Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Exhaust-o-Ween!

I don't know about you people, but I am a little bit tired. While I am all about the Halloween, I have a tendency to overdo or or try to overachieve on this, the ghouliest of days. School has a "Book Character" day to accomodate those who don't observe Halloween but still want to dress up for fun. G and the the boy dressed up as characters from "Caps for Sale", one of our favorite books:

G was the peddler and the boy was one of the monkeys:

They had a parade of costumes, my two favorite(besides my own)being a Sharktopus and Officer Buckle...Gloria was around there somewhere. It was a school day of book and Halloween fun. After picking up the kids, I read our lengthy to do list before we could get to church for the Trunk or Treat festivities. Lengthy. Unusual for me, I had every item planned out to the minute so we could have as much fun as possible. Good moods were abounding and everyone was pumped about their costumes. This should have been all kinds of foreshadowing or warning or whatever. For when we arrived home, I was desperately trying to clean gunk out of the car to make room for more gunk when....the kids ran out of the house gagging. Apparently the dog, hickory nuts and woods trash did not agree with her stomach. Violently. All I can say is this, if it had been red it would have rivaled a scene from a chainsaw murder or Dexter episode. There was enough space for the children to walk through. The boy was standing, frozen in the middle of it all, about to puke up his crackerful that he had just eaten in the car. I yelled at all of them to go away and start getting dressed. Between changing clothes, finding a dust mask and rubber gloves and a bucket and mop and the strongest cleaner ever and getting the dog out without getting her into it, I was evil...apropos for Halloween. I picked up and scooped and mopped with two different cleaners. I can usually take a lot, but I was gagging and cussing my way through the whole process. I threw her bed away and told the hub to buy a new one.

After deposing the place where my babies eat breakfast, I was in a terrible rush and suffering from residual gagging episodes. Barking grumpy mom orders, I told the kids to finish up costuming themselves and attempted to use hair glue and put my hair into a fauxhawk. Epic fail. No time to wash it out, due to the de-pooping, I walked around in a Bowler hat looking like a Droog from "A Clockwork Orange". Not too kid friendly. Anyhoo, we arrived at church and I took a picture of three of my favorite duck hunting rednecks:

We were thrilled to know that many people enjoy 'em some "Duck Dynasty". Notice Si's cup and the frogs on Jase. Yep, we're all about the details. The kids were even interviewed for the local afternoon news program. They were thrilled. I have my recording on my youtube channel.

After eating, Trunk or Treating and visiting the relatives, we were exhausted and frozen. The candy bags were deposited on the counter to be checked for toxins and razor blades and the kids bathed and went to bed, except for S who had to write a paper. Ah, the life of a middle schooler.

Duck Dynasty is on and I am fading fast. I feel I need sleep soon in case the dog explodes again. Living the dream, friends. Living the dream.
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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Pumpkin masters three

Better late than never, but we carved the pumpkins tonight. I just about lost my mind today, I know that is nothing new, so it wasn't really ideal for me to have a knife or saw in my hand. Luckily the girls are of the age that they can fairly competently wield a Pumpkinmasters saw and ate care of their own design. I am fairly obsessed and anal about my pumpkin carving after discovering the Pumpkinmasters kits back in college. Actually, my roommate and I worked on our pumpkins for 2 hours at least. It was ridiculous and wonderful. Tonight, however, I put a 15 minute carving cap on each pumpkin. That was all the patience I could muster. They really got into their hollowing and carving. How the boy got guts here, I have no idea:

Bedtime was way past due, so we did not light them up nor take pics tonight. I will get some pictures tomorrow. But for now, it is bedtime. I am pumpkined out.
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Monday, October 29, 2012

Frankenstorm worries

First and foremost, let me send out love and prayers for those in the path of Frankenstorm Sandy. What a terrifying time for so many. As a high school senior, I remember being on a college visit when Hurricane Hugo hit. Suck in a Marriott with no power, reading "The Grapes of Wrath" and having meals by sterno as the early afternoon sky turned black and trees went sideways. The storm had devastating result. But in the wake of the storm, as will be the case with this storm, will be so many acts of heroism, of giving, of ministering to those in need. The summer after Hugo hit, my high school youth group went to the sea island of South Carolina to help with the rebuilding efforts after the devastation. To be able to help those in need feel hope was as much or more of a blessing to me as it was to them. Being in mission to others struck me to my core and gave me new life. I was fortunate enough to grow up in a family with very mission minded parents. Opportunities were often presented to learn about giving of yourself. Am I singing my own praises? Heck no! There were plenty of times I did not want to participate...teenage angst or 16 year old selfishness. Why talk about missions at 11:17 in the evening? I went to a missions meeting tonight. That's the big reason. My mother was mentioned several times, for she worked in the missions department at one of our current minister's former churches. She is an impossible act to follow, but is such an inspiration with her devotion and heart for those less fortunate. I have been asked to do something she has done several times but I am not worthy to do. You'll be hearing about it soon enough. Why I agreed is beynd me, but I am committed. It is a scary commitment, but guilt is an effective tool. So, to my friend M, this is what I say about myself:

Oh well. Let's do this thing.
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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Fetal position time out

