Friday, January 31, 2014

Moving out

I will make this short and sweet. I traveled out of town today to help a friend move from one town to another town 30 minutes away. I am tired and a bit ill feeling from the hearty dinner of Mexican food I had. I don't much deal well with that ethnicity's cuisine. Tomorrow brings with it our first session with the dog trainer. I pray she will give us some insight as to how to help little Copper girl control herself...or help train us. We probably need it more. Anyway you look at it, all parties will benefit. I wonder if she will give us treats too?

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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Cabin fever is a real thing

No school again today. Our road and driveway are both like ski slopes, making travel less than palatable with three children who tend to have pretty dramatic reactions when cars start sliding. I wasn't sure I had the stores of temper to go through a drive today, but we needed to get free of the house. If Mike Rowe got money every time we viewed an episode of Dirty Jobs on Netflix, he would have enough for a really nice meal at a fancy steakhouse. When the oldest told me that we had no more food for the dog, well, my avoidance plan changed. We slid out of the driveway and down our street. I must admit, as a rule follower, I did a rolling stop. Well, a sliding stop really. We got there and back without too much drama or screaming. I used my jedi "blocking out all human sounds" tricks to drive without the fear of running off the road in reaction to a scream.

We are out of school again tomorrow. I get it. The backroads are a disaster and I would be a wreck if my kids rode the bus. But the kids are going to kill each other if I don't find a large warm, dry place for them to run around and burn off some major energy. Or maybe I need that. That sounds better. The dog and I will go. But for now, I will follow her lead:

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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The snow is still here

Though we already knew we would have a day off today, it was still very exciting to wake up after the alarm clock and see that a new blanket of snow had covered the footsteps of yesterday's play. The kids didn't sleep in too late, but just late enough to give us a nice little rest. While I was still clearing the sleep out of my eyes, the boy was asking when we could go out and play. Um, well, it was 6 degrees, so that was a big fat no for at least a bit. For some reason, snow days always bring with them the trying of new baked recipes. This morning was no exception...baked pancake squares from Pinterest. It was not the hit I had hoped it would be, but you never know. The hub churned away at his laptop and company phone in his makeshift office up in our bedroom. Our road remains untouched and, with his bad back, we couldn't resist a slip on the ice and further injury, so he worked at home. The kids and I took Copper out and wore her out in the white stuff. That little thing can run like the wind and conked out quite quickly in her crate after about 45 minutes. Remaining family members went out and took advantage of the ski slope-esque street, riding not like the wind, but more like a lazy summer breeze down the road. Every once in a while there was the cry of "CAR" by an adult and the kids scattered out of the line of sliding hunks of metal. After about an hour and a half, coldness and wetness won out and they went inside to dry off and warm up. I decided to to yet another snow day baking experiment and make cookies without measuring or a recipe. I know, I'm a rebel. The resulting product could have gone either way.

As I said in a text to my snowed in friend, "EDIBLE!!!". But really, who can resist a hot cookie fresh from the oven?

Lastly, I must admit we were evil parents today. We found out around 2:30 that we would be out of school again tomorrow. We chose not to tell the children and instead made sure they had extra homework done and their rooms clean...and then told them. Hey, you have to do what you have to do sometimes. It got done, thank goodness. I hope that our road is more driveable tomorrow. The kids will be crazy if they can't be around their own kind tomorrow. So will I. Night all!

