Saturday, March 31, 2012

Strange dynamics twixt the sisters

My brother and I are the best of friends and I am so blessed. My girls love each other, that I know. It is really funny, though, to see them on soccer Saturdays this season. With S reffing, it makes for interesting looks and posturing between sisters. It makes me think of a big poster advertising a prizefight:

Not sure why that line is there...the paint program is a kind of janked up thanks to little fingers that explore without the owner's permission. G is a hardcore competitor, not to be undone by an annoying ref who shares a bunk bed with her. The Ref has something to prove, some confidence to gain and a little sister to officially mother in an athletic competition. If you ever get a chance to come see G play, it is a very entertaining time. I highly recommend it.

What I love is that they are forced to be in harmony. G must be harmonious or she'll be removed from doing something she loves almost more than couch potato time. S must or she'll be stripped of her responsibility. I am just so proud of the confidence they are gaining. I have friends who didn't grow up with soccer and are not fans of the hype. Totally understand. I grew up with it, so it is like second nature, but I understand how the hardcore crud is off putting. I love the fact that my 7 year old has more talent for the game in her baby toenail than I did in my entire body at her age...or any age. I love that I can watch my tiny little ten year old be in charge of running a game, led by adults, and feel no more stress than if she was brushing her teeth. I participated in sports, but never had hardcore parents who pushed me too far. I try not to be crazy about it with my children either...just grateful for the exercise and team building skills they are developing. As strange as it may seem, it is a holy thing for me to watch my children in this venue. Some see the holy beauty in flowers, landscape, music, etc. I sure do. I find a holy beauty in watching these children use the gifts they were blessed with. What a gift to have athleticism like that! Are they going pro tomorrow? No. Pro ever? Probably not, but they are using the gifts God gave them to strengthen their bodies and minds and entertain others. They conduct themselves in a way as to witness to others their character. Pretty heavy stuff for a soccer Saturday...
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Friday, March 30, 2012

Tick, tick, tick....

I have sweet children...really sweet. Not just personality wise, but also they taste great to bugs. G must be like the equivalent of mosquito and tick crack, because they go for her first. The boy comes in a very close second. The house we live in is older but has a nice big backyard. Lots of trees and shrubs live in the backyard, along with many critters. These critters follow the same pattern:

That poor child came home from school today with ticks on her head...even playground ticks find her very attractive. Having enough hair for three adults, she took all the picking and pulling and tweezing and alcohol-ing with grace and composure, just letting out a sigh and asking us to "Get on with it please". The boy's hair was freshly shorn, so no comb was needed to check his head. Just rubbing a hand over like a gambling lucky charm was good enough. S is very vulnerable to the power of suggestion, so she was convinced she had a head full. After trekking through her long locks, we determined the ticks had decided to leave her alone.

I hope this won't keep you from visiting. We have a lovely yard and neighorhood. Just bring your bug spray of choice, a comb and tweezers. We'll enjoy a frosty beverage of your choice and go through each other's hair like apes. Good times.

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Thursday, March 29, 2012

I need an ice cream IV...STAT

After sitting with my friends at the soccer field, battling hummingbird-sized mosquitoes, I want to relax. But I can't really. I am addressing wedding invitations for a friend of mine, a responsibility I take very seriously. This is mostly because I don't want to be "that girl who screwed the happiest day of her life up" when she talks about her wedding story to her kids. In addition, I am trying to get chores done ahead of time and preparations made for the girls to be taken care of when the boy has his surgery next week. In the back of my mind, I have the preschool family, the hub's uncle in Hospice care and the boy's surgery occupying a large chunk of space. As sad as it is to admit, all I want at this time is a bowl of ice cream. I gave sweets up for Lent, so that is a major no go. After the sad news of the past few days, I feel awfully rude and ridiculous to be craving a bowl of ice cream. For all you Bloom County lovers, I feel like the Basselope wanting a Pop Tart.

I ask for prayers for my husband's uncle as he enters in to the final stage of his life with the assistance of Hospice care. Cancer is a cruel thing in so many ways. We just pray that he will be comfortable and not suffer.

We are so blessed and I forget that often. I pray I will do a better job at counting my blessing every day.

Enough of my lecture...taking a melatonin and going to saw some logs.
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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Beyond my understanding

Two children lost their mother yesterday. One was just really starting to understand what a Mother's role is...feeding, clothing, loving...the one who hugs you and tells you how pretty you are and kisses your knee when you fall down. The other just entering the world, a mere day old. Too young to know how much a mom means, but old enough to know her voice and smell and warmth having been so intimately connected for months. A medical issue took this mom from from her children in a very unexpected and cruel way. As a mother myself, I cannot begin to wrap my mind around the thought of being a parent of two and suddenly having my spouse taken from me during one of the happiest times of my existence. My heart is shattered for this man as he must now navigate life as a widowed father of two, dealing with his own grief and the confusion of one who is young but aware of change...and the absolute dependence on another so small. The weight of responsibility to care for both and make sure they grow up knowing who their mother was...who his wife was. Again, times like these force me to pray and think harder. I just have to believe God's heart is broken for this family. It is truly the only way I can begin to understand this kind of tragedy.