It has been a long, emotional day. It didn't help that I didn't sleep well last night. Our 14year old crazy lab, Cosby, took advantage of the "windy day blew the gate open" incident to have an excellent adventure through the neighborhood. Bill and Ted did not invite her and I doubt she was looking for historical figures...more like garbage and rabbit poop on which to feast. Once you have a scare like this, it is nearly impossible to go straight to sleep until the adrenaline dies down a bit. All of the "what ifs" and "what would we have dones" are mosh pitting through your head like people at a Johnny Quest performance(circa 1992 for me). So when I woke up this morning, I was a bit sleep deprived and head ached. The morning at work was fairly busy which is a good thing, for it makes the time pass quickly and the carrot of an afternoon nap doesn't seem like such an impossible dream. Unfortunately the nap was not to be, as someone I dearly love got injured today. I ask for you prayers for their quick and complete recovery, as it may be a longer road than they would like. The knowledge that an overnight hospital stay will not be warranted this time is wonderful. We all rest better in familiar surroundings. So after that, several of us were in need of a nap or a stiff drink or both. I think I'll settle for a glass of milk and an early bedtime...with visions of Bill S. Preston,Esq., Theodore Logan and Napoleon at the waterpark dancing in my head. Excellent.

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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Sadder than I thought for season's end

Wel, friends, today was the last day of soccer games for the fall season. After hours of sitting at the fields, yelling for the kids, fist bumping and high fiving other parents and holding my breath when they get hurt, our Saturdays will no longer be occupied until Spring time. You think I'd be excited about this. Meh. Not so much. They all love it so much. I love to watch the looks on their faces as they are running across the field....just pure joy and determination. Just a beautiful thing to behold.

I will enjoy sleeping in a little bit, I'm not going to deny it. But I'm going to miss those faces.

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Friday, October 26, 2012

Pumpkin patched out

The boy's class went on the very first field trip of their public school career today. It was a big deal that propelled him right out bed this morning. We were unsure as how all of this would go down, but knew there would be a one parent to two children ratio at the most. Seeing as how the hub's back is shot out completely, these numbers seemed reasonable...the two of us together counted as one parent so 1:1 was excellent. It was a gorgeous, though blazing hot, day spent in the midst of 5,000 other school children who were throwing corn and sand and running through mazes and frolicking with their newfound freedom. My two guys enjoyed themselves on the hay ride:

The boy worked hard to find all the clues in the corn maze:

And then he rested after all of his pumpkin patch antics:

I think he had lost his mind at that point...he looks a little crazed.

All in all, it was a nice time and no one got hurt. The trip combined with a Friday night make up game made for the fastest "conk out" speed ever. Head hitting pillow at the same time the zzzzzzzz's started coming out. Nice.
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Thursday, October 25, 2012

An epic battle no one heard about...until now.

I had the opportunity to sub at preschool today for a class of four year olds. They are so funny. I miss that age, even if the boy was just there last year. Kindergarten aged him, people. He's an old man now. Anyhoo, I spent time with my little friends this morning and soaked up every little gem of comedy that came out of their mouths. Every thing from one little girl's baby sister who had an all "punkin'" birthday party("She had punkin' bread for her cake. Isn't that cra-a-a-zy?") to the child who is going to be a peacock for Halloween("They are beautiful fowls"). "Beautiful fowls"? What kid says that? The best part of the subbing was circle time. Somehow "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" spiraled into a discussion on pet deaths. One boy told the story about waking up this morning to find two of his hermit crabs dead. The rest of the class was appropriately sympathetic, expressing their condolences for his loss. He explained that it was okay because he "still had a dog left." Again, appropriate agreement with the comfort of his remaining pet. I noticed one boy was not having the same reaction or interaction with this whole story. Finally, the proverbial lightbulb appeared over his head and a devious look appeared on his face. "I know what happened! Your dog killed the crabs to get the attention!". This then set off a firestorm of discussion on crab murders. The boy vehemently denied the murder. "The crabs died on their own. This is enough." Then they went and hammered golf tees into a pumpkin. The circle of life. Who needs TV when you have preschool?

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Chili Cookoff induced foot pain-itis

We had our annual chili cookoff to benefit our church's conference camp tonight. My friend, PJ, and I decided to have a table and enter a chili. She made some wonderful white chicken chili. Yummy! Each entry is judged and awards are given. Table decor is also judged and awarded. While the chili contest is going on, there is also a dessert contest going on as well. Same rules apply. Our friends and rivals took home first place from the judges for their table and their chili. Our chili that PJ made received the People's Choice award. We were pleased, but we were most pleased that over $900 was raised for our favorite camp. The boy was our salesman and would ring our bell every time someone gave us a donation. What do you think?

I thought he was pretty cute. I will say my pumpkin cookies with penuche frosting came in third place. Bragging rights but no trophy. Oh well. Seeing as how I never win anything, I'll take the bragging rights. I will also be taking some major Motrin, as my feet feel like they could fall off. Right now.

So we didn't sweep the contest. That's okay. We've got plans already in the works for next year. Big plans. But now it is bedtime.
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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

You can't take me anywhere...