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Super snow day surprise

We all woke up this morning hearing of the major winter storm that would be hitting the southy South, you know, below us. There was a chance that it would bring us some of the coveted white stuff, but it wouldn't be lots and would be hitting in the afternoon during pickup time. With that in mind, I went to work in my normal clothes and Vans, no boots or decent gloves, and got some work done before staff meeting. During our meeting, one of the attendees received a call from her husband, one of the people who make the call to cancel school or close it early. When I heard that school was closing early, my heart leapt with joy. Today was going to be one of those day where cloning sounded like a heck of an option to get everyone delivered where they needed to be when they needed to be there. We finished up our meeting, though not before the boss man cautioned us to not be heroes and leave before things got too bad. I finished up some emails, hopped in the Sequoia and made my way up to school. I saw that it was quickly deteriorating and had about 15 minutes in the pickup line to realize that it would be an interesting ride to the middle schol to pick up S. Exiting the school grounds, we went our normal way for all of about two blocks until we saw that bus 19 had turned down our normal street just in time to slide into G's dad's minivan. Low speed, low impact, but still scary and worrisome. So we decided to go the way of our only other option. That is when the 4WD decided to kick off when I was 20 feet up the hill. The car then decided it was done going forward and decided instead to go backwards, turning sideways as it went and was heading for a fenced yard with puppies. Luckily I had the presence of mind to softly apply the brakes...which just slowed the backwards momentum. But something was on my side and I started making forward progress again...but not for long. I started to spin and turn and go backwards again towards a gulley. This was the time that one child was crying about death and the other continuously jabbered and analyzed my driving skills in inclement weather. Luckily for us, the 4WD recovered, we rallied and made it to get sister. After a few tense moments, we arrived at home. Thank God. We had an afternoon of sloth, outside snow play, hot chocolate and snow cream. The dog thoroughly enjoyed herself and probably ate her weight in snow. She looked like the canine Phantom of the Opera, half chocolate face and half snow face. I think I heard her barking "Music of the Night" as she was sprinting in the backyard.

The kids are heading to bed, thankful that they will get to sleep in tomorrow and enjoy some more time in the snow. I love the snow, like a clean white blanket giving us a fresh start. This was a respectable snow and I think our Wisconsin relatives would approve. I'll take it anytime we get it. Be careful, everybody.

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Monday, January 27, 2014

The most unique party venue ever

Today is my father's birthday. He truly is a hero of mine and I wish I could have been with him today, but mom duties and Monday called. Hopefully he will be enjoying his new mini cheese board and primo cheeses sent from Wisconsin. He is an easy dad to please! My children were more bearish than usual to try and wake up this morning. They all had wild weekend hangovers for sure. I kind of had a Downton Abbey shock-over myself. I went through my usual routine in a bit of a fog, played chew toy for the dog and actually had dinner prepped for the oven by 9:30. I was feeling pretty good about myself. I even had a 20 minute nap with a warm puppy in my lap. Not too shabby. After an always interesting staff lunch, this time at Applebees, I got children from school and brought them home to quickly spruce up for the event. Our neighbor, who is one of the owners of our local funeral home, was having his 80th birthday party today. His actual birthday was yesterday, today was party day. I will say that I have never been to a happy event at the funeral home. I have been in several of the rooms to mourn several lost relatives, but never to hug the birthday boy and then eat cake and drink punch. The kids recognized the room where we ate our food was where we had my grandmother's viewing....and now that I think about it, my grandfather's viewing as well. We were pleased to be a part of celebrating Mr. Griffey's birthday. The children were quite shocked at how many people were there and marveled at his large amount of friends. I explained that he has been there for a long time and helped comfort people in some of the worst times of their lives. What a nice outpouring of love for the jolly neighbor, the man with the deep, booming voice who made sure to get my first handmade teddy bear into my Granny's casket, the one she taught me to make...who, with his lovely wife, came down and hugged my children while we went to put our beloved dog out of her misery...who calls as Santa every Christmas to get the wish lists from the kids and give his snack requests for the year. This is why there were so many people there to celebrate. We are grateful for his service, his family and his love.

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Sunday, January 26, 2014

What a chomper!

