundry and dishes after you put the kids into bed or why you find yourself crying throughout an entire church service. 

I guess I am in a funk again.  That should be a warning too.  That you will be in a funk and not a single person in your home is going to care, they are just going to wonder when dinner will be ready and if they can have a bowl of cereal and can you change the channel and will you go for a bike ride and is my favorite yellow shirt clean yet and listen to their joke and watch me roll around on the floor in a huge circle for the 18th time.

Yeah.  They aught to warn about this stuff.  Not that it would change a single choice I've made.  But at least I might have seen it coming, and could have prepared myself with a drink : )

Friday, October 15, 2010

Up wit' da chickens

So at approximately 4am (I say approximately because dag gone it was early) I woke up to Lewis.  He was crying this high pitched whiny cry.  And he was spinning in circles on my bedroom floor.  Spin, whine, spin, whine, whimper whimper whimper.  It was pathetic.  He was obviously being troubled by a pesky flea.  And whereas normal dogs (no offense sweet Lewey) just chew on their heiny and relieve the discomfort- Lew can't reach.  All he can do is look in that basic direction- and whine and whimper and high pitch bark howl.

So I scratched him.  His legs, his back, his heiny........scratch scratch scratch.  There- crisis solved.......back to bed.

Only it didn't stop.  So I did what I had to do for our faithful dog.  I drew him a bath.

And at 4am I managed to wrestle the beast into the tub where he promptly laid down and I could hear him breath a sigh of relief.  I scrubbed him up with my herbal mint flea relief shampoo, two times.  Hoisted him from the tub, dried him as best as one can in the middle of their nights sleep, and sent him off for some rest.

Only it is now 4:32 am, I am wide awake and I have a load of doggie smelling towels scrubbing up in my washer and a dog who is outside and won't come in.

Isn't pet ownership grand?  Seeing these woman toting their little doll doggies on diamond studded leashes with matching doggie purses doesn't begin to touch the glam that is having a pet. Nope, nothing like scrubbing up doggie diarrhea from the carpet, stepping in cold dog puke or midnight barky bubble baths.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The gig is up

It happened this week.  A friend unexpectedly needed a ride.  Of course I didn't mind.  Without hesitation I told them to get in the car.  I didn't even think about it.

But I had left something out on the seat, something that was rather private and something my friends probably don't know about me.  I mean, I'm sure they have an idea.  It's hard to be around someone who does this and not know.  It becomes rather obvious after a certain amount of time.

But for her to just see it, out there in the wide open in all it's wholeness.  I wasn't prepared.

She opened the door and I heard her gasp.  And then I gasped because I realized what I had done.  She had seen it, and there was no way around it.  I mean, sure I could pretend like they belonged to someone else.  I'm just holding them.  I don't know where they came from.  You all know the drill.

But no- instead I had to come clean.

Yes, it is mine.  And I'm a couponer.  But not like an occassional 'oh look- $.50 off laundry soap' kind of couponer.  I'm more like the 'keeps a trapper keeper sorted by type of coupon- buys 4 sunday papers for the extra coupons- has even bought coupons on ebay' kind of couponer.

Is there a support group for this?

I used to use a lot of coupons, and then I had a lot of kids and there just is no good way to balance children and a coupon organizer while running amok through the grocery store fighting the odds of hunger and poop- both which will emerge from said children if you are not lightening quick.

But now- I am getting back in the saddle.  And this little gem is my newest baby- my addition to our family.  Bought and paid for, with a coupon of course ($10 off a $25 purchase- go me!)

So before you judge- just listen to this.  This is what makes my heart go pitter pat.  This is why I mess with coupons.  This weekend at CVS I purchased two boxes of instant oatmeal, 2 packages of starburst gummi's, 4 dove chocolate bars (halloween is coming up-and with a neighborhood of less than 6 trickortreaters we pass out full size candy bars), 2 dawn dish soaps, 2 gallons of milk, 2 tubes of colgate toothpaste and a bottle of method laundry soap.  My total was over $30.