I ask for people to pray, think about and send positive and healing thoughts to this family. My heart is broken for them....

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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Failure is an excellent teacher

I am not perfect. Never have been and never will be. I can hope that my children will be closer to it than I ever have been. My parents always taught me the importance of failure, though sometimes I really wish they could've picked another more palatable battle. I learned a lot from those lessons, but have realized that more now than when the actual event took place. My children all have friends who have not been allowed to fail. Not been able to taste the bitterness in their mouth, the burn in their chest and the aching in their head...and I worry about them. Be clear, I do not want anyone to fail or be upset or ruin their lives. These kids are going to be lost, I feel, without the coping mechanism that comes from failure. It is a gift so intricate and important. When one finally meets their match, whew. Rough times. Failure and disappointment are a part of life. Hopefully not a main part, but an important part, nonetheless.

I have found that not only in my own experience, but the experience of my children as well, that their true friends stick by them in these heavy, emotional times. I am so grateful that they have sweet friends and their parents who comfort them as well. These people are key in the welfare of my babies, whether they realize or not.

I thank God in my success and in my failures, for they both bring a wealth of richness to my life. Thank you, dear friends, for being there for me and for my children. We feel the love...

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Monday, March 26, 2012

Kids do say the darnedest things

I had to sub today and, as always, hear strange things come out of their little mouths. We never give them the credit they deserve. Anyway, towards the end of the morning, I was the interim teacher until the afternoon teacher was ready to take over. The kids have the option of sitting and looking at books quietly or having one read to them. I decided to read of in a series of books that I love:

One of the pages talks about whether or not it is in good taste to stick beans up one's nose. Well the talk of sticking any object in some orifice opened a wellspring of colorful discussion, ending with one child talking about sticking a marble in the wrong place...but it eventually came out.

After leaving school, the boy and I went home to lunch and then down for a nap....theboy had the nap. He has been sleeping so hard lately that whenhe wakes up, he looks like this for at least an hour:

At least he still naps. If the girls would ever be still, I'd give you a pic of them. But, alas, that is not to be at this time.

Good night all...and don't think about sticking beans up your nose.

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Sunday, March 25, 2012


Big day today and I am ready for bed. Yes, at 643pm. I will be in bed by 8pm. It has been a full and lovely day, but I am exhausted. A little melancholy, too. Today was the boy's last Easter Egg hunt at church. Once you hit the big K, you are too old. This fifth birthday has been a difficult milestone for me. He is now considered "too old" for many things: the Easter egg hunt, Dolly's Imagination Library, the deeply discounted pizza at Pizza know, the important stuff. I must remember that these are the best years of his life and ours and he'll be old in the blink of an eye.

On a completely different note, one of my daughters learned the hard way that you do not open a bottle of water with your teeth. Be looking for a Tooth Fairy update in the near future. At least it was a baby one.

Goodnight to all. If you hear the sounds of large amounts of snoring, it may be coming from our house. We'll be asleep before dark. Sorry for any noise issues...

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Saturday, March 24, 2012

Stressful soccer Saturday

After the monsoons of the early morn, we were surprised to find out the fields would be open this morning. We were all a bit dopey from the lack of sleep....the storms sounded like they were gong to shoot the hail right through the windows. All the games were action packed. The boy found at least 30 ways to fall down during the game, but still managed to score some goals. So funny. S's game ended in a draw, but we were very pleased since they had practiced only twice due to weather. G's team fought valiantly and, ever the midfielder, she scored and continued to amaze me with her speed. That girl can run! There was a new ref for G's game, a bit shady, but we had to deal with them anyway:

S reffed her first game today and handled herself with an amazing amount of calm. She took her job very seriously and didn't have to rely on her mentor ref too terribly often. So proud of all of them. It was a stressful day being the mom, but it was also a proud day.

Now it is bedtime and not a moment too soon!

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Friday, March 23, 2012

Sense of impending doom

Maybe I'm tired, but I have a feeling of impending doom. I dread soccer Saturday, what with a fragile-nosed child and a potential family grudge match. Sunday is going to be so full it will be a "Go to bed at 6pm" kind of night. It is never fun to feel worried about the unknown, nor is it productive or helpful. So I will focus on the positive.

I am so thankful that my oldest child is safe tonight. She was invited to a birthday party and was to be transported by the family out to the party location. Two cars were taken and the other car not carrying her was rear ended. While everyone was shaken up, they were all okay. I am so thankful for God's protection around not only the people in the wrecked car but also the unscathed car carrying my child. My relief is overwhelming, as is my guilt for seeming to think only of my child...but then again she is mine and comes first in the Book of Jenny.