Our insane dog has been losing teeth left and right. I will not complain since those things are so flippin' sharp. When our dearly departed Cosby was a puppy, I used to find that her baby teeth were loose and would catch her and pull them out when they were hanging by a thread. After a while, she knew I was coming and would clamp that mouth shut like a safe. So this afternoon when I was playing tug of war with Copper and her rope, I tugged and something flew out of her mouth. S grabbed it before she could eat it this time:

Does that not look kind of horrible? It feels kind of horrible clamping down on your hand when she readjusts her grip on the rope. The boy is convinced that he wants to be the "Dog Tooth Fairy" and leave bits of beef jerky out where the tooth used to be. Okay....if he can figure out how to fund that job and learn to fight off the dogs who try to take him down before he gets their teeth. Constantly smelling like dried beef might indeed be an occupational hazard, not unlike when Jerry Seinfeld(on his show) stuffed chewy lamb-filled napkins in his coat pockets and was chased down the streets by a pack of dogs. I can see my little spectacled boy running down the street, shoes on the wrong feet, with a bag of beef jerky in one hand, a bag of dog teeth in the other and being chased by a bunch of mongrels. I may have overblown the image a bit. Kind of like the old Coppertone baby with half a diaper being pulled off...but the horrible opposite. Okay, so I've talked myself out of letting him be the Dog Tooth Fairy. He'll just be a turtle dazzler for now.
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Saturday, January 25, 2014

Uncle, everybody, uncle

I'm an independent woman. I really am, but when the hub and S go away for the weekend AND we have a nippy puzzle of a puppy, I am raising the white flag. My patience is gone and I have to be at work by 7:15 tomorrow. I have spent plenty of time by myself, but the thought of going to bed with a different dynamic in the house but me and Crazy Copper is a bit daunting. I'm sleepy enough that it shouldn't be a problem.

I took the youngers to see "Frozen" today. So terribly sweet and lovely. Of course I loved Olaf the snowman. He made the movie. The kids loved it and the boy even gave me a couple of squeezes and cuddles when I started to get teary. Love him.

I also went to a candle party tonight with a friend hosted by friends and attended by friends. I got two very yummy smelling candles that are supposed to burn 40-60hours each. Not sure how I will track that. Honestly, I'm more concerned about whether I will remember to take them out of the boxes and burn them. I'm kind of an idiot in that of many. I think they will smell lovely in our under renovation house. They have to take the edge off of that lovely odor of drywall dust.

Well, sorry for the lack of excitement. I just took a boiling bath and am the mental and physical equivalent of carmel ice cream topping, ready to puddle up under the sheets. Night all.

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Friday, January 24, 2014

Olympic sized exhaustion

Tonight was the Mother-Son Olympics at church. My son was beyond excited and had asked me for a week if I was preparing for the events. At six, he didn't completely get the fact that I was working out mentally more than physically. I can't get get into nonhumiliating shape in a week, so I did a lot of pep talking and praying that I wasn't going to make a royal jackass of myself in front of lots of boys and their mothers. The boy picked out my outfit, told me that I could not wear jeans and had me wear workout pants and my New Balance tennis shoes. Once I saw the obstacle course and how it was to be done, I was not so secretly thanking him for his wardrobe suggestion. We went second through the obstacle course which had a long tunnel through which I had to crawl, jumping jacks, Army crawl, bunny hops and crab walking to the finish line. I crossed the finish line and took a little rest before I got up to have the unfit walk of shame to stand with the other moms. Our time gave us a 4th place time amongst the group in which we were placed. I think the 4th place medal is, what, tin? Brass? Pewter? We also threw cheese balls at our sons who were wearing shower caps with shaving cream on them and raced in a relay using the wheeled dollies from my elementary school memories. I did just fine with those. We then ate a meal with our boys and went to make our Olympic team flags and had the closing ceremonies.

Yes, I was embarrassed at my huffing and puffing at an obstacle course. I didn't want to shame my son. But we had a special time together. He is really a neat kid and I just am so glad we got to spend time with him. He gets the shaft a lot of the time, especially being such an easy going guy. I am so blessed to have such a nice and wickedly funny boy. I will crawl through a tunnel and humiliate myself for him any day. This night, however, I am taking an extra motrin before bed. I'm going to need it.