I used 2 $2 coupons on the oatmeal, a buy 1 get 1 on the gummis, 4 $.55 on the candybars, 2 $.50 on the dawn, and 2 $1 on the toothpastes.  Plus I had a $5 off of $30 plus $6 extra care bucks. 

I paid $8.65 for all of that.  But here is the kicker.  I got back a coupon for $14.99 in extra care bucks good at CVS on my next purchase.  I got back more than I paid for- plus I have milk, laundry soap and toothpaste.  Not to mention chocolate.

That is why I coupon.  Because I coupon, I am then able to buy extra and share with others either in my family or through the food bank.  And I hear that the food bank shelves are empty- I even heard that Gleaners is shutting down for a month because they have nothing to give.  So if I can stretch my dollars and have lots of extra, then I am okay with that.  If I can stretch Dan's dollars that he works so hard for and have plenty for our family (all be it oatmeal which he doesn't really like) then I will do that.  Plus I get to go shopping, which I love.

Really- that is probably really why I coupon.  Because I am obsessed and I love 'going for the kill' at the check out.  And I love how certain cashiers will huff and roll their eyes, like I am really putting them out or something.  Not really so much on that part.

So there it is.  The truth is out.  I am a couponer.  I'm sorry you had to find out like this.  I don't buy much of anything without one.  I pick where we go out for dinner based on one I have.  I switch brands on things that don't matter to me based on the best deal I can get.  I live for Sunday mornings and a new batch of sale papers and coupons.  It's my vice.  I even read a ton of coupon blogs.  This- by the way- will not become one of those.  There are already a ton of them, so just go read one of those.  I will continue to keep my focus on young men peeing outdoors and total and complete crazyness that is living with 3 children.

Anywho- I'm looking for a name for my new mambo jambo coupon sorter.  I'm thinking a male name, since it is so useful but labor intensive.  I was leaning toward Brutus- but that is the name of my father in laws truck and I'm afraid Sam would get all confused.  Then I thought Hank- you know kind of rugged and strong, dependable and handsome.  Any suggestions?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

No where to hide

So- it goes without saying that mom has had a recent stay in the hospital and is now home, but learning to live her life in a different capacity.  One that involves in home oxygen, no more climbing around on ladders hanging holiday decorations and less hard physical work.  She is adapting beautifully.

That being said- let me just enlighten you on what it is like to be in the same room with your mother as she interacts with doctors.

When we arrive at the emergency room last week, mom approaches the window and waits.  A man looks up and asks if he can help her.  She replies "Well, you haven't asked me yet".  Oh dear heavens. 

Then, while waiting for the attendant to photocopy her whatever it was, she turns to me and rather loudly asks if I think all of these young men wear their pants so low so that they have an excuse to hold their penis.  It was really loud.  Really loud.  And being that we chose to go to the hospital in da' hood- there were lots of young penis holding young men.

Later in the same evening, we were in a little ER room with a doctor.  The only saving grace was that she didn't manage to call him 'a cute young thing' to his face.  But mind you she didn't mind sharing that with me.  This doctor would respond "Oh boy" to anything that was of concern to him. 
Are you a smoker?........oh boy
You have an oncologist?.........oh boy
You live alone?.............oh boy
Each time.  Each and every time.  Mom would put on her 'stern mother' face and say "Well what's that supposed to mean?". 

I have found myself replying 'oh boy' to a lot this week.  Somehow it helps.  I understand why he uses that term.

After Dugie Howser left the room, another doctor- the daddy doctor (probably not the term they use in the hospital, but you get my drift)- came in.  He already had everything he needed from the cute young one, so he was just sharing his next step.  Mom, on the other hand, wanted to start from the beginning (no kidding- when she had pneumonia as a child and one time 20 years ago when she cleaned a chicken coop) and tell him her entire life story........again.  He began speaking over her and she says "Wait a minute there Jazzmo".  no kidding.

If she were one of my children, I would have stopped her in her tracks and spouted off things about respect and politeness.  But she is my mom.

So instead I just smiled at him, wrinkled my nose and tilted my head.  Jazzmo pulled up a chair.

I'm so grateful that she is home and doing so much better.  I think the doctors are too.

Monday, October 11, 2010

We're not loosers!