So I will go to be and hope that tomorrow brings less doom and more positivity.

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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Play, play the game, make it stop

I have a new addiction. Curse you computer people and all of your clever apps. You're killing me with the Scrabble and Words With Friends and Scramble and Fruit Ninja Angry Birds. But this newest one gets me where it really hurts. It gets me in my "WannaBe Artist" gut, this...this Draw Something, cursed evil game. I love it and I can't stop playing it and adding new games and trying to improve my renderings for the next round. Some of the clues are easy, like "Pig", and some, like "Skrillex", are impossible to draw. Come on, Skrillex? My favorite was from my friend's son, G's buddy, who was not feeling great about his take on a pretzel, though I thought it was masterfully drawn, so he did this instead:

That was my rendering of his clue...I loved it! Some people assume that others are knowledgeable in special areas like certain sports. This one took me a good 15 minutes to figure out:

Real sorry, I did not know that #36 was Shaq. What was I thinking? I enjoy him, but I've not been much of an NBA fan since Larry left the Celtics. I think those people dropped the game soon after that. Oh well.

So if you haven't heard from me in a while, just know that I am probably madly sketching out some strange clue. But I will have to look up "Skrillex" before I attempt it.
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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

I do have other children

Unlike the touted "Summer of George", I promise this is not the "Spring of the boy". It is his birthday week, even though I am not one who celebrates a whole birthday week...although 40 is coming up. Choke. I do have more pics of the boy this week simply because he is the only one who will semi-pose for anything. Today we decided to let G knock an item off her bucket list, so we ventured out to get our horseback riding on. After finding a somewhat shady "Dude Ranch" that kind of misrepresented itself online, we quickly fled for fear of severe bodily harm on a less than supervised trail ride. We wound up at a deer, fish, zoo and stable place. Here the kids were allowed to start off slow and ride a pony around to get a feel for the whole process. Under supervision, parents/guardians led their children around on the ponies for three laps. I took the girls around and the hub took the boy. The pictures of the girls are on the super duper camera, but I managed to snap one of the boy with my phone:

He and Baby Doll had a good ride, lovely rapport and a sweet goodbye. This satisfied the riding bug for a little while.

All in all this has proven to be a very animal centric break, which is fine with me. A zoo trip, safari trip and pony ride. What more could we ask for on these gorgeous days? Welllll....a big Bomb Pop from the creepy ice cream van rounded it off nicely. Or at least the boy thought so....
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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A new adventure

Today we went on a safari. An East Tennessee safari...and it was magnificent! We had viewed several YouTube videos people had posted with people driving through the property and feeding the animals. Of course there is always a video of a few morons who try to do stupid things to the animals, etc. We were a little worried about driving through and having our car get kicked or "antlered", so we were relieved to see that they offer a wagon ride option for a bit more. Thanks to recent consignment saling, I had some cash waiting for an opportunity like this. The people couldn't have been nicer. We paid for three buckets of feed and got six. We had the nicest driver/guide who instructed us whether the animal we were seeing was a "hand, bucket or throw on the ground" kind of eater. Our family favorite was:

All we had to do was put the feed on his tongue and the bison was a happy guy. What a massive beast! Loved it! The other exciting one to feed came with a warning that they bite so feed them first:

I would have gotten pictures of the ostriches, but they were very sketchy. After I saw one grab the entire bucket of feed out of our wagon mate's hands with its scary beak, I was not about to sacrifice my phone. The emus were nice enough, but those ostriches were intimidating. Too many viewings of the Dirty Jobs episode with the crazy birds.

I'm glad that the children were able to have this experience. I love finding hidden treasures in our area. This is a must see and a do again. I mean, bison tongues. Come on.
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Monday, March 19, 2012

I have a 5 year old...sniff

I love this child so much, it hurts. To think he is five is impossible...absolutely impossible. I thank God every day for this precious creature that has landed in my care. I do not deserve him.

God protect you, son, as you navigate yet another year on this big blue ball of possibilities. I know great things are in your future. I love you more than my life. Love your extremely proud mom....
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Sunday, March 18, 2012

I cannot believe it

Tonight is my sweet baby boy's last night as a four year old. I just am blown away by that fact. Just yesterday he was a sweet little baby who would play possum just so his sisters would leave him alone. Today is he is an energetic, hilarious, thoughtful and all around nice little 4 year old guy. He has added so much to our lives and we are blessed every second he's with us. Tomorrow he will be a whole handful and I really am not ready for it. Time has gone too quickly and it absolutely breaks my heart. I know, however, that this is all in the great design. I can't wait to see what kind of fine man he grows up into...just not so fast.

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Saturday, March 17, 2012

Bad start...great finish

The first soccer games of the season were today. The boy's team had a great showing. He had two goals and was extremely proud of himself. Several of his teammates had goals as well. They were so proud of themselves. Proud and wet. Yes, about 5 minutes before game time, raindrops were fallin' on our heads. This then turned into a nice steady rain. After the game was over, we made our way to the car to get S's cleats and begin her game...and then it happened. They closed the fields. Drama commenced. The girls were heartbroken that they would not be playing and so they got angry. VERY angry.