I am sitting in my usual Tuesday spot at the table in dance class. There is no real need for me to be here, I guess, other than the fact that S is dancing in a sling and I was unsure as to how that would go. I mean,what could go wrong? Possible broken growth plate and flinging arms all over in preparation for her Phantasm, I mean, Fantasy of Trees dance. As I have explained previously, we call it Phatasm of Trees because of the enormous crowds(especially on our performance date of the day before Thanksgiving)of rabid holiday decoration crazed people who show up to gawk at local celebrities, ride the carousel and knock you over for gingerbread. The performances are wonderful to watch, even though some of the dance schools(not ours)dress like a street shot from Pretty Woman. I digress. She is practicing and all I can picture is this:

Well, that's not entirely true. I am in no way making light of the actual infirmity, but I feel like I catch dance-induced coprolalia....but without the obscenities. I want to sing songs from "Flashdance" and "Xanadu", but mostly "Flashdance" when I am observing. "Xanadu" would require roller skates and feathered bangs. Any running in place and I immediately start singing, "She's a ma-ni-ac, ma-ni-ac on the floor..". I have absolutely no control. That then makes me start drawing things like this:

Sorry, I can't draw the chair scene when they pour water on her. I dabble more in cartoony types, not scantily clad women dancing in clubs. But I have goals. Maybe realistic drawings and welding..."Just a steel town girl on a Saturday night...". I must stop. Class is over and I need to return to being an adult now. Another goal to set...
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Monday, October 22, 2012

I feel so bad that I can't stand these debates

It has been a long day. Due to scheduling stuff, our staff meeting(and my work day)got rescheduled for today. It's all good...just threw the natural balance of my WORLD off today. Anyway, I got my work done so I can prepare for the Chili Cookoff at church on Wednesday. We had our monthly staff luncheon at the Chop House, as requested by our birthday boy and girl. I sat at the rowdy end of the table, which is where I like it. Between discussions on excessive use of hand ground salt and pepper by Coop and Melissa's obsession with Air Supply and 80's karaoke, I think our senior pastor may have wondered if the other end of the table might have been a better option. I will admit that I did sing some, too, but mostly obsessed about the copious amounts of pepper ground onto salad. Yes, I told you I'd mention it, but you've got to admit that's a lot of pepper. I know what you're getting for Christmas.

After watching a middle school soccer game and making sure the boy didn't decapitate someone with his wicked frisbee throw, we got the kids down for the night and settled down for dinner and relaxing. I enjoyed a piece of my brother's wonderful bread. Bread Whisperer he is for sure. I was enjoying the nice evening, riding a tasty bread high, and then I realized what was on TV tonight. Wanting to be responsible, I tried really hard to watch the debate. I lasted about 5 minutes and then the hub and I got into an involved discussion on real estate. The next thing I knew, "Call of the Wildman" was on and Romney/Obama were but a distant memory. Someday I'll be able to sit through one...the same day I learn to sit through the Sate of the Union. A girl can dream, right?

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Sunday, October 21, 2012

I think I can put my feet up now

The alarm went off at 6am, but I snoozed it until 6:42. The hub was politely saying, "You may want to get up soon." I didn't want to, but realized that I needed to run by the store before work and pick up AAA batteries for the church pagers. I popped out of bed as if electrified from this realization and went thought my usual routine. After working at church, which included some little ones being peeled off their parents and the boy's buddy who tripped and got a black eye. Killed me to have that happen, but he was a brave one. Upon returning home, I do not know what happened. Alien abduction? Demon possession? A booger or a haint? Flummoxed for sure, but I decided I had to start organizing. I straightened up three major closets, pitched some junk and fund some items for consignment. Then I decided to tackle the garage while the kids were out running around. The hub came out and helped, hanging up hardware for the bikes and putting stuff up in the garage attic. Technical word, "stuff", but it fits. You want to talk about love, my hub in his state of agony helped get the garage ship shape and ready to receive my car...which hasn't happened in a looonnnggg time. I forgot to take a picture of the glorious sight, but believe me. In the course of cleaning, we deposited several items that needed to go into the basement into our breakfast room. Backpacks, a bin of tshirts, paper towels...nothing special. I sent G inside to put some books in the bookshelf and she came out with this:

Yes. The dog, out of spite for not being outside to run away since both garage doors were open, decided to snack on a roll of paper towels. Why not? She wears me out, that one.

Once the triumph of the garaged car started to wear off, we decided to celebrate with meatloaf sandwiches on the beautiful loaf of bread my brother made and gave to us. He is becoming quite the baker. I love the very artisan look and, yes indeedy-o, it makes one terrific sammich:

Currently, I have my feet up and am lazily writing and listening to the Steelers Bengals game. T minus 30 minutes to bedtime. I am almost out of oomph....
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Saturday, October 20, 2012

Why can't I be happy with what I have?

Soccer Saturday sans S's game. It was hard for her to just be a teammate and not a player. A tie that shouldn't have been against a dirty playing team and filthy mouthed parents. Makes one weep for humanity at times. G's game was cancelled and the boy's game was a blowout...and not in a good way. S and I watched Rear Window together today. It is my favorite movie of all time and I was her age when I first saw it. She wasn't sure at first...too much chatter. But then she got hooked. Her first full Hitchcock. A big deal for an avid Hitchcock fan such as myself.

We spent some time today with a friends and coworkers of the hub. What a neat and unique house they had, full of cute artwork, decorations and unique architecture. The kids kept coming over and whispering to me, "This is the coolest house, ever!". I felt hot shame thinking about our house. Nothing unique, really. Nothing that anybody's kids would envy. Nothing that I was excited about having seen, knowing that I will have to reciprocate the favor of an invitation someday. These feelings sullied my whole experience. Why can't I be happy with the house I have? People don't come to the house for the house. I assume they come to spend a little bit of time with us. There are so many people hurting and sad and wanting for companionship and love. The wouldn't care in what wrapping that love came, be it shack, double wide or Cape Cod. How selfish of me to throw the gift of love and companionship to the side and worry about appearances instead. Lord forgive me when I whine, I have a home...the world is mine.

