Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Oh forgive me when I whine...

I get annoyed by little things, which then I allow to turn into big things and then I watch as they snowball into monumental things...all because I chose to get annoyed by something little. The important word is "chose". My life is pretty darn good. I have a husband who is a good provider, a nice home, food on the table and reasonably healthy and super cool kids. Yes they fight too much and yes we aren't perfect people. No argument there. It is very easy to fall into a woe is me, things are overwhelming and I can't do it anymore kind of attitude. Too easy. Today, I found out news that a good friend of mine already in the midst of overwhelming worry has found out more upsetting news about the precious baby in her tummy. Already faced with a condition that will require surgery on the baby at birth, it is now compounded with the big possibility of other abnormalities that could cause severe disabilities at best or death. The wait is on now to see what the specialist says about the newest issue. Is the abnormality there or was the view skewed due to the other issues going on? Whatever the case, the situation is very grim. I believe in miracles. I believe in healing. I believe that God has a plan in every situation, even when I don't understand His rationale. I don't go around quoting random scripture to people. I don't stand on a corner on a Saturday, screaming into my Bible and telling others they are going to hell. But I have to believe He knows what He's doing, even in the worst of times. This is one of those times. We will all learn something from this experience. I am already learning so much about how to be faithful from my friend. The grace she is showing is such an example to me. My heart breaks for her, just as it did for my dear friend who lost her baby almost 10 years ago. The faith and strength she showed in the midst of such agony still speaks volumes to me today.

My desperate plea is that you as readers who know people who know people just please pray for this family. I can't tell anyone what to pray for at all. That isn't my place. I just ask for all hope, love, peace, strength and light be sent to this mom and this little precious life she is so carefully carrying. And in the words of the old but goody, "We'll understand it better by and by.".

Thus ends my sermonette for the evening. Now to check on my accident prone kid who hurt her hand this evening. It's always something....:)

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Monday, July 30, 2012

Boy does God have a sense of humor!

Tonight I took G back to school clothes shopping. I chose to do it seperately for the safety of my child and the sanity of all who know me. I was born XX-s, a girl minus the shopping gene. If it is for a book, movie or music...let me at it. Otherwise, let me do it an get it over with. This week will go eerily like last week, but I know it will not go as smoothly. We found some clothes, but G is a tomboy like her mother and is very particular in her tastes. It also makes it difficult to find clothes when the music they play in the store is so funky and you turn around to find your 8 year old doing the sprinkler dance move in the aisle. Or the running man in front of the dressing rooms. Or her version of the Dougie as we are matching shirts with the colors in her skirt. At first it was funny, hysterical even. Then it got to the point where I was threatening to leave her at the store. The sad revelation I had was that I do the same thing to my mother now. Well maybe not the sprinkler, but I sing every song...and not always in my inside voice. Oh how we reap what we sow.

We survived it and are even sill speaking afterwards. As much torture as it is, it is still one on one time. And for me and my sweet daughter, that together time is worth it. Even if I had to give in and do the sprinkler with her...which I did.
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Sunday, July 29, 2012

A little Sunday indulgence

I love old movies. I love black and white movies the best. The amazing amount of creativity used to show colorful things in colorless medium just blows my mind. The chocolate syrup used for blood going down the drain in "Psycho" always comes to mind. The elaborate sets, the dizzying camera angles...sheer perfection.

My brother called today and said that "The Third Man" was playing at the glorious historic Tennessee Theatre today and asked if I wanted to go. Everybody was invited, but he figured I was the only one who would really be interested. And he was right. So it was with a fair amount of guilt that I left the hub and the kids and went to see:

First of all, there is no more beautiful venue to see a movie or concert than the Tennessee Theatre. If you don't live here, google the place and look at it. As with most movies, Dr. Bill Snyder played several movie theme songs on the mighty Wurlitzer and ending with The Tennessee Waltz. Then came the movie...Joseph Cotton and Orson Welles in cinematic perfection. Even though Welles is in the movie a short period of time, he steals every scene. Just wonderful.

Cotton, as Holly Martins, is wonderful and quick as he searches to find who killed his friend. The supporting cast compliment each other so well. I have always been a fan of odd camera angles that add interest where words and music have no place. My favorite shot, and my brother's as well, is exactly what I love about this era of movie. No one today can come close.