Saving the day was necessary, so we cleaned up and went to the Soccer Post. The girls purchased their new, fancy backpacks. We then went to pick up their new bikes, which certainly buoyed their spirits. The thought of family biking trips is so exciting!

Upon returning home, S and I went to finishing up a birthday present for her friend, D. His party was this evening and she wanted to make sure his gift was really unique...he has been her good buddy for several years. Being a fellow soccer enthusiast, she wanted to have that as a theme but was unsure of what to get him. When all else fails, cash is universal. Wanting to make it different, we looked at dollar folding sites and were struck with a great idea. After a good two hours of work, this is what she came up with:

These are dollars folded to look like jerseys and decorated with the emblems from English Premier League teams. I must say, he was thrilled and S was beaming! After three hours of soccer, pizza, cake presents, taking care of a heartsick friend and playing with puppies, she came away saying it was one of the best days of her life.

Grace was given a doodle book that she loves and fills in things all the time. I love that it challenges her to think creatively. This is my favorite one, the cut-off caption reads, "What are they saying?". She filled in the conversation bubbles instead of drawing this one. I love it:

I am blessed with exciting starts, hard lessons and beautifully salvaged days. We are so wonderfully blessed!

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Friday, March 16, 2012

Maybe if he had Lava I could do a better job....

Today was a take the car to get the tire fixed-get some coffee-get our A/C fixed-try twice to pick up new bikes-Walkathon-buy a new comforter-pick up the kids-visit the aunt and uncle-try to pick up the new bikes again-go to the store for last minute soccer gear-go to the field in a monsoon and watch practice get cancelled-eat dinner-fold a bunch of money for a present-listen to Pulp Fiction whilst sewing kind of day. After all of that activity, one can get very tired:

Punch buggy blue convertible in the background, by the way. After hearing the horrible tragedy of the little girl who was killed after the swingset collapsed on top of her, days like these are a gift. As much as I want to complain sometimes, I am grateful for another day in paradise with my three beautiful children. I will hug them a little tighter, laugh with them a little louder and love them a little harder. God blessed us with an overflowing bounty of love and forgiveness....and I don't deserve an ounce of it. BUT, this little guy and his two "Kilroy-esque"sisters were graciously given to us to take care of for a while. When we have another day like this, which could be on Tuesday, I will thank God for giving it to us.

The picture cracks me up...

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Thursday, March 15, 2012

I'm not worthy!

I've been reading around a bit in the blogging world and been very humbled by what I have read. Feelings that I should immediately apologize to my favorite English teachers throughout the years are weighing me down, friends. I can only imagine the look of horror on their faces after reading my posts with the "I taught you better than that" vibe oozing from their pores. I'm sorry, Mr. Phillips, that i peaked following my wildly popular descriptive essay on "My Attic" in the eleventh grade. I got too cocky, I guess. Dr. Tucker, I realize that just because I was lucky enough to receive a beautiful leather brief bag exactly like yours, it did not make me write as eloquently about Carson McCullers as you described her. And Ms. Ayers? I will never accurately convey the feelings of heartbreak from reading "The Red Pony" in seventh grade and watching your hard as nails persona choke up during the dramatic climax. I can only hope that with practice, improvement will come. And with the improvement, will come boatloads of CASH. Just kidding. I have yet to find my "I wish I was as good at____as you are" talent that everyone envies. Maybe I never will. The question is, will I be okay with that? I honestly hope so, but I don't know.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Mind Blown!!

So here's a new one. A little background first. We go to church on Wednesdays for dinner and activities. The kids go to choir and tween activities, I go to handbell practice and the hub kind of floats like a gypsy husband. The past few weeks he has gone to a parental discussion group. One of the other parents asked for input on a difficult situation with a person living next to them. They have a neighbor who likes to putter around in the garage and yard naked. Yes, his birthday suit...the buff...the nude..."nekkid". He works in his garage, mows his lawn and gets the paper just out there for the whole neighborhood to see. The police, after being contacted, have said as long as he is not doing something to himself, I don't have to expound on that, or doing "something" to someone else. Um...hmmm. I must say that I do not agree with the policy on this one. If you want to lead a nudist lifestyle, have at it. Don't do it when my kids get off the bus. This ends my public service rant for the day. Thanks.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Warping them a little every day

When I was in middle school, I found that I learned to study best by repetition. Specifically, I made everything into flash cards OR I read the material into a tape recorder and kept it on a constant loop in the background. Scientifically and psychologically the recording was supposed to sink in, even when you weren't engaged in that particular subject. I played it all night long, like a weirdo, but it worked. The moms in my youth were scared of all kinds of satanic "backward masking". We were cautioned in our music choices. My brother and I heard a rumor about playing certain children's records backwards to find hidden messages. Listen, we went without any TV in our house for a good while...we got weird and creative.