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Thursday, January 23, 2014

I'm moving on up

So I got a new desk in my office. Well, it is new to me. I knew that I was definitely decorating in the era of "Early American Garage Sale" when my child compared my desk to one in the office at Station 51 on "Emergency!". I get it. John and Roy tried to fix the station's broken television on a desk quite like mine. So when moving of furniture went from one room to the other and chairs went from one place to another and a desk needed to have a new home, our senior pastor was walking by my office and saw the monstrous eyesore in my office. A win-win for both parties...they got a desk out of a place that needed emptying and I got a new to me desk that looks like it was manufactured in the 2000's. I had a whole three people come by, look in as I was rearranging the desktop and say, "Wow. Your office almost looks legit." I took it as a compliment...I think. Seeing as how I have never had an office of my own ever, I'll take whatever I can get. In celebration, I may hang up a new piece of artwork when I get it:

This is G's masterpiece of "Medusa Catching Snowflakes on her Tongue". Okay, maybe that would be best placed in our playroom. Medusa in a church office might raise some questions. She's still pretty cool with her "EVIL" shirt and all.

She'll be taking office art requests. Just call me.

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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

End of an era I'm afraid

One of my daughters has had the same best friend since age 2. Their birthdays are close together, same month, and her birthday was the very first friend birthday mine ever attended. They have always had the same opinions on things and the same quiet grace with which they navigate through life. But time goes on and things change. Different neighborhoods and different schools and different sets of friends. But still they stayed tight. But now something is different. With the advent of technology, messages are not returned or are slowly returned. My child, being insecure like her mother, wants to overmessage, asking what is wrong, did I do anything wrong, are we still friends. Pinky swears and BFF notes to each other are gone and have been replaced with questions and worry and empty places in the heart. All the hub and I can do is pray that life will once again circle back around and bring these two sweet souls back together. As a mom, it breaks my heart to see maturity and distance put a chink in such a special relationship. Until then, we will foster friendships as best we can and welcome with open arms when relationship is restored...and I pray prayer upon prayer that it will happen.

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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Cells, cells everywhere

When I was in AP Biology in high school, we had to do all of that studying about the different kinds of cells and mitosis and all that business. Because I quickly realized through the course of that class that I was never going to be a practitioner in the life sciences, I became very proficient in extra credit projects. My teacher loved them. Love, love, LOVED them. Good for me, because I was the queen of extra credit. So, thanks to the lovely invention of the Shrinky Dink, I made her plant and animal cell pins and plant and animal cell earrings. My friend D, who was also an aficionado of the extra credit sciences, took a plain pair of cheap white tennis shoes(fake Keds) and made her a plant cell show and an animal cell shoe. This had an almost violent reaction of the excited kind when she was given these offerings at the beginning of class. Just to tell you how old I am, I graduated from high school in 1990 and as of 10 years ago, I heard she was still wearing the cell swag. Fast forward to 2014, my oldet has repeated the shrinky dink cells, although wary of the wearable science project. Now they are hot glued to poster board and labeled according to their sequence in mitosis. Once again, the Shrinky Dink reins supreme....or at least hot meltable plastic fun. Hoop dee doo.

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Monday, January 20, 2014

Short and sweet

Here is my day in a nutshell. My hands and fingers are killing me. They feel like I have had them clenched for days and every joint aches like something I cannot describe. The puppy has been in a bit of a snit today. Keeps wanting to nip a little bit too uch today. Her training in puppy class starts next Saturday with the person coming to our home and training all of us. I look forward to it. The Blackilst, my current favorite new show, is on tonight and I am going to be struggling to make it through before I start snoring or checking my eyelids for holes. I have gotten myself very involved in the book "Gone Girl" and I cannot stop reading it. That is why books are bad for me at times. I cannot function or do anything else until I have the thing read. I have no life. Yes, there are much worse problems, but this is my life now.

