Friday, December 30, 2011

Another mother

I almost wrote about something this morning- but I changed my mind.  It was a decision that Dan and I had to make.  One that would only be right for our family.  It won't apply to others families and what they would choose.  So I decided not to.

Allyson has had a little boy who has been sweet on her since second grade.  For over four years now these two have called each other boyfriend/girlfriend.  We've talked about them being too young, forbid it, unforbid it (that doesn't work by the way), discussed modesty.  It hasn't changed that these two really seem drawn to each other.  And have for years. 

A few weeks ago, his mom called me to ask if it would be okay if Jaylen bought Allyson a Christmas present.  She also was wondering if maybe the two of them could hang out for a couple of hours, play video games or basketball.  Instantly I was torn.  I don't want either of them to think that we would EVER encourage them to 'date'- but seriously, would it hurt to play some basketball?  I told her I would like to invite them both over for dinner, I would get back to her once I talked to Dan.

And then I never called her back.

Christmas was busy and there was no time, and I just didn't.  But this week, she has been so very heavy on my mind.  Yesterday when the phone rang, it was her.  And I told her I couldn't stop thinking about her and that I was sorry for not returning her call sooner.  And that I was also sorry I never dropped off the Christmas cookies I had for them.  She asked again about having Ally over for an hour so that they could visit.  Again I told her I needed to talk to Dan and I'd call her back.

See?  I was going to blog about whether or not to let Allyson and Jaylen spend time together out of school.  But I decided not to.  Because Dan and I needed to come to our own decision.
This morning, Dan and I discussed it and I asked him to please call her back this morning while I was at work.  We'd basically decided that maybe he could come over here for a little bit.  But that it wasn't going to become anything regular.  And it was to stay as friends- they are just 12 afterall.  And so he called.  Only to find out that she died last night, unexpectedly, out of the blue.  She died.  This woman who is my age with children and was just talking to me on the phone yesterday died. 

Just like that. 
And now my heart is breaking for a young man- so far from being a man but so very far from being a boy- that is now alone in this world without his mom.  And due to circumstances, he is without his dad and always has been.  I can still feel my heart quivering every time I think about it.  It is unimaginable.

I think back to the conversation I had a few weeks ago.  His mother and I got to talk for a good long while.  She expressed concern over Jaylen feeling like we hate him.  I tried to explain that it was because he was a boy chasing our daughter (nothing personal) that made us apprehensive of him- she seemed to understand.  God, I hope she understood.  I just don't think I could ever forgive myself if she didn't understand.   I never meant to judge her or her son, I only wanted to protect my daughter.  I worried about her lifestyle, but after talking with her she seemed to be a good woman.  One that I was really looking forward to chatting with over dinner.  She had faith, morals and a true love of her boys.

If I could call her back today, I would tell her what a fine young man she is raising.  And that together we can monitor the children and not allow them to grow up into any situations too fast.  And I'd offer to have her over and serve her the casserole I'm dropping off at her moms house instead.    And I'd want her to know that I think there is a lot I could learn from her as a mother.  She seemed to be a deep and inspirational woman who had a deep bond with her pre-teen son, which is an accomplishment these days.  I know I struggle to find an in with Allyson.

As I hugged her son this afternoon, he started to pull away.  And I swear I heard a voice say 'hold him tighter', and I did, and he collapsed into my arms.  And we both cried.  I held him as a mother would.  As his mother would, but she can't any longer.

Please pray for this young man.  He has a long horrible road of grief ahead of him.  He is outside playing basketball with Allyson.  He's been here all afternoon.  He seems almost as though he doesn't want to go back home.  And I guess I understand, because at home he will have to face the grief of his mother being gone.  I hope his soul felt a tiny bit of relief being here today.  I pray God will give him peace tonight.

Where'd you go?

Did you think I'd been buried under a mountain of wrapping paper or beaten to death by elves?  No such luck.  Just out of sorts and neglecting my blog.  That's all.

See- I am a creature that craves order.  Which is interesting because I am also a disorganized disaster.  When I have order, whether it be in a closet or a menu plan or my purse, I have peace.  But when things get a little out of hand, I loose it.  Which makes me sleepy, so I nap a lot. 

And this week?  With Christmas and all of the extra fabulous goodies that we all acquired (which are new so they have no 'homes' and they are just kind of stacked and strewn everywhere), the kids being out of school AND Dan having to work nights for a rare change.................there is not a single drop of freakin' order to be found.  So I am just loosing it.  I feel cranky, grumpy, tired and completely out of sorts. 