So it is always kind of eeriecreepyfunny to me when CD's skip. The girls sometimes listen to Junie B., Bailey School Kids and Magic Tree House books on CD. When kids handle them, sometimes they get scratched and I never know which ones need to be retired. This evening after being downstairs with the hub, I decided to retire for the evening and walked upstairs. The CD had been skipping for a good ten minutes, but they were conked out. I wondered what their brains absorb during that time. I sure hope that a constantly skipping Junie B. Jones will not warp their brains permanently. If that is the worst I do, thank the good Lord.

On a completely different subject, the owner of Barkingham Palace on Tabatha Takes Over has crazy eyes. I'm sufficiently creeped out. Sorry for the random thought.

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Monday, March 12, 2012

Weepy afternoon...

My oldest came home from school talking about the Holocaust and concentration camps and everything that goes along with that horrible time in history. How do you begin to talk about that with a child? The hub a chunk of his family who are Jewish, so that was a good place to start. "Can you imagine anything happening to your cousins? Do they deserve less if they are different?". After explaining to her what the Nazi's did, I decided it was time to talk about some paper clips. If you've never seen the documentary "Paper Clips", you must. It speaks of tolerance and forgiveness and pain and sadness and finally peace. Thank goodness for Netflix Instant Streaming. I put it in the queue and off we went. We don't allow TV during the week unless it is for educational purposes, so we all piled on the couch and got to it. Needless to say, I boo hooed from almost the first note of background music. Darn time change....cough cough. I think it struck a chord with her. Seeing the millions of paper lips and realizing each one represented a Holocaust victim was heavy for her. Not much was said afterwards. Anything would just seem trivial.

After dinner, I had meetings to attend. Anyone who knows me knows two things: I cannot sit still AND I am fairly socially phobic. Even though I knew everyone in both meetings, it still feels weird and uncomfortable for me. So when the subject of bullying was discussed and I asked a question, I realized I had made a bad choice. I figured once I started the question, I might as well go all in. So I did. Then the sadness of everything kicked in and so did the tears. Then the twitching of the mouth so as to not openly sob. I looked like an ugly crying hot mess. Thank goodness these women were sweet sisters and very understanding.

When I walked in the house, I found a husband who had confiscated two iPods as his payment for listening to fighting. Drama all around. Thank God he had it all resolved before I got home. I had no more tears left and even less energy. I was completely humiliated about crying in front of everybody. I just wondered what what was next. As I grabbed the pad of paper off the top of the fridge to write a list, I found this written on it:

Out of the mouths of babes. Randomness is sometimes the most beautiful thing at the most needed time. I'm going to bed....
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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Buy these things...before they take over and kill us all

For the past several weeks, I have been taking a Parenting with Love and Logic class at church. The hub and I took it several years ago and enjoyed it. This time around, I'm taking it for work related inservice can be helpful with students as well. Because of my weirdo brain, I'm a better listener when my hands are busy. I know the other people in class thought I was the rudest person on the planet. It pays to be friends with the teacher, I guess. Being a sewing hack, I take ideas I see in books and try to make them into my own creations. According to the numbers of books I find, sock animals are currently the "thing" in 2012. Who knows? Most of what I make was taught to me by my Granny and requires more work than the socks do. Learning how to make them was an exercise in love and patience for her. I'm not the easiest student. She sewed bunnies and bears and angels(oh my)for years and had quite the customer base. I've had about three faithful customers through the years who I have dealt with on a regular basis to supply their baby shower gift fix and the like. With the exception of the Dogwood Arts Festival in the park one year, I have not had great luck with setting up "booths" to sell my wares. Consignment sales and the like have also proved fruitless. Luckily, the parking lots outside of the venues I am using prove to be the most lucrative. I know I will never get rich off of these things, but I need to at least cover my costs. Is this a sad ploy for business? Am I really turning into a sad puppet, begging for bunny money outside craft sales with my 31 bag and my sad face? No. I need to get rid of these things because they are starting to creep me out.

I find little piles of them all over the house. They are becoming the newest Tribbles in my life. Cute enough? Yes. Squishy enough? Yes. But their cute little blank faces leave me no clue as to their plans.

I'm going to bed. Clearly the time change has implications that reach even farther than I realized. Creepy.
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Saturday, March 10, 2012

What a beautiful day

Two of my poor children drew the short straw today: they had to spend the day with me. Personally I think I'd be a pretty amusing prize and a sheer joy to spend the day with, but they don't completely concur with my sentiments. It is to be expected, I understand that. I get to be the homework nazi, the room cleaning drill sergeant and "Keep your hands to yourself" thug....and, yes, I have taken Parenting with Love and Logic. S and the hub went to soccer referee training this morning. Well, it was supposed to be for the morning. Apparently the girl showed such reffing promise that the instructor asked her to stay and take the second she can be an Assistant Referee in her own age group and up. Now we have two referees in the house.