On that note, I am going to kiss the kids and the puppy goodnight, try to sneak in a few pages before the show comes on and just in time for me to conk out. Living the dream, friends.

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Sunday, January 19, 2014

Missing my babies

The house is so quiet right now. The kids got the opportunity to spend the long weekend away. There are many times I long for time to myself or a trip away or a trip away for the kids. When it actually happens, I am really excited for all of about 20 minutes and then I start noticing the silence. The term "the silence is deafening" is so true for our house. I cannot stand it. It is almost paralyzing to me. I know that it is vitally important for the hub and I to have time away from the children and they need to have that time from us. We are just not afforded that opportunity often and I am pretty darn attached to the little monkeys. There have been benefits. We have not had to watch one single Disney Channel or Nickelodeon program. We got to look at kitchen cabinet stuff without having to make sure hands weren't touching everything. And, excitement of excitement, we got to wash the dog tonight. I would show you the pictures, but all you see is a flash of brown and water drops in the picture. She took it about as well as expected and reacted as one would who received the biggest insult of their life. It was rather amusing.

Well, friends, time to get cleaned up and watch Downton Abbey. After last week's shocking episode, I honestly don't know whether I can stomach it. But I must see how poor Anna is this week. Until next time, friends.

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Saturday, January 18, 2014

Kitchen conundrum

The hub and I are about thiiiiiisssss close to starting the true remodel on our kitchen. After living in the unfinished-ness of everything for a week at Christmas, I think it finally got to him and he couldn't take it anymore. This morning we hit two kitchen places and a granite/quartz place. Having had one drawing done, we felt the need to go to one more place, see their ideas and compare their price with the previous guy...who has been a flipping saint. He has drawn lovely possibilities, given us many(way too many)choices and measured every nook and cranny of our kitchen/breakfast room area. I like the fact that he has a design degree and really knew what he was talking about. But we must be fiscally responsible and comparison shop. We saw a nice lady today who helped us pick out a color that I loved. My concern was that she might be a bit too much of a "yes girl". Everything I said I liked, she said would be great. I pushed the issue and little and never really got a "no". If I said that I wanted alternating brass and brushed nickle knobs with a black granite countertop and a white farm sink, I hope she would have smacked me in the face as one would with a person who is hysterical. She is going to draw something out for us as well. I look forward to seeing what she pictures for us. My head is swimming, completely overwhelmed with the amount of possibilites available for a kitchen remodel. My brain was not built for that business. Not at all.

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Friday, January 17, 2014

Puppy milestone

I know, I know. Everybody is getting sick of hearing about the puppy and the minutiae of her every day. Tune out now, friends, cause here comes another heaping helping of doggy details. Wow was that corny. Sorry. Anyhoo, after getting the kids to school, getting the hub's hair cut and mailing back a dud printer to Epson, we took young Miss Copper to her first visit with her new veterinarian who is going to keep her healthy and immunized and worm free for the rest of her hopefully long life...if her humans do what they are told. Dr. Harry McLeod and his wife, Dr. Ruthie McLeod, both go to our church. When we moved here and had our Cosby dog, we went to a vet near our house and used by a neighbor. Her care was sufficient, but at the end, when we needed help the most to relieve her of her pain, Dr. McLeod was the one who made himself available, who stayed late and gave Cosby the peace she needed and had so faithfully earned. They sent us a sympathy card, signed by staff who didn't even know us...prepared a bereavement package...made her paw print in clay for us...took her remains to be cremated for us. While these are services they do often, they meant so much to a grieving family who just missed their beloved dog. So when we found Copper, we had no doubts as to which animal hospital would be stuck with our crazy family. As we pulled into the parking lot, I won't lie, I felt kind of sick. The last time I was there was June 23 and I was a snotty, sobby, dog hair and, sorry, dog urine covered mess. The hub was a mess. We walked in and I sat with Copper in my lap in the exact same place I sat with Cosby cradled in my arms, limp, with eyes that said, "It's okay. I'm ready." It was bittersweet for sure, but a relief to know we were there for a happy reason. She voiced her opinion more than once, but made a pretty good impression and even demonstrated a pretty sit for the doc. I hope that we have a long and uneventful relationship as pet owners/veterinarian and that our longest conversation involves the pastor's sermon and day to day life rather than traumatizing dog health issues. I am grateful to have people in our lives to take care of the furry spirits on this earth who love us without question and care for us when we really should be put in the doghouse. They are true blessings to our family still mourning, hearts still sensitive with the healing scars of loss and sweet pain of rememberance....and the excitement of new life.