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Saturday, July 28, 2012

"Countin' Crayons on the floor...that don't bother m-"...wait, yes it does

Okay friends, Romans, Statler Brothers...I cracked a little this morning. My children have many wonderful attributes, countless. Room cleaning is not one of those. I feel that this a failure on my part. My mother and aunt keep houses that could double as operating theatres, where gall bladders and tonsils are extracted with little or no sanitizing. I understand that my skills fall short...I'm not a slob, but following in the exact footsteps of my relatives seems unreachable. With the impending doom of school's start snapping at our heels, the weight of the oppressively messy room has become more than a mom can take. So I called in the big guns...my mother. Situations like these are her mini Super Bowls. She thrives on cleaning up the chaos and getting it back to kid feng shui. She did have some requirements, which needed to be taken care of before her arrival. They were as follows: (1)get as much out for consignment as I can (2)have the girls put items in a box they cannot part with (5)Do as much tossing as you can (4)she works better alone...extras slow her down, my words not hers. Today I was able to get some obviously outgrown cold weather clothes down to the rack where they will be readied for Mrs. Picky Chick and her sale. I gave the girls their orders and went to check on the boys and their outside project. The boy stepped on a nail, so we had to deal with that drama and I lost a few minutes of supervising the cleaners. G came down with a half filled kitchen garbage bag and said they were done. My mouth fell open with shock as she delivered the bag and walked away to watch her sister get her energy out with the Kinect. I walked upstairs to find the room virtually unchanged and went a little crazy...but the scary kind of silent crazy. Ignorance is bliss children and by the time one of them came up to find me, I had already filled up one and a half garbage bags full of crap. Broken barrettes and cut up paper and broken crayons...oh the crayons. Two pieces of furniture emptied, at least two more to go. They made the mistake of checking on me, so I put them to work. Curiosity killed the cats in this situation, so to speak. So sad for them. We did make quite a dent, but not without great whining and gnashing of teeth.

In the midst of the crap, I did find three jewels I must share. First was a year and a half old drawing from my now eight year old. I thought she did a great job:

Hulk smash! Hulk keep bedroom clean!

The next was from my oldest who was dared(strange dare)by her little sister to draw "the most random thing ever." This is what came to mind:

I don't really know how old this is or what to think of it. Just drink it in, friends.

The last was a set of bedroom rules that rocked me to my very core. Be warned. If you come to visit, they mean business:

Better pick some Beano before dropping by their pad. Food for thought.
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Friday, July 27, 2012

My children have lost their minds

We are sitting here in the family room currently watching the Parade of Nations at the Olympic Opening Ceremonies. My children have had a relatively lazy day. They slept in a bit, had a bagel breakfast, ate a rare workweek lunch with their dad

and watched a movie while they digested their food. An afternoon of sloth, but they had a busy day yesterday and kind of needed it.

Now, after a snack supper of popcorn and Danny Boyle's interpretation of England, they are exhausted and laughing hysterically from being up way past their bedtime and hearing country names that they can't pronounce. No, they are not racists or xenophobes, they are sleepy kids.

On another note, my dread at the nearing of the start of school got a little stronger today. The boy's new backpack came from LL Bean, via UPS, and we decided to label his supplies. This idea then turned in to the labeling of all supplies and then the scrutinizing over what supplies to label and not label for our upcoming 6th grader. After repeatedly tasting bile in my mouth and wanting to curl up into the fetal position, the task was finally done:

Well, it is done until we get the blasted supplemental lists from their individual teachers. Then I will have to sell a kidney to complete the purchases.

The kids are snug in their beds, the hub is laying on the floor sawing logs and I sit here repeatedly reminding myself that G lost a tooth and the Fairy and I need to have a meeting before my bedtime.

The Hungarians just came by and I learned that they are masters in water polo. That's enough for me. I'll watch the recording in the morning....
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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Nevr Dull isn't just a metal polish

I'll do a list tonight. I'm tired and it will keep me more focused.

1. Seeing a movie with drinks and popcorn for four and paying $8: Excellent.

2. Having your scrapping siblings asked to leave the pool for five minutes due to fighting with each other: Embarrassing....for all of us.

3. Mowing the lawn starting at 3:45 in the afternoon without a hat and being a redhead: Exhausting and idiotic. Dur.

4. Thanking the lifeguard for kicking the kids out of the pool for fighting: Empowering.

5. Taking my five year old little guy out to buy his Kindergarten supplies: Heartbreaking.

6. Hearing my oldest tell me she scored a goal on an eighth grader: Heart swelling.

7. Picking a mess of peppers, two cukes and my son's personal crack, baby tomatoes: Gardening pride:

8. Hearing my brother and the boy talk superheroes: Hysterical. Avengers Assemble!

9. Conan's clip of Jack McBrayer's visit to The Weiner's Circle: Still perfection.

10. My brother's drawings on Draw Something: Entertaining.

Now I am going to get some dinner...yes, at 10pm. Expect a post about messed up dreams tomorrow.
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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Paperback reader...