I felt bad that the two youngers had to stay with me, so what better way to make up for it? Take them to the bike shop. To find them new bikes. Epic-ish fail. I always forget to take their ages into account. What some might consider being ungrateful, I have to remember is more of an instant gratification situation. Deposits put down in order to secure that the bikes are ours once the UPS truck brings them to the shop, don't mean a lot to them. So I took the pedals and training wheels off the boy's bike and packed his and G's too small bike into the car. We then spent two hours at the soccer fields riding around the walks. Teaching the boy how to balance without wheels is an exercise in patience and foot/ankle protection. He'll get it.

B took the kids to Bruster's in their pj's to get free ice cream cones and to give mom a 20 minute mental health break. Whilst the brood was gone, I watched one of my favorite thrillers, Poltergeist. Still holds up even with CGI and buckets o' blood. It has one of my absolute favorite scenes in all of cinema. JoBeth Williams is having the rope tied around her waist by Craig T. Nelson in preparation to go retrieve her daughter from the "light". In a brief moment, the always beautiful music from John Williams swells in the background. The silhouettes of the couple are shown, expressing their love for what might be the last time.

Not the exact shot I wanted, but still....gets me every time. I love, love, love it. The funny thing is, when I googled the two actors names in hope to find this picture, what came up was completely different. I got a good laugh for the day.

If you haven't seen Stir Crazy, you should. One of the best scenes in the whole movie. Have a good one...
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Friday, March 9, 2012

Wee post

I am so tired. And if I were a teenager or college student, I would think I have mono. UT, alas, I am not. I'm sitting here watching The IT Crowd, desperately trying to get warm after stupidly wearing my Chacos to the soccer field in non-Chaco weather. I am currently in defrost mode.

Bedtime for me as soon as this episode is over. Not very exciting for a wanna be writer. Oh well.

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Thursday, March 8, 2012

My rant for the day

Listen, I am as pathetically connected and tied to Facebook as the next gal, but I am a grown $@& woman who has lived life, worked in the projects, dodged bullets and paid bills. I went to college, made a commitment and got married and have carried and birthed three children. If I want to have a FB account, I am old enough to deal with the consequences that my words and the words of others might bring. Even as an adult, some people's words still strike a painful blow and I must take a step back to achieve some perspective. But tell me someone let their elementary school aged child have a FB account? Of course there are exceptions to every rule: divorce, parent in military overseas, etc. But for the run of the mill 7-10 year old....uh, dur. Now, again, this is my rant. My opinion and no one else's. My oldest daughter wants, kind of, to have a FB account. Her desire is more from the fact that she has friends with accounts. Friends who have requested me to be their friend and one that I flat out refuse. With cyber bullying becoming more and more of an issue, why would anyone want to let their child dive into a pool full of sharks before they are ready to deal with the consequences? There are already whispers at school of mean things being said about on FB about other girls and boys at school. Am I curious if my child is the subject of conversations? Darn skippy, but I can't find out. I don't want to know. I will get medieval.

I know that I can't protect her forever. She goes to middle school next year. But I can make darn sure that she doesn't have an account until the required age on the website. If I allow her to lie about something as simple as a social networking account, where is the line drawn in our relationship? The parent/child line has been crossed into a gray area. Am I saying I have never lied? No. Not at all. BUT, it is my job as a parent is to set an example, to lead her in the right direction with the right morals. She even comments when I have shown her the accounts of friends, "They LIED! If they were really that age, they would be 18 or 21 or 16!". "Yep," I say. If her friends ask or make fun, I am happy to take the blame. It is a mantle I will wear with pride.

I will end my time on the soapbox with this: they grow up so fast. Do we really want to rush it? I sure don't.

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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Ode to a sainted ENT

After the nose smashing Sunday, we were sent to see an ENT who would give us the final word on S's schnoz. The boy came with us, partially because we had no babysitter and partially because we wanted him to become comfortable with the doc(who he'd be seeing on the 26th). We were surprised to hear that her nose was fractured. The ER doc had seen nothing, so we were not expecting this news. The good news is that there is not a surgery in her future. If we can keep a soccer ball off of her face, we'll be good. The nose is weakened and will not weather a blow to the face too well. Sooooo....a catchers's mask may be in her future if she gets put in goal.

I guess it pays to have a selectively big mouth sometimes, because I said to the doc, "Guess we'll see you in a few weeks with the boy and his adenoids.". The doctor, who is now my new hero, felt it was ridiculous for us to make the trip back over. So, he had us fill out some quick paperwork and he checked the boy up and down. Adenoids are coming out and earwax is getting cleaned out....all in April. If wouldn't have been grossly inappropriate, I would have hugged that man's neck. What a kind and gracious gesture on his part to save us a trip!