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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Good grief, good golly

As the first full week of school since before Christmas draws to a close, my children are on the verge of killing each other. Fatigue has set in with a week full of school, church, choir, extra classes and just being kids. Stomachs have been punched. Rear ends have been kicked. Faces in pictures have been injured with pencils. But then on the flipside, hugs have been given, empathy has been shown, tears have been wiped and interpretive duet dances have been choreographed to Schoolhouse Rock's version of "The Preamble". As parents, we try to make sense of the emotional waves that ebb and flow in this house. Uhhhh, no luck. What they need is an 8pm bedtime, a little melatonin and a week to sleep life off. They have been stressed and carrying a lot more than the 6, 9 or 12 year old me did. I was drawing pictures, listening to "The Muppet Movie" soundtrack and doing one of those middle schooly "Love-Hate-Marriage" experiments using a cute boy's and my names to determine our not so scientific future. I weep for the loss of the carefree, the footloose, the innocence. At least they have a long holiday weekend away fromall of the baloney. They need it for sure.

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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

First things first. We are all a little off our game here tonight. The fuzzy member of our family is staying the night at the animal shelter where we got her. No, we are not returning her. As part of our adoption fee and agreement, she went this morning to get spayed. Due to school pickup scheduling and having a husband who works out of town, there was no way to pick her up by four and pick up the oldest two at their activities and get to church by 4:30. Soooo, she she is staying night to be checked on and monitored. We also found out that we were given the wrong food amounts to give her. Poor little thing has been a hungry girl. No wonder we had the peanut butter nastiness earlier this week.

Tonight the boy's "boy-ness" came out in spades tonight. He is teaching me new terms all the time or reintroducing ones I hadn't thought of for years. Tonight was a new one. We were sitting, appropriately enough, with the pastor and his wife. The boy was enjoying the heck out of his burger, covered to the elbows with ketchup and mustard and having a case of the super sillies. I was trying to keep it all in perspective since this particular pastor tends to activate the silly parts of my child and I was trying really hard to not get angry. Our pastor had to take a phone call so his wife, the boy and I were left to eat and talk. All at once I heard him say in a not terribly loud, but very audible voice, "I guess I'll go dazzle the turtle in a minute." I looked at the pastor's wife who looked at me and we looked at the boy who looked smug and amused. "What did you say?". He smiled. "I just was basically saying I needed to go to the bathroom." The two adults at the table then laid our heads on the table and lost it. Bad. "Dazzle the turtle". What. On. Earth. I grew up with a big brother. I have heard every one of the euphemisms for going to the bathroom. Good gosh. I know it is not his original saying, but it wiped me out.

That kid. I'm in trouble.

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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

"Help! Help! I'm being repressed!"

We all have movies that we quote endlessly...The Princess Bride...Rear Window...Anchorman...Monty Python and the Holy Grail...just to name a few. I've been thinking about the "violence inherent in the system" a lot these days. I laugh at that movie all the time and quote it daily, cough cough, I mean every once in a while. But I have been. We all have something that in our lives that make us want to cry out against the foul of repression. My children are learning about this concept far earlier than they ever should have. While I know learning to cope with this will only make them stronger in the long run, it sure sucks as a parent to see the bitter tears that come with the learning process. Groups of people, not just the obvious race-color-creed types, are repressed and penalized right in front of us and we don't even realize. Well, friends, the hub and I are learning in far too intimate a way about repression. We will not let it stand. You will hear more details as they develop. Just know, I will stand up to the violence inherent in the system. I will be a noisemaker against the injustice.