Day two of buying school supplies was much easier. G's list was a quarter of the size, thank goodness. I didn't have a feeling of doom and feel the need to crawl into a bottle of nerve medication tonight. This is always a good thing. Tomorrow will be the boy's night. It makes me throw up a little to think he is ready for big school....stop making me talk about it!

The boy is tuning into a role player/actor type. Always requesting for me to take a movie of him doing karate moves or being an Avenger, he really cracked me up today. "Mom, take a picture of me reading this book. I need to have a smart look for Kindergarten.". So, here you go...and excuse our bland room.

He has "The Mysterious Benedict Society.". I have no doubt he'll be reading and finishing it soon. I'm going to go weep now....
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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

School sticker shock

Well it's that time again, folks, where parents and kids journey to the superstores of the land and forage for wild prices on notebook paper and glue sticks. I made the decision that this year I am taking each child on their own trip to pick out their loot. This decision was not made lightly as that meant three different shopping trips...three more than is truly palatable for me. This here tomboy was born lacking the shopping gene, I'm sometimes sorry to say. Middle school shopping seemed to scream "Separate Trip!", so S and I went to the bullseye store to start buying. After an hour and a half, a cart FULL of supplies and the sinking feeling that my child is going to need Chiropractic care after hauling this stuff on her back, we went to check out. Trying to joke so I wouldn't cry at the thought of having a 6th grader, I told the frat daddy checking my items out, "If I were to keel over due to shock over my shopping total, just kick me in a corner and go on about your day.". I thought maybe he would say, "I'll kick you in the corner with the others" or "Just as long as you're not an OSHA hazard.". He really had no sense of humor, just an "I really hope you don't do that.". I then said, "I won't do that, but I will be weeping openly.". Nothing. Not a smile, smirk. Nothing. Just a "I really hope you don't do that.". Come on, Target team member, lighten up. We got out of there under a Benjamin, so I was happy.

At first I felt selfish for taking them on separate trips since I couldn't handle and organize all the different supplies. But I am glad I made the choice I did. We had good conversations about the start of school and hopes and fears for the new school year. We talked about the summer and friends and soccer. It was quality conversation. I realize that as the years go on these conversations will dwindle in number and length, so I will soak up this time and savor it like a fine piece of bacon, as the kids say. Love, life, binders and number two pencils.....doesn't get any better than that.

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Monday, July 23, 2012

Happy Birthday, bah humbug!

My poor husband. His birthday is today and what a day he's had. He's sick...had to go to work sick...too much work happened and he couldn't leave early like he hoped...got home to a wife who had a feverish child:

Sorry for the out of focus picture. He realized she was sick enough she needed to be seen and it is torture to take three to the doctor by myself...he wolfed down his birthday lasagna, made her take her toboggan off and dashed off to the walk in clinic. I cleaned up dinner, got water bottles iced down, the Frog Toggs wet and took S and the boy to soccer practice. Birthday boy decided to forego sitting out in the sun for two hours. I think he made the right choice.

The kids crafted and worked all day to make home some special things:

He may be sick and he may be tired, but he is still devoted to his job as a dad. I am proud of my birthday boy and hope he can salvage the rest of his day.
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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Is it that hard?

Okay friends, neighbors and parents riddle me this: why is it so hard for a child to put something away the first time? My children go to such lengths to NOT put things away...it amazes me. With a sick husband and daughter, I relied on the others to step it up and help me take up their slack. After "Dress the Coaches" Day at camp, we had two hats that needed to be put away. After numerous requests for said hats to be returned to their proper home, the threat of "I'll just throw them away" was leveled. This got their attention. Welllll, I thought it did. Let's take a trip through the downstairs level of our house and see the journey of the hats.

It traveled from breakfast room to TV room to play room(where it belonged) to kitchen counter. Amazing. Their determination is amazing and frustrating.

Oh well. They are in bed and it is ice cream night. The hats will find a new home and their owners will wonder where they've gone. Hee hee heeeeee.
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Saturday, July 21, 2012

Safari Day!!!

We went to the Briarwood Ranch for G's belated safari requested birthday. During Spring Break, we discovered how fun a Tennessee Safari could be. G wanted to have her birthday there as soon as we were pulling out of the parking lot this Spring. Getting there when it opened today was an excellent call considering the heat and the crowd. Fred Two Feathers was our driver and guide. This is who he introduced us to first:

He was an elk named Dakota. His horns were felt like velvet...and when he stuck his head into trailer, the children in the other party freaked out. I was laughing on the inside. That is wrong, I know. These feisty little friends also came to visit:

We avoided getting nipped and got to pet their striped backs. So beautiful. Next we drove up to the top of the hill and found Bill:

Just drop handfuls of feed on his tongue and he'll be your best friend. So cool!