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Location:Fenwood Dr,Knoxville,United States

Friday, October 19, 2012

They just killed Hong Kong Phooey!

Typical day of relative blah. Fixed pancakes for the kids. I don't do that super often, partially because they are so unhealthy and partially because they stink up the house. Inspired by Jim's Pancakes, I decided to try once again to make them creative. This one was my favorite:

I did make a dog with crazy eyes, but it creeps me out too much to have it on here...staring at me as I type. This one just kind of has the "Please don't eat me" look on its face. Tasty, he was.

We enjoyed a rare treat, went to the movies this afternoon and saw Hotel Transylvania. It was very cute and offered a little bit for all ages. Although I love movie theatre popcorn, it does not love me back. I feel as though I have had my fill of Regal's best until I go see that crazy vampire movie next month. Gurgle gurgle. After the movies, the poor hub was in agony. Those seats do his back no favors, so we went home so he could recover. The boy wanted to help:

His heart was in the right place for sure.

The two youngest are now asleep and the oldest is at a sleepover. Tomorrow will be yet another chilly day for soccer, but only the boy will be playing. With one game cancelled and one playing out for the season, we will be in a unique situation. I'll take the break.

Have a good evening. I'll leave you with the crazy eyes:

I think they are creepy. Woof.
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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Glasses, meatloaf and the Avengers...oh my

It has been a riveting start to Fall Break here at the ranch. You want to know how out of it I am? I woke up at 8:04am completely shocked that I slept that long, though I did not sleep the night through...not that this has anything to do with the story. I awoke feeling bad that I had been so out of it, I didn't tell the hub goodbye before he left for work. After going to get a drink of water, I returned to find all three kids and the hub in the bed. I did not remember he was taking the break off. Does not give a ringing endorsement for my mental acuity these days. We purchased new glasses for S, which required my poor husband to enter a superstore for the first time in two and a half years. I think I could hear his soul cracking a little bit. To repair the damage, we went to Redbox and got The Avengers to pump up the superhero lovers. It was good as always. The rest of my day was spent making a meal for our friend and visiting her for a bit. The kids got a case of the giggles and are now having a sibling sleepover. Sure, we didn't go to Disney or the beach or even Dollywood. But the giggles haven't appeared in a while...something went right.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Get ready for shock...I have nothing to say.

Run of the mill Wednesday. Read a book to the boy's class and did some testing for his teacher. Did some work at the office and went to the grocery. Picked S up early due to arm pain. Baked pizza braids for dinner:

I took the two youngers to church so I could go to bells. The hub took S to KOC to have her arm xrayed. She got an official sling instead of this:

We go back in a week to see if a break in her growth plate shows up. Bye bye Fall soccer season. Not good, friends. Not good.

At least we are having Fall Break. Rest, recuperation, relaxation. Let's hope it helps.
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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

I'm tired. So tired.

Alcoa vs S's middle school soccer team at 6pm tonight. The girls were still recovering from last night's victory and didn't quite have the pepper today that they did last night. They had some really big girls on their team. Some of the schools only have one team, where ours has two, so they have 8th graders where our B team does not. Nature cannot be denied. Eighth graders are typically bigger than sixth graders. The ref seemed promising at first, but things went downhill. The game got rougher and rougher, even when Alcoa was winning about 10-1. Our girls were getting knocked around and down with few whistles being blown. Then our spritely little S was running to win the ball and a girl, roughly the size of the the hub, basically just took her out and landed her on her shoulder. Flattened her. The hub jumped up and screamed at the ref. I thought I was going to have to jump on his back to keep him off the field. What a sight that would have been. The poor Alcoa girl immediately dropped to see how she was, which was very kind. Eventually the hub went over to see how she was. I was concerned about another concussion. Our friend was watching through his camera and said she was grabbing her arm and shoulder. PT consult over the phone and picture texts with our friend, Bill, led us to believe it is not a separated or dislocated shoulder. The thought is deep bruise or fracture. She is icing it in bed right now.

I know that it wasn't my shoulder. Just like it isn't my back problem or my learning issue. But I feel the weight of these things on my shoulders. I am tired of putting on a happy, positive face all the time. I'm tired. Injury and pain and sadness and distress just keep piling up.

Here's hoping and praying it is a deep bruise. Please let it be a bruise.

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Monday, October 15, 2012

Yaaawwwnn...oh yeah, YAY!

We arrived home from S's middle school soccer game at 10:37pm...PM!!! The start time was 8pm, but thanks to a high school playoff game, it started at 9pm. Stupidly, we brought one car and three children. Once the game started, I held the boy to get him warm and he conked out. G danced and cheered and played with my phone and cheered some more and yelled at the ref. it was a great game, fairly evenly matched and quite lively. S had two attempts at goal and ran her rear end off. The girls did a great job and worked together. I think the loss and horrible officiating of yesterday's game lit a fire under their rumps. I love seeing the confidence that the game brings my child. I love the unity of team parents. I love the sisterhood of the girls. But most of all, I loved the warm car and soft seat.

I must go to sleep. We have a match in Alcoa tomorrow. Gulp.

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Sunday, October 14, 2012

I love my husband...a lot.