Pray for all of us as we work up to the day of the surgery. I know this is a routine 30 minute procedure that he does every Tuesday and Thursday, but it the first time I have ever had a child be put under for anything. I feel completely at peace about this being done. He cannot go on with multiple rounds of antibiotics that do nothing. We just have to pray this does the trick!

On a completely unrelated note, we saw Puss in Boots last night. So darn cute. I was antsy, so I messed with my paint app and did this:

I know. Be jealous of my mad drawing skills. Have a good one...

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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Election day off....

The girls had a day off today, seeing as it was primary day in Tennessee.  I hate politics, hate it, but I feel that I have no right to complain about the state of the union if I do not get out and press that button.  So press the button I did.  Enough about that....again, I hate politics but I will do my civic duty. 

I am lacking for much to say this evening.  It was funny today.  Since preschool was open, the girls had a rare chance to help take brother to school.  They wanted to visit all of their former teachers so, like a big geek, I kept calling it S&G's Preschool Alumni visit.  I get a bit misty when I think that I am in the last few months of having a child in the preschool program.  For the last almost 11 years, I have had a child there.  Sigh.  okay, I can't think about it anymore. 

Lastly for this lovely evening, I found this video last night that I must share with people.  I put it on Twitter and was shocked to receive only crickets chirping in response.
This is a whole lot of awesome.  That is all I can say.  Have a great evening.  Feel free to comment....

Monday, March 5, 2012

Sad memories...

Today, our community lost a young man before his time. An 18 year old, with his whole life ahead of him, lost his battle with leukemia. I am saddened for several reasons. I mourn for his family, friends and classmates who have lost a piece of their hearts. I am sad that leukemia still is in existence. It is the illness that took my grandfather's life and the life of a dear friend. Selfishly, I am sad because it makes me think of losing one of my best friends way too young when we were roughly the same age...and I've never completely gotten over it. And I hope I never will.

He was young and strong and smart mouthed and handsome. He and I had been friends and bitter dueling saxophone rivals since the sixth grade. He called me "Bobo" after we learned it meant "stupid fool" in Spanish class. He was the only one on earth I would have allowed to call me that. Walking around in Addidas indoor soccer shoes and a jean jacket with a "Billy Bob" pin from Showbiz Pizza, he was the coolest guy in class. Girls swooned and guys wished they were him. One night he, and four other people, went driving around town. Youth brings with it a fair amount of folly and of feelings of invincibility. Our town had a road, with a hill, that was known to all the young drivers as a place to drive fast, catch air and get a thrill. There had been wrecks there before, but nothing terribly noteworthy. This particular night, the five of them did what so many had done before: hit the proper speed, hit the bump and caught air. But this time went terribly and tragically wrong. The loss of control was too much to regain and they wrapped that car around a tree. Two were injured, one critically and one seriously. One had a good knock to his head and couldn't remember who he was. And two, one a school official's daughter and one being my dear friend, were fatally injured. For months, we all walked around in a fog. The devastation was almost unbearable...I cannot even imagine what his parents and brother must have felt. I questioned God as to why this happened. I argued and wrestled and doubted and raged and mourned.

But with each day, the sun came up and I was shown the beauty in life. I was shown the blessing of having known him as long as I had. I caught whispers of him in songs and expressions uttered by friends. My pain never went away and still hasn't. It has turned, instead, into a painful and beautiful scar on my heart. I often think of Steel Magnolias, as I modify the words a bit, "He will always be young...he will always be beautiful. And personally I feel much safer knowing he's up there on my side.". I pray that Josh's family feels comfort, love and peace knowing he's up there on their side. I don't pray for closure. I feel that is an overused expression used with little thought behind it. I never want closure for my friend's death. That, to me, would mean I have closed the book on his story. I refuse to do that. My children will know his story and understand its impact on my life. A memory, both bitter and sweet, that has changed me to my very core. I hope Josh's friends will share his story with their friends and family and children and they gain the distance and perspective that time provides.

God bless his friends and family...and the friends and family of my friend, 23 years later.

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Sunday, March 4, 2012

Never dull, never dull...

The hub has a bum back. That sounds like the start of a nursery rhyme...a sad, twisted nursery rhyme. When the poor man tries to get out of the bed and I hear a sharp intake a air and a "Ah ha ha ah ah hahaahahaha....," well, it is going to be a rough day. So, with the three, I went to church with a less than positive attitude. What better place to go, right? After church came a trip to the grocery, which is also an exercise in insanity. But, with a lack of basic staples at the ranch, the trip was a must. Lunch came and went, essays were finished and printed, naps were taken and enjoyed. Then the dreaded screams and multiple cries rang throughout the downstairs. "My nose my nose!! I can't breathe, it hurts so bad!!!". S was grabbing her face, F was clutching the back of his head. G just shook her head. "Guess we have to go to Children's now," she said in a very matter of fact tone. After I checked the boy's head, I went to assist the hub in assessing the nasal damage. After polling FB friends and reading various accounts online, we determined a trip to Children's was on the horizon. Gimpy got up to try and change his clothes while I desperately searched for someone to watch the other two so we wouldn't have to walk them into a life sized petri dish. Aunt Deb saved the day and came over to calm the storm and keep the monkeys.