After the safari and birthday lunch, we went home tired and dehydrated but excited about our adventure. We watched Batman Begins and the boy took his new job as an "uncle" seriously:

We have a new Bitty Baby in the house and he takes the feelings very seriously. Safaris and new babies....excitement never ends at our house.
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Friday, July 20, 2012


The camp is over. I am exhausted. The kids are exhausted. They had a great week and were sad to see it end, but are excited about going on safari tomorrow. G's birthday wish was postponed last week, so she gets to go tomorrow.

Final pictures of the weeks and I will wrap up discussion on this subject until next June.

The boy and Coach Andy, one of the most patient people ever.

Sarah and Coach Steve, such a kind and affirming young man. She loved him!

G and Coach Andy. She had his instruction in the evening...and developed a bit of a crush. Can't blame her. Those accents are awfully fun to hear.

I will be glad to get back to a more normal schedule, but I will always have a special place in my heart for the sweet English students who come to visit and teach the kids. Wonderful experience!
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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Boy it is hot

Soccer camp, day 4, and the hottest one yet. Those kids were crazy but happy. Today was dress up your coach day. They took it like champs:

He endured make up, nail polish and a cheesehead(courtesy of us). He coached games in it all morning.they all got off a lot easier in the evening:

Coach Andy wore the cheesehead this afternoon. Coach Steve(on the left)wore the face mask all evening. Hardcore, friends. Hardcore. Meanwhile, my friend Emily and I played a game in the shade:

Tomorrow is Coach Appreciation Day and Flag Day. The kids have to make a flag of the country they represent in the Mini World Cup. Because all the guys are from England this year, and S was team England, we made English flag pillows that the kids will sign for their coaches.

I know. We have no life. They wanted the kids to give them a momentous to remember them by...I think that is pretty good.

I'm going to bed now. This has been a physically and emotionally exhausting week. I need a good and bizarre Pizza Inn experience to change the mood. Fingers crossed....
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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Crazy night

Today was Wacky Wednesday at soccer camp. The kids had to come looking crazy and fun. Mine were having trouble coming up with ideas. Thankfully our friend Emily came to the rescue. Major mommy fail on my part, the kids had never done this before....and I hadn't either. Luckily Emily has a nice stockpile of paint and is not afraid to use it(with parent's permission of course). The boy went first:

S went next and posed an interesting challenge:

G's was my personal favorite. She has already decided to wear her hair this way when she grows up:

Did the fancy hair make them better soccer players? Not sure, but they certainly felt more confident and looked awfully snazzy!

Cosby report: no change. Having accidents in house and walking around as though drunk and disoriented. Having a talk with the vet on Friday. God help us.
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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Here we go again...

I have not much in the way of energy at this point. Lots of running and footballing and feeding and consoling and worrying and soccering and laundering and soccering. The dog has lost the majority of the use of her back legs over night it seems. Trying to carry her out to use the bathroom while the hound from hell next door is going ape----(excuse my dashes)...it is just maddening. I will admit to throwing a few hickory nuts at her to make her shut up. My aim wasn't great holding onto Cosby, but she understood I was in a nuclear kind of mood and backed off. Pray for us in the coming days and weeks. I know everybody is getting sick of me talking about it, but she is our first child. We don't want suffering , but we don't want to jump the gun.

My friend Emily was kind enough to help keep me and the children distracted this evening at soccer camp. She brought a game for us to play: The Settlers of Catan. I thank her for the distraction. Now, like an idiot, I am watching NY Med. Love these medical documentary shows, but I bawl through every episode...especially tonight. Tomorrow's another day and the sun will come up tomorrow. Thanks for your understanding and patience. We'll know when her time comes...

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Monday, July 16, 2012

Musings on America

Before people get their pitchforks out to slay me, please understand I am not hatin' on the US of A. I am sitting and watching a soccer practice that got me to thinking. My children are all participating in, as I discussed in previous posts, the Challenger Soocer Camp, aka British Soccer Camp. Young men and women(18-24ish) come to the states to teach he sheltered Americans how to play proper football by honing different skills and showing them about the rabid world of International Football. It was an absolutely fabulous experience for them last year and I expect nothing less this year. As I sit here watching this, enjoyable as it may be, it got me to thinking: what can we as Americans do so much better than the majority of the world that we would send young people on international teaching trips? I mean, truly. We are pretty strong in basketball and American football. Often Americans are sent over to be ESL instructors in countries yearning for the language of the west. It is an interesting question to ponder. We have our faith, which we tend to undervalue, underutilize and over question the power it holds. Maybe that is our British football...