I love having the kids home.  But their bedtimes are a wreck, I'm having to work different hours, Dan's not home for dinner so we are basically eating ham sandwiches or cereal, PLUS he's all up in my business in the mornings which is throwing me completely out of kilter.  There are cardboard packages and plastic inserts (along with wire bendy tie things) everywhere I turn and I am so out of sorts that I don't know where to even start to begin to make this mess back into our home.

So I've just been eating christmas cookies and napping. 

I'm hoping that next week things will feel a bit more normal and I can kick some christmas bootie and whip this house back into shape.  If not- there is always the week after.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

It is my sincere wish that the glory and peace of Christ fill your homes and hearts this Christmas Season.
Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 23, 2011

I may never get all the powdered sugar cleaned out of my stove

 It has been a seven day bake fest going on over here.  Six pounds of butter, endless amounts of flour and lots and lots of sugar.  (Side note- Those beautiful cookies you see above have the taste and texture of a biscuit.  Why you ask?  Because I got up at 5am one morning to mix the dough and get a jump on the day and I may have misread the recipe as needing a half cup sugar instead of a cup and a half.  Here's hoping a half inch of home made butter creme frosting on top balances the blandness......)
 I was planning to start last Saturday and finish Sunday- but best laid plans you know. 
Regardless- I got to make all of my favorite christmas recipes and the kids too.  Plates for the neighbors are prepared and mostly all are delivered.  And there are plenty of each left for a giant plate for our christmas table.  Despite adding lots of time and energy at a time of year when there is not much of either, this is one tradition I love and am glad that I got to do with my children.

Now- if they will only keep their grubby little mitts out of them so that they won't be all gone before tomorrow!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Customer Service? Anyone? Anyone? Hello????

I have come to the realization that customer service does not exist in this world anymore.  Anywhere. 

Point #1:  Last winter Dan and I purchased a new piece of furniture for our living room.  And being the high class folks that we are, we did so at Big Lots.  Now I know what you are thinking- 'Geez Mynde, how on earth can you afford such high end merchandise'.  It was on sale.  Sale furniture at the big lots.  We Gobles go big.

Now, you can imagine my complete surprise when the recliner foot thing stopped going in and staying in.  You can also imagine how easy it is to climb in and out of a chair with the footrest fully extended.  I had some friends over for a bag selling/buying party and had to have Dan tie wrap the stupid thing down.  After some investigation, I discovered that I had in fact saved the warranty paperwork and receipt and 'cue fancy lights and angels singing' it was covered by a lifetime mechanism warranty.  So I called the Big Lots.

I got to speak with a woman in the furniture department who said that they don't make that item anymore and it probably wouldn't be covered.  I inquired as to what part of 'lifetime warranty' I was struggling with, because I didn't see a 'or until we quit making this cheap crappy thing' in there anywhwere.  She then pointed out that since she couldn't see the chair she wouldn't even know what part to order, which I quickly then offered to bring it to her (you have no idea how anxious I was to load it up and drop it right at her counter). 

Then, and here is where the really great customer service comes in, she pointed out that since we had been using the chair for over six months and the mechanism worked for over 4 of them- CLEARLY it was not a manufacturer defect.  We must have been misusing the chair.

Yes- she caught us.  We had in fact been sitting and reclining in the chair.  Most of the time with the footrest.  She's like a regular Sherlock Holmes, no wonder she achieved Manager status.  I mean really, all manufacturer defects would obviously have shown their ugly heads way before six.whole.months of use.  As I began to share my thoughts and praise for her EXCELLENT detection of customer fraud Dan took the phone from me.

I continued to talk to her though, even though I wasn't on the phone.  I mean, customer service like THAT deserves all the praise I could offer.

Over a month later, the part that Dan had calmly explained to her to order came in.  And Dan went to pick it up.  I believe he called the part he needed as the 'left hinge mechanism'.  This is what we got:
That, my friends, is the entire recliner foot rest mechanism. Sans upholstery.  If I had some foam and extra fabric I could make a whole 'nother chair.  Fortunately, my husband knows what the heck he is doing and we now have a functioning footrest.  And a really huge box with a bunch of scrap metal. 