It is now 9:17 in the pm on a Sunday. My husband is helping S with this blasted biome project she has to make into a power point presentation. I got the younger two to bed. I got the easy part, especially since they were tired to begin with. G read some books to the boy, drew me a robot-alien and then together we watched a video on YouTube of September by Earth, Wind and Fire. What? Sparkly, swirly musical men in strange, tunic-esque outfits. What better way to drift off into LaLaLand? I go to find the two of them tearing up the bookshelves looking for a copy of "The Magician's Nephew". Fuzzy memories, tired soccer brain, and leaving the book at school made for difficult completion of an essay due tomorrow. Luckily our friends, and two of my five blog readers, had a copy and graciously tore themselves away from "Sherlock" to meet the hub at their door and loan it to us. I love that series, so I appreciate their sacrifice. I came downstairs, read the hub's latest tweet that said, "Sixth grade is going to put me into a home," and knew he was going to be driven either to drink or ice cream. Having an excruciatingly painful back, watching your daughter's middle school game reffed by the most incompetent officiating duo on the planet and then having to help with minutiae like "What is the difference between a grassland and a savannah" have exacted their toll on his fragile Sunday evening patience stores. Fall Break cannot come soon enough. But knowing our luck she will have teacher who wants to build character by giving them a learning experience due Monday. I will then cry. My husband will shut down.

It is now 9:47 in the pm and she is going strong. But oh how soon 6 in the am will arrive. The whining will be heard county wide. No need to set alarms. The hub has given her a five minute warning....he is painfully hunched, looking over her shoulder and instructing her on how to find her working folder for her presentation, gingerly holding one foot up a little to try and relieve the discomfort in his back somehow. The man is a saint. So glad he's mine.

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Saturday, October 13, 2012

Is it Fall Break yet?

Three soccer games, three wins. My face is roughly the color of applesauce with red hots added...but not the consistency. That's gross. I ran to the grocery bank to get crunchy one dollar bills to fold into a birthday gift. Note to self: do not choose a Saturday afternoon before a big game to ask the baby faced banker man to count out several crisp dollar bills. People don't understand pickiness with cash. While there I ran into my favorite Mr. Don, who is wanting me to help me start a rumor. He has decided that, instead of the proposed well known chicken restaurant coming into our part of town, a gentleman's club with female entertainment will be there instead. That man is crazy....but we love him.

Well, my children have returned from a birthday party and The Third Man is on TCM. I must go and see Cotten and Welles. Big day tomorrow.

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Friday, October 12, 2012

Lookalikes always make things fun

We have had a busy day and will be having a busy next several days, so I'll try to make this short. You know me. Brevity is not my strong suit.

The hub and I went to AAA today. While taking to our new friend, J, another couple sat next to us to talk with the "Road Travel Specialist". They had very specific ideas about what they wanted to do on their trip to Mississippi. I casually mentioned to My hub that the husband looked and sounded just like John Madden. I in no way meant this as a jab or ugly remark. The resemblance was uncanny. For whatever reason, the hub and our new friend J thought this was very funny and couldn't stop laughing. The man, in his booming Maddenesque voice, went on to talk about how he got his new grill up to 500 degrees last night and accidentally grabbed the hot stainless steel cover. He described hearing his fingers sizzle and, no I don't stay in Holiday Inns and here feel my fingers. The blisters are huge. Wow. Just an engaging fellow. As Bill Cosby talked about the subway, "There's a nut in every car," there is a nut wherever you go.

That is about all I have. Time to get the hub and his poor back up to bed. Three soccer games are going to be hard on him tomorrow.

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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Pants...Panera...and mowing

Most pathetic post title so far. I have had a creatively barren day, so I apologize. Lots on my mind and on my heart. Nothing of substance to share, just lots to process. Currently, the hub is schooling our oldest on her new thumb drive and critiquing her powerpoint presentation, which blows my mind. In sixth grade, I was playing Oregon Trail on an Apple II+ and collecting jelly bracelets. I have my feet up after a day of randomness. I bought new jeans for G, ate a tasty but lonely lunch at Panera with my iPad and mowed the lawn so people think we're classy again. they think we're classy at all. We dropped some peppers off to my brother and got to sample his tasty freshly baked bread and play with the dogs. All in all not a bad evening.

The one shining moment of humor today was when my child asked if you could buy "Hot dog balls" at the store. When I asked her to repeat herself and she put the emphasis on "Hot", the 13 yr old boy humor in me came out and I could not stop laughing. She didn't get it, thank goodness.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The beards are back!!!

My favorite show is back on for season 2 tonight. Duck Dynasty is the best! I wish I had some great and funny story to share, but I do not. I cleaned and did lots of laundry. Our insane dog was caught in the act of eating a pile she had just made in the floor...while we were eating breakfast. I then proceeded to gag for a good 10 minutes and clean the remaining mess up. All the time, I was reinforcing to my children that this incident is one of the many reasons why I gave this blog the name it has. I then read books and helped with tests at school, after which I helped with Art Masters. They were studying Jackson Pollock's painting method. They mom had her husband play music and the kids used their crayons to make squiggles as the music led them. At first, the orchestral music was very calming, very serene. The second song was AC/DC. The teacher's aide was a bit shocked, but my son was banging his head whilst coloring. That's my boy.

Time to catch up on the show....if I can keep my eyes open.