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Sunday, July 15, 2012

Lazy Sunday...kind of

After getting maybe three hours of sleep last night and then working this morning, I was ready for a lazyish Sunday. I really do not ever learn. After hyping the boy up on Xopenex, we left out from the ranch in search of properly sized soccer gear. These kids are growing so fast, we can't keep up. We headed to our favorite store, The Soccer Post, to get all geared up. The boy had grown the most, so he was upgrading his cleats, shin guards and ball. S was due for new shin yards and a new ball. G, sadly for her gladly for us, did not need a thing. She had upgraded mid season in the Spring. She enjoyed the freedom to practice goal kicks in the store...yes the have a goal. Why all the soccer frenzy with some summer break still on the calendar? The kids start their Challenger Sports soccer camp tomorrow. This is when the young and beautiful girls and guys from the UK come to teach the kids skills to help improve their soccer game. All three did it last summer and absolutely loved it. It was such a wonderful experience. The kids loved running around, playing with people who had funny accents. The parents loved watching the kids improve their skills, learn about the international impact of the sport they love....and I'll be honest, I loved hearing the accents. Especially the heavy Welsh accents.

Tomorrow begins an exhausting week, but it will be fun. In the meantime, I am going to relax and watch Alton Brown cry on Food Network Star. I love watching him and have choked up at every preview for this blasted show. I need to watch this and know who made him sad...because I have no life.

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Saturday, July 14, 2012

The secret lives of grocery shoppers

Have you ever looked into the grocery cart of the person in front of you in line? I sure have and I have had lots of questions. Some people I even thought about stalking, just a little bit, to see what on earth is going on in their life. About a year ago I got behind two men in line at Kroger. They had two carts, one full of milk and one full of self-rising flour. Were they going to a huge fish fry? Can you even fry fish with just those two things? The hub went to the store not long ago to find a lady with a cart full of frozen corn. I mean, the possibilities are endless. Last week I went to my beloved Kroger to pick up some bacon and bananas(BLT's and fruit portion of dinner). A very impatient man kept interrupting my cashier to say he needed help at Customer Service. "Sir, I will be with you in a minute. Thank you for your patience.". He stormed off, heading back to CS to await her return. "He will not leave me alone, ma'am, and I am sorry. He's is going to take forever to deal with.". She gestured to his cart which was, again, full to the brim...with energy drinks of every shape and size. Does it not make your head spin to wonder what he would do with all of those Monster drinks? I've never understood the appeal: a tall boy can of something that tastes like liquified Centrum Silver(took one of my Dad's once) with a half cup of sugar added. Yuck. Clearly, at this time of the year, no one's going to blink twice at a cart full of watermelons...or a cart full of poinsettias at Christmas. Season appropriate purchase. These strange carts full of odd things or odd combinations, well, I start humming "One of these things is not like the other...". Thanks, Sesame Street.

Someone reading this might question what kind of life I have or if I have one at all. I've always been a people watcher. My dad and I still sit in public places and guess the careers and home life of the people we see. Just an interesting thing to do to pass the time. And, come on, you can't tell me that if you saw a person with a cart full of orange juice and pickles you wouldn't be just a little bit curious. I would.

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Friday, July 13, 2012

Let me catch my breath...she's 8

Today my sweet G turned 8. I can't believe it. She is such a cool kid and I am so very proud of her. She had very specific requests for her birthday day...very opinionated.

As is tradition in our family, the birthday girl was awakened to singing and a breakfast in bed:

She had requested pancakes, so I did my best to get creative with the shapes. Jim's Pancake website gave me inspiration:

Happy and sad pancakes to greet the kids.

The creation affectionately call "Frankenpancake". His mouth was sewn shut, but he sure was tasty.

After the early breakfast, the kids piled back into our bed and watched the original "Freaky Friday" while I snoozed. G took birthday calls, gleefully answering the phone. Later we got dressed and went to Starbucks. They were having free healthy drinks, one per customer, so we went to sample:

G said, "Free things are nice, but after tasting that I'd rather pay for some of your coffee.". Wow, well, wow. Starting her early, I guess. We took it easy this afternoon since the boy is still not well. Dinner was tasty and loud with a less than pleasant singer trying to hit the big time in a hole in the wall Mexican eatery. We came home and G enjoyed her requested cake, an Avengers cake:

Then, in the strange twist of the evening, the kids started trying on old military garb. That's what most 8year olds do on their birthday.