Point #2:  I placed a $30ish dollar order with Kohls online during a sale and a free shipping day.  Yesterday it arrived.  Twice.  Two packages.  Two deliveries.  Two identical orders.  I call up the customer service number, held for over 10 minutes to talk to a person, and explain what has happened.  The gal tells me to let her look over the order because if there is anything she wants I can just ship it to her.  Once she decides that she doesn't require any of my basically stolen merchandise she explains that I can just return it to the store.

I can return it to the store?

See- I ordered this stuff online so that I wouldn't have to go into the store.  And now, because you screwed up, you would like me to drive across town, park amongst the other 3000 Christmas Shoppers, trapse through your entitre store to wait in line at customer service to give you back the stuff YOU accidentally mailed to me?  Uh, no.  No thanks. 

Then she said I could use the shipping label to send it back, all I'd have to do is pay the postage.  Really?  You'll let ME pay the postage to fix YOUR mistake.

I finished up the conversation by explaining that I had their stuff.  They could mail me a postage paid label/envelope/whatever or not.  Whatever.  I have no use for double my selections, but I am not going to put any money or time into returning them beyond taping it shut and putting it in the mailbox.

She's going to have a member of the customer service team follow up with me.  I can hardly wait.

Point #3:  50% of the time that I go to McDonalds and order an UNsweet Iced Tea, I get a sweet tea. And I never notice until AFTER I add four splenda. 

Case and point.  Customer Service is dead.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

4 days and counting

Just four days until Christmas.  Three really- because anything you don't have done by christmas eve isn't going to get done in my world.  So- in order to make sure every little detail gets completed, I decided to hop on here and update my blog.

I know, don't say it.  I don't stand a chance.  The reality is that my children are going to awaken Sunday morning to piles of gifts all neatly tucked inside of target bags and I'm just going to deliver bags of sugar, flour and butter to the neighbors instead of cookies.  Plus- it's a good think that the kids are getting some new clothes as gifts, because the laundry might be a little behind.  I have found myself wondering if Christmas came and went this fast when we were kids.  I know it sure didn't feel like it.

I had grand plans this year.  I was going to have everything done early so that I could really focus on the season.  Savor it, enjoy it, basque in it's glory.  Instead I sit here four three days before it will all be over wishing for just one more week to get to enjoy it all before it's done.  I adore this time of year, and I have been so tied up with all the details that I have yet to get to really realize it's here.  Combine that with all this RAIN and I just feel like giving up.  WHERE IS THE SNOW!

That being said- I was wasting time (valuable precious time that could have been spent doing something, anything productive) on the internets this morning and I ran across this:
The article said it was the PERFECT solution to organizing your junk drawer.  It made me giggle because if a calculator, a mint, various thumbtacks and a couple pencils was the problem with my junk drawer, there would be no junk drawer problem. 

I reluctantly share with you MY junk drawer:

Gonna take a lot of egg cartons.  Big giant egg cartons. 

Why do I share this with you today? 
#1- to keep from doing the actual work that needs done at my house.  duh.
#2- to put off going back to the stores to get the last couple things on our christmas shopping list. duh.
#3- to share the idea that my entire life feels like my junk drawer looks and I'm wishing that I had time to sort it all into it's tiny organized egg carton.  But there is no time for that non-sense.  So I will just keep plugging away- one day at a time- hoping that I'm somehow getting at least the important things accomplished.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Preparing for excellence

We are raising people.  Sometimes that sucks the everloving breath right from my lungs.  These little beings- who came out so helpless and alien like will grow into adults.  Real live adult people beings.  Ones who can pour their own milk and read.

And apparently Emily is getting a jump on things, as I found this in the playroom this week:
I suppose that I should be comforted that she will probably still need me. 

I'm hoping that this res'o'may changes a bit in the next 20 or so years.

Monday, December 19, 2011

My quest for a christmas card photo

 Nice picture- perhaps I should have moved my flash?
Not bad, not bad- but what IS sam doing anyway?

 This would work-except why include a picture if you can't even see the kids?
 Sam- look OVER HERE!
 LOVE THIS- but no children are in it.
 SAM!  OVER HERE!  And stranger guy in the background- move along would ya?
 Very nice- if only Sam would have quit drinking that cocoa like I asked.
 Ohh- the Grinch and the Who's- I could very seriously use this one.
 And this would be a very close second- except my children are not in it either.
I'm teetering on the edge of skipping Christmas Cards again this year.  Even though we 'almost' got a photo worthy of being printed.  I so wish I would have worked on this the first week of December.  Oh well.