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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

I thought snowboarding was in his job description

Today was the day my son woke up and said, "Is this the day?!?!!". "Indeed it is, Star Student of the Week! He's coming today." It has been a long time since a child in our house has truly popped out of bed, up in the air and straight into their clothes...but it happened this morning. He did take a few minutes to decide between his shirt with the descriptions various trolls on it and the one with sneakered bacon and chicken legs on it that said, "Track Meat". The decision was made to go with the classic look: trolls. I mean wouldn't you if your pastor, and "very friend" as the boy calls him, was coming to be your special guest for lunch? Getting him to sit still long enough to eat breakfast was a chore, but I did it and deposited him at school. A couple hours later, Pastor Daniel and I found ourselves in a never ending staff meeting, looking at our watches and knowing we needed to get him to his appointment post haste. We got him signed in and name tagged up and then headed on down to the classroom. The kids were in art, so he had a little bit of time to check out the classroom and visit with his teacher, who also goes to our church. They came down the hall, bubble bubble ducktail style, and entered the room while staring at this man in their room. My son, of course, flashed a few secret gang symbols to him and took his place on the rug with the others. Daniel was seated in the special guest chair. The boy said he was nervous about introducing him, but he did just fine. We had recorded a little introduction on the iPad and played it, but it was not needed. Mrs. R then did a little explaining to the children about his job and he added in things here and there. Then the high pressure portion of Jeopardy began: Question and Answer time. Most of the questions were the usual "What do you do" and "What is your church name". These, as they always do with little guys, lead to rapid fire subject switching. "I sometimes go to the hospital"...."My mamaw works at the hospital"..."I went to the hospital once" get the idea. Then the question that cracked me up the most: "So like, um, in your job do you get to do much snowboarding? Cause I haven't been but I have a disc that I use in the snow sometimes." HAHAHAHAHA!!!! The answer was "No". Who knew that was not a required course in seminary. It was answered to his satisfaction and then it was time for lunch. He bravely ate the "chicken" nuggets. I didn't. I'm a chicken, I'll own it. The boy's little friend joined us and talked the whole time. It was quite entertaining.

The morning ended and everybody went back to their daily responsibilities, but not before the boy thanked his friend and posed for a picture to commemorate the occasion. As parents, we are so thankful for our pastors and the interest and care they take with our children. We are also grateful for the fact that they all have a sense of humor and can take time out of their busy schedules to talk about snowboarding with strange kids. It means more than they know.

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Monday, October 8, 2012

I wish this was make believe

Some days it is really best just crawl back in bed and cut one's losses. But I didn't and I am paying for it now. I'm not going to talk long since I have excruciating pain in my back and neck. Jenny what happened, you ask. It is not as glamorous as you might think knowing me....cough cough. I have a child who has grown an incredible amount in the last month and a half and is in desperate need of clothes. So I braved the rainy Monday dreariness and went to Target. After getting the clothes shipping done, I realized we were low on milk and fruit, so I went Krogering. That is always an adventure. I was anxious to get home and put the groceries away. This cold has zapped me of some precious energy, so I hoped to get in a little nap. Walking into the house, I noticed that the dog had made a puddle in the floor. Blast it. I put my first load of bags down, admittedly cursing about the fact that I was out of Swiffer Wet Jet pads and would have to paper towel and Fantastik this accident. I went out and got the next load and stepped back into the house. The apparent "Urine Trail" ran farther than I realized and I stepped into it with a slippery Converse One Star and took off like Bambi on the ice....eggs in hand. I didn't fall all the way, but torqued my body in a way to where my neck and back are screaming out loud. It is funny now, well, no it isn't really. Doctor: "Uh yes, Jennifer? How did this happen? Me: "We'll in an attempt to get all my frozen items put away, I postponed cleaning a 7 foot stream of dog urine and slipped in it." Doctor: "Ohhh-kaaay." Then the doctor makes ten minutes of notes in my chart about the fragile state of my mental health.

I'm going now. The hub is going to put Biofreeze on my back. "Isn't it romantic...."

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Sunday, October 7, 2012

Let's talk about the evil that is the nap

We have had a busy weekend, friends. I am fighting, unsuccessfully, sinus infection-esque symptoms. The boy is sick, the hub is in excruciating pain, G is getting a yucky cough and S is in middle school. Yes, the latter fit s in with all the other ailments. I got to work/church at 7:26 today and got home at 1:10. I really needed to do lots of work on the boy's "All About Me" poster, but I changed my clothes and asked the hub 's blessing for a 20 minute nap. He was okay with that, so I snuggled up with a blanket, a boy and G. There was my first mistake. I remember waking up briefly and telling some random back surgery knowledge to the hub, who may or may not have been in the room, snortled and became comatose once again. When I did finally wake up to the sounds of the boy composing a new piece on the piano, it hour and 20 minutes later. Bad nap...bad! I staggered around, not knowing where I was, but gladly found the bathroom. I lost 80 minutes. I don't know what went on. For all I know, this:

Our couch is not that small and our curtains don't look like inflated cotton candy, but I'm pretty sure the robot happened. The next few hours were groggy and foggy, filled with the bitterness of regret....knowing that come 3:47am tomorrow, I will be using the flashlight app on my phone, down on the floor counting carpet fibers instead of sheep in the hopes of finding the sleep that I robbed myself of at nap time. Evil naps. You are an evil temptor who knows my weakness. I shall now get in bed after taking liquid Tylenol cold and watch the world's greatest toothpick battles of Mongolia on History Channel. Maybe that will help. I doubt it...
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Saturday, October 6, 2012

I hang my head in shame...