Can it get any cuter than that? Or how about this:

Yeah, we're weird. But I love that we are. I love that the birthday girl is not only a funny girl, but she is a kind and compassionate young lady. Happy Birthday, sweet girl.
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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Hairy situation

Let's talk about beards, friends. Well, we can lump all facial hair into it...that's fine. Our new senior minister is the talk of many because he has a very distinct, robust mustache. I had no idea how much conversation it would garner when he arrived. One older lady even made it her business to tell him he needed to trim it. Personally, I think it is pretty cool, but then I have grown up with a lot of bearded and mustachioed men. I don't get the big hubbub. My father has had a beard my entire life and was able to use that fact as a way to get me to straighten up if I was misbehaving. "Wow, this beard sure gets hot when I have to chase after you to get your room clean. Honey?! Where's my razor?". "Noooooo!!!!". I have seen my Dad's clean baby face in wedding pictures and snapshots from his youth. Handsome guy indeed, but that beard is a comfort to me. When my brother was old enough, the beard appeared on his face as well. Uncles, neighbors, teachers...lots of fuzzy faces. And, if we are being honest, some faces that should never attempt to grow hair ever. Some faces can't handle the hair.

I have seen lots of different beards recently. During the recent rainy days with my sick boy, we have watched several episodes of The Dog Whisperer. Cesar has a very manicured goatee, very metrosexual. Being a fan of symmetry, it makes me break into a cold sweat thinking of the time it must take to manicure that thing and make it even. Such pressure. At the grocery store tonight, I saw a man with a beard almost to his eyes. The shave line went so high, his beard was so heavy and his five o'clock shadow must get there at two. I have drawn, because I was bored, some of the beard styles spotted at the local Kroger self checkout this evening. Sorry...day seven of sick boy.

I could also tell you of my relative's regrettable pimp mustache and my friend's "Abe Lincoln" phase, but some things are just best to be buried and never spoken of again. If you are not a fan of the facial hair, go ahead and "Flick your Bic" and splash on some Aqua Velva. I'm good with that.
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Wednesday, July 11, 2012


I have had a boring, rainy, boring, rainy day. Still sick boy=no outside activities for us. The kids were craving comfort food to eat while playing never ending games of Memory. Sausage balls seemed like the perfect choice and luckily I had some in the freezer. These are my go to appetizer or brunch offering...I can make them in my sleep. I won't go into the great "Circle 6 Sausage Ball Size Debate" of '06 or whenever it was. Let's just say that people are very opinionated about the size of their sausage balls(go ahead and insert blue joke here). I have been the family member commissioned to make these tasty delights since I was in middle school. I love them, but they give me instant heartburn. I will share my recipe, which is probably identical to every other one out there.

Sausage Balls

3-5 cups of Bisquick(I use 5)
1lb of uncooked sausage
1lb of shredded sharp cheddar cheese

I put the cheese and sausage in my mixer with the dough hook attached. I used to do all of this by hand until I realized how handy the hook is. Gradually add the Bisquick. The more you get in there, the fluffier they become. After the mixer loses its effectiveness, use hands to complete mixing. I make mine the size of a large marble or gumball...maybe a tad bigger. Because I make double and triple batches, I don't roll them all. I take the dough amount and squish it until it is in the right shape. Bake at 400 for 10minutes or until browned. So very tasty!

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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Starting to crack

The specter of boredom is settling in on my children. The boy not so much, because he is so dopey with fever. The girls have read books, drawn pictures, watched movies and have been sent into the mugginess that is outside for some "wearing out" time. During that time today, the girls hit their limit of each other and started arguing. Then fighting. Then I told them to just wrestle it out. It was quite a scene to the neighbors to see two Tweens scrapping in the front yard. After a while, I took them inside and made them do the "hug each other" until told them to stop. While they locked in a forced sisterly embrace, I googled subjects like "how to get my girls to stop fighting" and "how to avoid alcoholism when children are in the tween years". I found an article with suggestions and tried one called "List 25 Things You Like About Your Sister". Whether they were going to make all their answers serious, I didn't know. What I did know was that it would keep them occupied for a good bit of time. I returned a few minutes later to find lists completed and children a little calmer. We read the boy's new library book called "Monsters Eat Whiny Children"....how apropos. I then read each sister's list out loud, complimenting them for thought and creativity. Then I looked at G's list. Number 12 really spoke volumes:

The fighting subsided for a while, but has since picked up again at bedtime. I am at a loss as to how to resolve this issue. My brother and I rarely fought, so I am in foreign territory. We can only hope that the sisterly bond and mutual love of fried pig can carry them through these tumultuous times. Otherwise I will start selling tickets to the front yard fights...BYOB.
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Monday, July 9, 2012

Superhero central

I have a sick boy in the house who needs to be kept still, so we have had a lazy day. Since he is crazy about the Marvel heroes, we watched "Thor". Very entertaining and fun to see how it will lead into the other movies. G is determined to marry Thor...he is awfully pretty.