I am happy to report though that we had a fantastically wonderful Christmassy family weekend including hot cocoa, cookie decorating, touring christmas lights, seeing the reindeer, fun christmas family movies AND we officially have our christmas tree decorated!!!! Such a glorious time of year, I need to keep my focus on the Lord rather than all the stuff that needs to be done.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Perhaps it was the flu

I really thought that with all three children throwing up within just hours of each other that there was no possible way that they had anything but food poisoning.  I mean, typically when one gets sick it goes through the natural progression in the family- which means someone is throwing up for over a week.  But for all three to get sick right at the exact same time?  Must be food poisoning.

Until I started throwing up on Monday night.  And then I thought that perhaps it was the flu afterall.

I tell you what- I could use a minute to catch my breath.  It seems like everything is a bit out of control and when I realize that Christmas is just 11 days away it makes me want to cry.  Because THIS was going to be the year that I got everything done early and could just focus on the beautiful season and the birth of Jesus Christ.  Which I'm still going to.  Over the course of the next few days I am going to whip this house into shape and catch up.  We're going to buy the stupid live tree Dan is focused on, decorate it, bake cookies, finish the shopping and by george I am going to start wrapping my christmas gifts.

Just as soon as the entire world quits spinning around in circles.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Today you 'rikka buffet?

Sometimes I don't have anything to blog about.  I just skip a day here or there or blog about the same thing over.and.over because I got nothing.  And then the blog fairy comes and pukes all over you- it's a gift really.  The kind that keeps on giving. 

Last night I was invited to attend a company christmas party with a friend whose husband is deployed.  I was honored.  And excited.  We wore dressy clothes, strappy shoes, make up and got to talk like real live adults while someone else prepared and served us a delicious meal and then others entertained us.  It was the first real 'me' thing I've gotten to do in months.  Unless you count grocery shopping- which I don't.  And you shouldn't either.

Dan took care of the kids.

1am- Sam began vomiting.  Non stop.  Everywhere.  All over everything.  After an hour or so of changing bedding and such- we were out of 'such'.  Every pillow, blanket, sheet, towel and bedding item was piled up waiting a turn in the laundry room.  So I moved him to my bed (risky I know- but I like living on the edge) and crawled in next to him.

2:30am- Emily produces herself in my room and says I might want to wash her sheets.  (This is where you should stop reading if you have a woosy stomach).  I go to her room and not only has she thrown up all over her sheets and pillows, she has hung her head over the railing of her bed and puked all over allyson's bed, side table and carpeting.

3am- Emily is cleaned up, carpeting cleaned up, both beds stripped and at the back of the laundry train that is making it's way out of the laundry room.  I wrestle the dog out of that grossness, again. (Why ARE dogs so gross?)  We go to the living room where Allyson is watching a tv show.  And she announces she feels like she might throw up.

3:15am- she does.

From there until 9:30 am it was a constant cycle of puke, flushing, laundry, hair holding, cold wash rags, face wiping, carpet scrubbing, and gagging.  Until the diarrhea started.  Which is about the time Dan woke up oblivious to everything that had been going on for over 8 hours.  I tagged him and hit the bed for a three hour nap.

And here it is- almost 4pm and it still hasn't stopped.

Turns out, Dan took the kids out for dinner.  And in true bachelor form, they went to their favorite spot.  The chinese buffet.  Where the children pigged out on chicken nuggets with chinese ketchup and he ate everything but that.  And such they were poisoned and he dodged a big giant huge bullet.

I personally find buffets to be kind of gross.  And as far as I'm concerned, I win that argument.

On the counter this morning I found a paper fortune.

Chinese fortune cookie version- Fall down seven times, stand up eight.
Translation- Food poisoning is temporary, hang in there. No more buffet for you.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Thank you

Thank you for all the kind comments and the prayers.  Mom came through the surgery beautifully and is now at home.  Which means I don't have time to be on here blogging when I need to get there and help take care of her.  So stay tuned, just not today.........

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

October is breast cancer awareness month

My mom has had breast cancer.  Twice.  Both times she was diagnosed in October. She's cool like that.

The problem I personally have with that is that #1 my mom has cancer and #2 everywhere I look are freakin pink ribbons and pink cookies and pink cups and pink pink pink.  Which is very cool in the essence that awareness is being raised and so is money to fight that beast.  But it has been difficult for me because at the time with a fresh diagnosis and not being sure of the outcomes- it just keeps reminding me to be afraid and sad and scared and lost.