Today was a bit of a weather prediction fail on the part of, well, weather prediction people. Sunny and 70 turned into overcast, windy and cold. My wardrobe choice of Capri pants, Chacos and a tshirt was an unfortunate one, as the temperature did nothing but drop throughout the morning. My boys, having just returned from an overnight camping trip, were tired and exhausted. The hub's back was in excruciating pain and the boy was coughing like the Marlboro man, so naturally we went to make them "do the soccer" all day. Lacking the foresight of a good mom, I did not bring jackets or blankets or any of the warming things...nor did I check the van to see if it contained any of these items. Luckily the hub had a work sweatshirt and his windbreaker. Our friend Greg had towels in the back of his car and swaddled S and the boy during one game. The boy's game was a blowout by the other team. The coach did not understand the rule about "holding back" once you reach a certain lead, which made my husband furious. I mean, lady, what is the point really? Even adult league softball games use the slaughter rule, good grief.

My real shame was during S's game. I am a competitive person, yes, but I really try to control it when my kids are playing. I have seen the crowd of parents part like the Red Sea to get away from obnoxious parents. I do not want to be that "guy". I was already cold, tired and sick from sinuses. I had the wife of S's head coach tell me he had already given the parents a talking to about letting the coaches coach. We as spectators are welcome to shout a "Great pass!" or a "Attagirl!", but leave the coaching to the coaches. After already having been on this coach's team for a year, we knew exactly who he was addressing. So as I approached the sideline today, I did so with dread when I saw the addressees three chairs down from me. I was determined to be mature. Da-- it! These people are teammates. What is their problem? As expected, they did not listen to or adhere to the rules laid out the previous evening. They screamed commands at all the girls, made harsh judgements about abilities within earshot of the child they were critiquing, just cruel. They loudly praised their daughter who, when faced with an opportunity to boot the ball, pinked it all,of a foot. But when they made comments about about my daughter and yelled at her for being in an offsides position and then said they "wished that girl would learn how to play, " I cracked. I turned and yelled at them, "She is a ref...she knows how to play...leave her alone!". No response. No reaction. Then they made similar remarks about our star player who, friends, I expect to see on a national team in the not too distant future. I yelled again, "Just stop ordering her around! Leave her alone and let the coaches coach!". Nothing. Even a few of the parents clapped a bit. Nothing. I then sank into my chair, humiliated that I had stooped so low. I had become just like them. Stellar. Thank goodness the other two were off playing in the mud. What an example I was.

Next week, I will take a Benadryl before I go. And bring a gag. For shame, Jenny. For shaaaammmmme.

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Friday, October 5, 2012

What to do, what to do

I cannot tell you the last time I have been in this position. Frankly, I don't really know what to do with myself. The boy and the hub have gone to the church father-son camp out and our friend's farm. The girls are spending the night with some friends. I am sitting here on the couch, after a nice meal, and wondering what to do. I really should be cleaning and straightening and pitching and tossing. What I am doing is sitting and staring at all the choices on the movie channels. The dog has been out to hopefully drain her bladder and be set for several hours. Thankfully B has been sweet to tweet some pictures from the camp out. Looks like they are having a blast. Poor man is going to be in even more pain than usual after a night in a tent...and then off to soccer tomorrow morning.

One funny before I leave to watch something. At dinner, the girls were all given a couple quarters to go get a piece of junk out of the machine. They then set about organizing a trading process, which was funny in itself. After arriving back home and starting to play, my daughter(yes mine)came to me and showed me what she had done with her bubble gum machine junk:

Apparently Barbie's friend hit the bars a little early tonight. Don't drink and drive, Mattel friends. It never ends well. Stick to tanning in Malibu.

Night all...
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Thursday, October 4, 2012

It's official! We embarrass our children...a lot.

Well. I did it today. Honestly I had a good run, but it had to end sometime. I have officially become embarrassing to my children. It wasn't the act that I fell asleep in the pick up line. Luckily I woke up with 5 minutes to spare before the honking started when the line stalled. It wasn't that I was wearing an A&W tshirt in said pick up line. It wasn't the fact that, with the windows rolled up and every attempt at modesty made, I let my son pull a Lloyd Christmas in a Diet Coke bottle. Sometimes a mom has to do what a mom has to do. And it wasn't that I had a dryer sheet stuck to the back of my shirt when I went to help a the book fair. What I did was apparently much more grievous than any of those other things. It is a three part offense. First, I downloaded a song that didn't come from Nick or the Disney Channel. Second, I played the song....which was Xanadu, written by one of my favorites, Jeff Lynne. And third, I danced to Xanadu, performed by Olivia Newton John and ELO. When a little friend came over to stay with us for a bit while her mother did an errand, G turned the music off. At that point, it had switched to Peter, Paul and Mary....but that's not the point. When I asked her why she turned it off, she said, "It's embarrassing, Mom." Really? I had even stopped dancing before her friend came in the house. When Xanadu was playing, the boy even said, "Mom has lost her mind. This music sounds loopy." Well. There you have it. I know I acted the same way. It is just funny what they find embarrassing.

Have a restful slumber and someday I'll share with you how we have become idiots in the eyes of middle schoolers.