This evening brings "Captain America" to round out a superhero filled day. I wish I had paid attention all those years ago when reading comic books. So much back story to catch up on. It is amazing how detailed the stories are. I love having a boy and getting to relearn this stuff...and it is so fun to watch him get excited. Avengers, assemble!

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Sunday, July 8, 2012

Just superb

My sister in law and I went to see a movie tonight that I have anticipated as much as my son anticipated The Avengers: Moonrise Kingdom. I love everything Wes Anderson does. I wish I could have his artistic vision, his writing skills, his humor. Of all the living directors he, and the Coens, are the ones I want to meet the most. I want someone to build me a Tenenbaum brownstone or a Bishop house from Moonrise Kingdom. Just amazing. After a stressful weekend, the movie was just what I needed. Thanks, Wes Anderson. You made my night.

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Saturday, July 7, 2012

What a guy!

Today was the first Saturday of the first full weekend of the month, so that means Kid Workshop time. Our children love going every month. The in laws were in town and are late morning people, so we were needing to occupy the kids until they decided to come to our house. They built Penske trucks, a project that was fairly involved. Our favorite inspector, Bob the Builder, put his stamp of approval on their projects. He is always so encouraging as they build. What a wonderful offering to the community kids!

It has been a full day, fixing a serger, exploring quilt shops, building, tending to a still sick boy whose fever came back tonight, so I am off to bed. Hopefully a funny strange encounter or new pattern or recipe to share tomorrow. Night all....
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Friday, July 6, 2012

Always interesting

The in laws are in town and it never fails that some weird things happen to make us look like we are plagued. Yesterday the drama with the dog and a storm that knocked the power out were on the menu. Today we woke up to a feverish boy. Really? He rallied for a while and we ran to check out some quilt shops for my MIL. She is quite a fine quilter and is always up for finding new fabrics and gadgets to support her "habit". By the time we finished and had dinner, the evening oven hours were beginning and the boy began superheating again. I'm afraid we have a trip to the doc on our schedule, but we will have to see how the night goes. When he gets really whiney and chatty in his sleep, that usually indicates ear infection. He has mentioned them today, so, you know.

On a completely different topic, I have secured the scrumptious recipe for a Lavender Lemonade I recently had at my friend's wedding. I will be getting some lavender to grow and use for this beverage. Absolutely sublime. Or sublemon...hahaha! Sorry....

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Thursday, July 5, 2012

Another scare...

Our sweet 14 year old lab gave us another scare today. We realize that every day with her now is a gift, but that doesn't make the end any easier. Cosby takes to her food with great gusto, barely breathing while she Hoovers it down. Today we went down to find her listless near a bowl of untouched food. This set off great alarms for me that I tried to keep quiet around the children. I called the hub, who left work to take her to the vet. S knew what was going on and tried her best to not cry, but the tears came anyway. All of us cried through the grocery store, trying our best to stop. B and I sat down with the kids and had a long, weepy discussion about Cosby and all she meant to us. We kept checking in at the vet until finally we went in at 5:30. I cried the whole way there, not knowing what was to come. The report was not as grim as we had thought. She was coming home with new arthritis meds, heartworm pills and flea medication. Her bloodwork was pretty normal for a dog her age...the vet was pleasantly surprised.

Squeals of delight came as the prize pooch walked though the door. It felt so good to know we had her back home for another spell, but I still dread the day when we will be bringing her home to lay her to rest. Morbid, I know, but it is coming sooner rather than later. Until that time, we will soak up as many wet doggy kisses as we can stand, knowing that our lives are better because she has loved us as her own pups. There's nothing like having a dog's love and loyalty and I am sad for those who have to miss out on that. Just nothing like it...

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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Freedom and Firetrucks

First of all, happy Fourth of July to all you crazy kids out there. I have always been a fan...loving the parades, cookouts, fireworks, the pride of living in the country we do, the pride in our military and 1812 Overture. I never tire of that, one of my go to records to listen to in school while doing homework, but I digress. The feelings for the Fourth are not shared by all here at the ranch. My sweet husband lost his beloved grandmother 11 years ago today, when I was very pregnant. We were so anxious for her to meet our sweet baby, but it was not to be. The woman who had so much to do with molding the man I love so dearly was gone and, though it was not a surprise, it was so terribly sad. So, even all these years later, the pain burns just as badly as it did then. G is also not an excited participant during the Fourth. She has never been a superfan of loud noises, including thunder storms and fireworks. We have to get creative to keep her off a xanax drip. S and F enjoy the day just fine and are happy to do whatever comes up on the schedule.