 After 7 long years, many failed attempts, and two powersprayers- we managed to clean the entire deck
 And seal it.
Yeah us!  And by us- I mean mostly me because I am the one who started the whole cleaning process this time around.  And I provided a 10% coupon for the sealer.  And I did manage to drag my sorry self out there and assist with the inside of the railings.  Dan just did the entire deck floor and the outsides of the rails and the bottom part by the ground.  He's always taking the easy way out.

I'm actually a little distraught because while power spraying the deck I took the time to etch little sayings and designs in the algae scum layer on the railings.  It was really creative of me and I was considering launching a deck decorating art company.  And now I don't have my pictures of it.  So now can I not only not share them with you- I'm out of business already too.


Sunday, October 10, 2010

ten ten ten

It didn't occur to me until I opened my email this morning and every single place I have ever signed up for just to receive coupons (restaurants, stores, online stores) has emailed me some kind of special about 10-10-10.  Wow, I suppose that is the date today.  And I can see how it is kind of cool as these type of neato dates don't roll around very often. 

100 years as a matter of fact for this one in particular.

So as I today have the opportunity to order all kinds of stuff on my computer with a plastic credit card- most of it involving digital pictures and media codes- I have to wonder what this day was like on October 10, 1910.

And if they even noticed.

We've really come a long way in 100 years.  I just sometimes wonder if we're going in the wrong direction.

Friday, October 8, 2010

I survived.............a while ago

So, I have been failing a little (a lot) on my blogging agenda.  I actually have some pretty interesting (probably not now that I think about it) things I have been wanting to blog about.

I'll start this off by saying that they kept mom at the hospital overnight again.  I could see that she was relieved.  It is still not so easy for her to breath- and that is kind of inconvenient.  This is part of the lung disease that she has, now it is just learning what meds will balance it.

Anywho- a week ago today I became a survivor.  Nothing that deserves a brightly colored ribbon or anything so fancy- rather another notch in my mom belt or a star for my apron.
 That's right- I lived through a slumber party of pre-teen girls.

Now- we've had slumber parties before.  But this one was different.  There were no polly pockets.  No barbies.  No sweet little girl games.  Just chatting, texting, giggling, chasing, screaming, squeallllllliiiiiinnnnnnnnggggg.  I swear, I thought the neighbors were going to call the police.

 Can you imagine????  This year the highlight of her birthday was that Miss Rebecca- a PROFESSIONAL cake decorator- was going to make her cake.  She couldn't get the kids in the door fast enough to show them her cake.  Which was beautiful.  Although this child has has homemade teacup cakes and beauties covered by pretzel butterflies all made with the love only a mother could put into something.  And yet this year, second year in a row I might add, totally asked for a 'made by someone else' cake.

hmph. (It really was a beautiful cake- that missy bucket really made this a special birthday for one girl : )

 I made them eat dinner on the deck.  I'm classy like that.

 There were blindfolded makeovers.  Wow- just gorgeous.
 And Lewis was quite the stud among a crowd of 11 year old girls.
We started the night with 9 girls plus emily and sam.  11 children.

Had a big girly girl drama thing and lost one.  10 children.

Begging, crying, pleading, drama drama drama.  Leaving girl stays.  11 children.

Drama Drama Drama.  Same girl, leaving again.  10.

Same thing as before, only this time I make Dan get involved because I'm going in to make a drink.  11.

One girl gets picked up by parent due to early AM soccer game and non-spending-the-nightous-itis.  10 children.

11pm.  Child in tears, thinks she wants to go home.  Nothing in particular, other than itchy eyes from dog and a bit of homesickness.  9 children.

I sleep on the floor in Sam's room with he and emily.  7 soon to be teenage girls 'sleep' in the living room.  Which I don't think there ever was really any sleeping.

Check that off the list.  Been there, done that.  Not sure I will sign up for it again.