December is not breast cancer awareness month.  But it is when my mom will have her second mastectomy.  If you are a math wizard, you probably have already figured out that she will be left with no more breasts.  And to that I say AMEN!  They have caused nothing but trouble for the past few years and I say good riddance girls- get to packin.  After many doctor visits and discussions- this is the decision for my mom.  With all answered prayers she will come through this surgery with flying colors and NO cancer in her lymph glands and she'll get a full 24 hours of ordering tons of food from room service and personalized attention from the nursing staff.  Not to mention some super pain pills.

All joking aside- prayers would be appreciated.  I need my mom.  She makes me crazy, confuses me and for the most part I think I do the same to her.  But I love her so much and I need her to be fine.  Right now- everywhere I turn the people I love are filled with this bitch cancer, and really it just is pissing me off.  Cancer- you suck it big time!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

This just in!

I interupt your otherwise normal day with very important news from my neck of the woods:

  • Yes- I did in fact awaken at 4:30 this morning to make crayons and rigatoni.  I know, right.

  •  I get comments some times from folks whom I don't even know on this blog.  And it is my absolute joy and happiness.  Really and truly.  Makes my entire day.  Any kind of comment is just like a giant buttercream icing rose- delicious and pure happiness.  Why- just this morning I received this message:
Your blog is very nice I like to enjoy every pages,
pulmonary hypertension symptoms
Thank you Kushuka.  Although I am concerned that after reading MY blog you felt it necessary to just randomly shout out various heath issues?  Well- I'll take what I can get.  At least you didn't shout out Extreme Nut Job Psychopath.    (Kushuka- if you are a real person who really was innocently commenting- word to the wise, perhaps you should save your health advise for your second or third comments- you know, just to keep everyone comfortable. Kay?)

  • Ice cube trays are NOT baking trays and they will probably melt it your oven.  So much for snowman shaped crayons.

  • The kids informed Dan that what I really really really want for christmas is the new crayola crayon making oven. He said that he didn't believe it. Believe it Dan.

  • I don't want to cause anyone concern, especially you Kushuka, but I think my mom is trying to kill me.  Because she keeps coming at me with cake pan gifts.  You remember the beautiful bunt pan she gave to me, right? You would think I would have been on guard when she came a swinging tiny christmas tree pans- but no.  I fell for it.  Again.
There you have it.  Tiny christmas tree shaped brownies snug as a bug inside their little houses.  Fortunately my kids are patient and didn't mind digging them out with a knife.  Unfortnately I still have to make a dessert to deliver to a dear friend.  Good times.  Good times.

Don't be crossing your fingers hoping for little brownie cakes mom- you WON"T be getting any.

  • It is now 5:53AM- I'm going back to bake up some rigatoni cause I got plans to deliver it to a sweet woman.  Here's hoping it turns out better than the crayons and brownies.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Deckin' my halls........

If it'll stand still, chances are it is piled high with crafting stuff.

 Now I am not in particular very crafty.  But every December I coordinate a kids crafting workshop at our church where the children get to make things to give as gifts.
 The tricky part is that most everything involves some prep work- pre cutting, painting, gluing or pre something.
 So for about two weeks I spread out 3000 different things everywhere while preparing them.
 And in the evening, once I have worked all day doing whatever it is that we mothers do- I sit down with a pile of felt or my glue gun and work on something else for a while.  I have blisters on my fingers from boiling hot glue.  Seriously.

 Snowglobes.  Soaked, goo-goned, washed.  Ready for the lids to be painted.
Even the kids are getting a little put out with it. They claim there is no where to sit and eat. As if the deck furniture is covered in felt or something- sheesh. Put on a coat and go out there to eat your cereal you pansies.  It's just a little frost bite.

 The workshop is this Friday.  So that is the light at the end of my tunnel.  But this is one of my favorite things of the year- it is SO cool to see the kids making things and being so proud of their beautiful creations.
 Turns out these little trees for the snowglobes are PAINTED green, probably with lead paint fron china.  Which means they've been soaking in my sink for a week trying to drain out the extra coloring so that they won't turn the water green.  And in the cup?  A sparkly snowflake- checking to make sure the glitter won't come off in water.  I'm like a scientist.
So there you have it- my christmas decorations are complete.  My only hope is that the glue doesn't run off of anything making it a more permenant part of our home than I plan for it to be.

Fa la la la la, la la, la, la.