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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

We could learn so much from little people

I have written and erased and written and erased this evening's rumblings about 17 times so far. Haven't even taken a hit of cold medicine yet. I just have to share something that makes my mom heart happy. Let me go ahead and say, I have several friends who are atheists, agnostics, skeptics. Sometimes they read my ramblings. This may be a post they don't enjoy. Sorry... but I guess I'm really not completely sorry for what I'm going to say. I grew up in the church. I've never known a time without church and God and all the moving parts in my life. It has shaped everything about me. There was never a question that my children would be raised the same way, knowing church and God's love for them. Knowing that it was a safe place for them to find comfort and love and knowledge and assurance was extremely important for me. Even though it wasn't bad, I never felt a whole lot of pastoral involvement until I reached youth group age, which saddens me a bit. It wasn't that they were bad guys, just much older and not as comfortable with young ones. I am so grateful that my children have had a completely different experience. There has never been a time in their lives when the ministers weren't involved with them. Dancing with Pastor Don at VBS...talking with Pastor Melissa when the bullies are just too much to handle on your own...body slamming Pastor Jim in the hallway...having your own secret sign language with Pastor Daniel...discussing the shock factor of fire alarms with Pastor Randy. Some of these things seem trivial and non-religious, but to a child they mean everything. A grown up taking time out to speak with and validate them as people with feelings and questions and worth? What a big deal!

Next week, the boy is going to be "Student of the Week" for his kindergarten class. Every child gets a week to help their classmates get to know them better. They get to make a poster about themselves, bring in special snack, a special toy, a special book...and a special guest. When I read the paper outlining the exciting week to him, I asked, "Who are you going to bring as a special guest to lunch? Any relative, friend...someone who really means a lot to you." I realize now, I am more predictable than he is. Assuming the obvious, I figured he would pick one of the relatives who live in town and then start naming the relatives who would be hard pressed to get here with less than a week's notice. "Aunt Sharon?"..."No, buddy...she's in Wisconsin. There's just no way." This is not our first "Student of the week" week, so we know the routine. Imagine my surprise when he spoke without hesitation and said, "Pastor Daniel!". The hub and I discussed it at length. Would the church have a policy against that? Would he refuse because if he did it for one... Would he think we were pulling his leg? We gave the boy all the worst case scenarios we could think of and made him think of 2nd and 3rd choices. Wasn't too interested. So, yesterday, I took the plunge and asked him. It was awkward. Why would a young, married with no children yet, pastor want to spend his time in this way? Graciously he agreed to throw himself into the piranha tank known as Kindergarten and go be introduced to the class and sit at lunch with him. All joking aside, I thought his choice spoke volumes about the importance his pastors and church have played in his life. He feels safe and loved and important. Anyone who says that kids don't pay attention at church, well, they have no clue. They soak up every little thing, devour attention and adore the love. What makes me feel best of all, is that I know they will come to the pastors for the big things: relationships with peers, with significant others, hopes and dreams and worries and fears. So I don't care if people laugh about the irony of the boy's choice. I am so proud of the fact that he thinks so much of his pastor to ask him to lunch as his special guest during his special week....and I can't wait to take pictures.

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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Hair bands, baby. Hair bands.

I am very tired and don't have much energy to write, but I will say a few words. I saw "Rock of Ages" the musical at the Tennessee Theatre with my sister, Amy, tonight. We ate some tasty dinner, enjoyed a nice beverage and sang our hearts out all evening. Raunchy and irreverent it was, but it took me back to middle and high school. Lots of spandex, aqua net, hair and hair and hair. Now, out of pure curiosity, I am going to have to get the movie and see how it compares. The lead guy had a voice that was just beyond wonderful. The whole cast did a great job. Just a super fun time. My throat hurts from yell-singing Whitesnake and Journey and Styx and REO Speedwagon. If you get a chance to see it, go. If you are easily offended, um, rent Toy Story 3.

Night all and don't stop believin'.

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Monday, October 1, 2012

I don't know about this random weirdness

First of all, rainy days and Mondays...well we know. Instead of swimming around town, I made a visit to the grocery store and was greeted by a woman I have seen shopping for years. She noticed my childless state and got misty thinking about the fact that the boy is now in Kindergarten. You just have to love a neighborhood grocery store, although my friends still make fun of the fact that everybody knows me on a first name basis. has gotten me free lunch meat...haters gonna hate. I swam home and dove right into laundry. The litter box smell of wet soccer clothes had finally become an issue when the basement door would open and the stench would cruelly waft up the steps. Oh and, no, my friends at Kroger did not judge me openly when I bought every kind of foot powder and shoe spray to rid those nasty cleats of their odiferous issues. And I bought a lot. If you pass our house and see the garage door open with a big fog coming out, don't mind me...Dr. Scholl's aerosol and I are having a little meeting. Now you might think to yourself, "How could her day get anymore exciting?". Well, it can. In the course of just 10 minutes, I was told that one daughter failed her hearing test at school and the other decided she wanted to be a vegetarian. Let's break these two things down. We have been struggling with some learning issues with G and, with the news of a possible hearing concern, wonder if this is the key that opens up the door of understanding and resolution for her. We must seem to be weird, twisted people to be somewhat interested by a hearing issue. It may be a complete fluke with the technology used to perform the test, but if not it may give us some answers.

Now to the vegetarian kid. Believe me, the thought has crossed my mind to take my eating habits in that direction. After the pork butt I crock potted and shredded last week, I just about turned right then. Brrrr. Gives me yucky chills to think about it. The vegetarian idea did not come from health concerns or a real understanding of the beef or meat industry. It came from happening upon the PETA website at school. Apparently, they are having a promotion of going vegetarian for a week and getting a prize. After I explained that was a big choice and she asked for eggs for breakfast, I had to explain vegan, pescatarian, got involved. Listen if she wants to do it, more power to her. It would be good for all of us. But the spaghetti and meat sauce she had two servings of for dinner is gone, baby, gone. Veggie crumbles instead.

We'll see. It is never dull around here, that's for sure.

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