Too much drama.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Reasons why my family is probably eating mcdonalds for dinner...........again

1. My mom is in the hospital.  She will be there for a few more days.  She is having some lung issues and trouble breathing, and to be quite frank I am glad they are keeping her there until she can walk and still breath.  I am missing her being home, and I am missing her being healthy.  Needless to say, I am running to the hospital a couple times a day to see her, running to her house for various items she requests, and running around the city like a chicken with it's head cut off.  And I keep thinking I'll call my mom to tell her how crazy tired and a bit stressed I am feeling, because she is my mom and she listens to that kind of whining, but I can't because she's not home.

2. I am staying up too late and getting up too early- which is making me too tired to plan ahead for meals.

3. The school festival is Saturday.  Which  means this week I have had or will have to remember send in cash for tickets, bake cookies or something for the sweet shop, decorate a cake for the cake walk, sort out books and movies for the movie shop, buy diapers for the baby basket for the silent auction, and remember to take my kids to the thing Saturday night.  Saturday we also have a crafting thing that the kids want to go to, a football game for my nephew, and something else in the afternoon that I can't remember right now.

4. The carnival at church is coming up and there are games to be made and prizes to be sorted (and purchased).  And when I tried and talk to my husband (you know, co-leader of the program) last night while silently praying for him to jump on board and help, he not-so-politelty said he will be glad to show up and help but is staying out of the planning.  I may have had silent tears filling my heart.

5. Dan and I went to bed in a 'fight' last night.  It sure does make for a heavy heart in the morning.

6.  Emily wants to know when we're going to decorate for halloween.  Believe me I want to decorate for halloween.  But I'm also unsure of where the time is going to come from to wash underwear or grocery shop.  And those trump halloween decorating.

7.  I am so grateful that it is at least Fall- because that is my favorite time of the year.  So as I am buzzing all over the city like a complete and total maniac, I can at least breath in the beautiful leaves and cool air.

8.  Being a grown up is not as cool and awesome as I imagined it would be when I was a kid.  I thought it just meant you got to pick what you ate for dinner and got to stay up late.  Boy was I off.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

I really thought I was done with Test Booklets

 Several months ago when I did my civic duty and filled out my census thing- I really thought I was done.
 And then this came.
 You probably have one too.  A 40+ page test booklet of questions that I should know the answers to but don't.  After all, some questions are not easily answered.  For instance- regarding allyson- it asked if she had any mental problem to dress shower, etc.  Uh- I think the answer is technically no- but she still is unable to put clothing into a clothes basket or follow simple instructions- so is that a yes?  I'm not sure.  So perhaps I'll type up a composition for them regarding our how family works.
The stress is a bit much.  But after completing the questions for Dan and I, it occurred to me that our books might be bigger than some others as we are actually a working family who buys their own food, receives no government assistance and pay our own house payment.  We picked out a house that we could afford AND make monthly payments to live there.  Upon reading all of the questions, it became clear that there really are alot of folks in our world who apparently don't do that.

And I might be being a little bitter based on a story I heard yesterday- but who knows.  For the record- I think government assistance is golden.  I think it is necessary.  I think I am glad to contribute to it so that it is available.  I wish there were a way to provide it to the folks who really would benefit from it, and not give it so freely to those who feel they are entitled and not willing to work to make their life any different.  If you are physically able to shower and dress yourself (question 26 I think), then please go get a job and pay your own bills.  And maybe you won't be able to buy the $800 worth of groceries that you currently can afford through food stamps- welcome to the club.  I feed a family of 5 on a lot less than that.  I shop sales, I use coupons, we eat a lot of hamburger some weeks.  And I still do it.

And this is really not the direction I was going with this.  Sorry for my ranting.

Back to task.  I spent over 30 minutes this morning answering the same questions, or at least similar, that I answered on the original survey I'm pretty sure.  Except they now know how many weeks a year Dan and I work, and that Allyson can't put her own clothes in the hamper or remember to bring her shoes in out of the car, yard, garage.  And that Emily still can't see well with her glasses.

Civic duty done.  Check me off the list US Census Bureau.  And for crying out loud perhaps you can come up with some computerized way to do this next time so that we can save on the multiple mailings you have sent every household in the country.

And then take that money you saved and help out some family who would really appreciate the assistance to get back on their feet.


Monday, October 4, 2010

Lost.......and then found

If your kids turns up missing and doesn't come home on the school bus, chances are it is not the school who has lost them.