We arrived to find a packed house, lots of crying and coughing that would rival any TB ward. Luckily, we were sent to the injury waiting room as we had hoped. Thankfully, we were fast tracked through the process. We had vitals, Motrin, X-rays, another trip to the waiting room, exam room, doc visit, paperwork with a secretary and discharge info and our X-ray cd all in about 2 hours. Yeah, I know, a miracle! We will be seeing an ENT later on in the week to assess the damage, but there appeared to be no clear break. Just "damage".

Needless to say, we are tired but grateful to not still be sitting in the waiting room, catching every imaginable illness. This a lesson for the kids to always protect the face in a wrestling match...with anybody.

After all this excitement, I am going to bed. We'll see what the face looks like in the morning.

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Saturday, March 3, 2012

Tired and ready for bed

It has been a busy and exhausting week. Today was no different. It wasn't bad, by any means, just exhausting. I needed to turn our house back into a dwelling rather than a future site for an A&E documentary. Lucky for me, we had a birthday party to attend later on in the afternoon, so I used that as motivation for the children to clean up. I wrapped presents and did laundry and broke up a few fights. I helped be a reader and commentor for S's essay. I am out of editing practice, but since it is her paper, I don't have to worry about it.

The kids are in bed and I am ready myself. This giving up something for Lent is testing me this evening. Saturdays are usually our ice cream night....and I could really use some. Just a bit with huge chunks of peanut butter in it. I'm a simple girl. Oh well...these Lenten sacrifices teach us things. Even if they seem like the dumbest of choices. Time to go chug a lug a little milk and go to bed. I know...I'm crazy like that.

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Friday, March 2, 2012

Stormy weather....

Today has been an up and down and up and down....and up....and down in the basement kind of day. Tornados and hail and terrible storms have blown through since about noon and just ending. The girls had to go into turtle drill mode at school. I know that it was the safest place for them to be, but as a mother, it kills me not to have them with me. G is so terribly storm phobic, so I always worry about her state of mind when she's away from us. God bless her teacher who was so caring during her time of fear.

Once the girls got home, they got homework done just in time to make the trip down to the basement. Our neighbors soon followed as they do not have any interior areas to keep safe during storms of this intensity. The kids played Scrabble and the adults watched the news team call the storm. The question was brought up as to whether meteorologists think of these times as their super bowl...their "show". I am sure they must be exhausted. After the warning was lifted, we all went our separate ways and I ventured with my cousin to the private 50% off sale at the Picky Chick. There was a sense of desperation in our shopping, especially since we were timing storms...again. The hub kept us supplied with updates, so we skedaddled when the warning was activated again. I got home to a panicked G, while the other two were relatively calm. The neighbors came again, this time with their sweet dog, and another Scrabble game commenced. G fretted the whole time until we finally found her like this:

She had taken all she could and finally succumbed to exhaustion brought on by sheer terror. Once the warning was lifted, the neighbors returned to their home and everybody went to bed. I pray that my parents will be spared from too much craziness as the storm is barreling towards them.

On a completely unrelated note, my heart goes out to an childhood friend who lost her sweet mother. She was always so kind to me and my heart is heavy for her husband and three children. Prayers for their sweet family.

Hopefully tomorrow will be much more calm on all fronts. I'm sure it will be appreciated by all....

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Thursday, March 1, 2012

It's that time again...

What a beautiful day we were given today! The kids walked in the door, bypassed snack, changed their clothes and went straight out to play. We are so blessed to have a pretty cool backyard that holds more value than any DS or television program. While I have mourned the lack of cold and snow, I must admit that the long afternoons outside have been lovely. The great smell of my sweaty little guy, covered in mud and stained with grass and leftover monkey grass berries, makes me long for summer. The taste of Spring was in the air...and it was pretty sweet.

Soccer practices started for the kids tonight. As I have said before, a trip to the soccer fields is like visiting your church/neighborhood/school/grocery store all in one concentrated little place. Don't dress in anything you don't want discussed by someone, which is why I immediately regretted my "practice clothes" when I found a hole in the side of my sweat pants upon returning home. Take very seriously the call of "HEADS" when said in an enthusiastic way. Know that you can cause someone with their arms full of camp chairs serious harm if you leave your half empty bottle of Powerade on the I've heard. My kids seem their happiest on the field. They thrive in a teamwork environment, loving the quality time they get to spend with their friends. The confidence they gain is so important to me as a parent. I don't expect them to be playing for Man U someday, but I expect them to understand teamwork, do their best and learn to be gracious in both victory and defeat. This is why I have them play soccer. This is why the sting of our lack of snow is softened when I see the look of sheer joy as the run up and down that field. That and it wears...them...out. That is a beautiful thing....

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