Today we were fortunate to come across some freebies and decided to take advantage. We got free Starbucks, even though my cup was so strong I think I had heart palpitations. It was free, so I dealt with it. The hub, ever in search of a deal on a cheeseburger, came across a deal Hardee's had for the day. If you dressed up like Spiderman, you got a free bacon cheeseburger. Here is what he did:

The man loves his burgers. G had on a shirt of the boy's 4 sizes too small, S had on one two sizes too small and B had a pair of the boy's swim trunks stuffed in his belt. I have a Spiderman shirt for pj's, but I chose to stay home and mow the lawn and quickly dehydrate. The clan came back from free burger poaching victorious and salivating.

B left to go help set up for a cookout at our dear friends' house, so the rest of us messed about, watched some Turtleman and of course Duck Dynasty. We then headed to the cookout, two Key Lime Pies in the cooler and hungry tummies all around. There were sprinklers and misters all around to help cut the heat, but it sure tried to win. The kids were all soaked and enjoyed getting at least one of the pastors very wet and the others good and damp. They didn't protest too much. A sweet lady from our church did succumb to the heat. Bless her heart, she ended up being the center of attention she never wanted to have and ended up leaving with some handsome first responders in an ambulance. They were eyeing our beloved investigative reporter, Don Dare, who was there at the party. Starstruck and doctoring all at the same time. We are so very concerned and are all praying she feels better very soon!

We returned home hot and tired, hearts warmed not only by the heat but from the friendship shared with so many. The kids bathed and the boy remarked that he was tired...more than once. I used that time to do some prep for the in-laws' arrival tomorrow during bath time. After ripping a nice chunk off of my toenail off in an unfortunate and bloody vacuuming accident, I deemed it time for the kids to retire for the evening. G steeled herself for a stormy night of revelry and redneck neighbor fireworks displays ahead:

Poor girl. Hopefully the Makita drill ear protection will do the trick.

We are watching James Bond as the children slumber. I think I gained major wife points by knowing every word to "The Man With The Golden Gun" theme song. Hey, what can I say? I'm just cool like that. Happy Independence Day!
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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Sad, sad day

Today we lost one of America's most beloved actors and one of my personal heroes, Andy Griffith. I watched his reruns when I wasn't allowed to watch anything else. The lessons taught on his show are ones I use with my own children today. His calm sensibility and southern wit appealed to me from the very beginning. My brother and I laughed until we cried at "No Time For Sergeants" and I wore out his comedy album talking about baseball and Shakespeare. A little bit of my childhood died today and the lights of television have dimmed considerably. Rest in peace, Mr. Griffith. You will be missed.

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Monday, July 2, 2012

The poor serpent

I learned today that you can never assume something that looks like a garden hose is indeed a garden hose. Sitting on the front steps on Mrs. Cheryl's house this morning, I noticed a black tube on the ground. I had the iPad out, so I looked around to see what bed she was watering. Looking back down at the hose, I saw it start to move and then narrow. This is when I moved faster than anyone has ever seen me moved before. A decision had to be made: was this worthy of interrupting Cheryl during class? Yes. I got her attention through the storm door. She came to see for herself. After a rake was obtained, the creature disappeared. You would think that would be comforting but, uh, no. She went in to finish class and I was on snake duty...something I never thought I would do. It was sneaky for 5 minutes or so,but then got bold. Cheryl was back out with the rake, trying to relocate it. It wanted to relocate up her front tree. Several times. Finally, it went back into the shrub to hide again. I had to leave before the exciting conclusion, but I imagine Bernard black snake is probably needing a Xanax and a cocktail to soothe his frazzled nerves by now. Poor guy...

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Sunday, July 1, 2012

Weird things I've learned this week

It has been a long and strange week. I mean not anything out of the ordinary, but just full. Here are some things I learned this week:

1. If you see something that looks like fish roe in the toppings section of your trendy frozen yogurt shop, step away...step away.

2. Pizza Inn and my family should never mix.

3. Lunch out with coworkers is exponentially more stressful when you throw the new senior pastor and two of your children into the mix.

4. The idea of glasses, for a seven year old, is much more exciting than the actuality...even if they are Vera Bradley.

5. When you go blueberry picking after a "bad judgement" blueberry picking incident in sandals involving a spider bite, staph/strep infection and a 4 day hospitalization, everybody's a comedian asking, "Did you wear proper footwear".

6. My intelligence level, according to the golf tee game at Cracker Barrell, will forever be stuck in "Ig no ray moose" status.

7. I wish I felt as free to express myself on the dance floor as my daughters.

8. I realize the term "Bust a move" is one that I probably shouldn't use to the 10 and under crowd unless I'm ready to have a conversation.

9. When you walk past a lady in Lowe's who says to someone on her phone "Your car's in a creek? Why?", you want to follow her around the store and find out what happens next.

10. When you decide to throw away a raggedy wicker trash basket, make sure your child is emotionally attached to it like it was a pet.

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