Thursday, after waiting like 20 minutes past Emily's normal bus time with no sign of her or the huge yellow monstrosity that she rides on, I went into full panic mode.  I began rummaging around on the fridge looking for the bus garage number, where oh where did I put that bus garage number.

In my head I am saying things like 'I know she looks nice and all- but I've always questioned that bus driver.  She's irresponsible and she has lost my baby.  Or she's crashed that bus and emi is laying in a ditch. Uhg.  Where is that number.  They should have sent an instant alert, why do we pay for such a service if they don't use it.  Parents worry- they should have least with an update.  I mean 20 minutes late?  She's been on that bus for over an hour now.  That is just wrong, I'm going to talk to the principal...............where on earth is that stupid number?"  And on and on and on.

Until I unearth the number.

I speed dial it and wait wait wait for someone to answer.  While waiting I fling open the back door just to be sure Emily is not back there with Dan.  Someone answers and as I begin to explain their mistake and how someone better produce my emi and a good explination as to where on God's green earth she is and WHY they didn't bring her home like planned I hear Dan talking.  How rude.  Can't he see I'm on the phone?

"You are supposed to pick her up after her school party today Mynde".

Instant panic, fear and adrenaline.  Shoot!  Was that today?  How could I forget?  I mean I reminded HER this morning to stay after school for her super mega party- how could I have forgotten?  What time is it?  What time am I supposed to be there?  Why am I holding the phone to my head?

And then I remembered- the bus garage lady who I was planning to rip a new one.

All I could say was "Uh.  Oh.  Well.  Sorry.  Nevermind.  I forgot."  And I hung up.

And I left to go to pick up Emily.  And I was right on time, and she never knew that she was even lost.

Friday, October 1, 2010


 I'm just not positive how on earth you could be turning 11 today.  11. wow.
 11 very short years ago right now you were in my belly.  I was still a little convinced that you were a boy- even though 3 ultrasounds said girl.  I brought pink to the hospital, but I had some 'neutral' in the drawers at home just in case.  I must say- I'm glad you were a girl.  I must also say you were easier to care for while in my belly.
 Apparently by 11 you stop tearing your wrapping paper and you open your gifts more civilized.  Or perhaps it's because it was 6:30 in the morning and you are still asleep.  But since you begged, we let you open JUST ONE gift this morning.
 Trust me when I say these weren't our idea.
 They were yours.  You wanted these sandal things with knee high socks- just like all the other kids.  You have a new confidence in who you are.
 You wear adult size clothes.  And shoes.  You play the saxaphone.  And the piano.  You have a great sense of humor- you make me honestly laugh with your wit.  You can be a bit lazy and a little (lot) sloppy.  We're working on that.  You have started doing your hair.  You want to wear mascara.  The answer is still no.  I still find your shoes all over the yard.  And every time I roll my eyes.  You have started rolling your eyes too.
 The ring on your finger was mine as a little girl.  You are becoming a young woman. You had on so much loves baby soft this morning that I almost pinched my nose shut.  You lost another tooth this week.  And got first chair in band. You are not happy about participating in household chores.  But neither am I.  Get over it.
 I prayed for you for so long.  I remember collapsing on the floor and bursting into laughter the minute I found out that I was pregnant.  It was sincere happiness.  You push me beyond my normal comfort zone.  I am learning how to be your mom.  You are an excellent teacher.  I met the Lord because of you.  I knew Him, more knew of Him, before you came into my life.  But upon becoming your mother, I began to crave Him like never before.  I could never thank you enough for that gift.  I pray that you find that thirst in your life.
You are tall.  You are beautiful.  Your hair is a gorgeous color. You will never have to spend money having it colored or highlighted- you're welcome. You tend to talk really loud.  You have an excitement in your voice when you tell me a story. You are a special young woman. Who is really just a whittle baby.  At least my whittle baby.

Tonight- at 6pm- 8 young women with blossoming hormones will decend upon our home with sleeping bags, pillows, giggles, and laughter.  I am actually afraid.  But only a little. I can only be thankful that the other two couldn't make it.  9 has got to be easier than 11- right.