For now, I will work to go to sleep with tossing and turning for two hours. I will try not to worry about the pup's surgery tomorrow. I leave you with the boy's rendering of me as we waited for G to come out of her class:

I am sitting in a chair with my ipad in my lap. My nose looks a little broken and I resemble a melted version of myself, but I love it. He got the earrings perfectly. And my feet are small for once. I love that kid.
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Monday, January 13, 2014

Funny prayers from funny "say-ers"

We've had a busy night here at the ranch. Homework, dog duties, poster making, dinner and a Skype lesson. The dog lost her mind a bit this evening, got hyped up and half attacked the boy...attacked with kisses and a little nip since he inexplicably had peanut butter on his rear end after helping making his lunch for tomorrow. He was actually covered with peanut butter, so she cannot be held responsible for her lack of control. If you come over here anytime soon, please bring your epipen if you suffer from allergies. I swear they bathed in peanut butter this evening.

When the kids finished, it was way past time for bed and prayers needed to be said. The hub and I had been watching Ninja Warrior while the kids were goobering up the kitchen, so the kids watched with us until the commercial break. In that bit of time, we saw several poor Japanese guys fall in the water in various frightening scenarios. So naturally, it stuck with them. When it was time for prayers and one of the kids volunteered, we had no idea what we were in for this evening. There were prayers for the men in the Ninja warrior competition...that they would be safe and not get hurt. There were prayers for sore bottoms, both from falling after walking the dog in the rain and from crazed peanut butter attacks. There were prayers of thanks for the new puppy and how having her teaches us more about God every day. Not doubting that one, just still have not figured it out yet. After these and many other very detailed words of thanks and concern, the prayer was concluded with a "Good night, I mean, see you, I mean, Amen." They summed it up better than I ever do.

Night all and beware of peanut butter residue around our house. The more you know....

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Sunday, January 12, 2014

I need some ice cream

Not much to report from today. We all stayed home and kept our hacking plaguey germs to ourselves. It was nice to sleep in, but tomorrow morning is going to be hell trying to get up when the clock rings. Oh well. Not any different than anyone else on a Monday morning. It will be a kind of busy week this week. A couple of very important meetings tomorrow, work on Tuesday, the poor puppy gets spayed on Wednesday. I'm not looking any farther than that. That poor little pup doesn't know what she's in for. I dread that.

I don't know why, but I need a bowl of ice cream. That's how I'll end things. WIth that and this:

Just found it funny...and awfully cute.
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Saturday, January 11, 2014

It's a dirty job...

Due to the fact that we apparently have the plague over here, we have not been out much today. Lots of inside cleaning and thank you note writing and a little tiny bit of frolicking on the patio while the hub continued to build the railing. One of the things that has been most popular is to watch has been "Dirty Jobs" reruns on Netflix. Through the magic of TV, they have been educated on the birthing of calves, the cleaning of septic tanks, the use of scrap food in Las Vegas to feed pigs and sexing of chicks. There has been a lot of excrement, dirt, cough-gagging and questions. What I loved about this program and always will is that it gives you a pretty uncensored look into what goes into the particular job. They've only gagged once. I was quite pleased.

Again, bear with my absolutely yawn inducing posts. Here's hoping to some fun soon.

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Friday, January 10, 2014

Petite Post

I have been stricken with something in the heart of the afternoon pick up times. I didn't feel quite right, very flushed and off. When we arrived at home and I got out of the car to fetch the copy of the most recent "WatchTower" out of my front door, I felt as though I had been hit by a truck after running marathon at boot camp. Teeth chattering, I did my best to sort through the Friday school paperwork before I boiled myself in the bathtub. Warmest pj's and two blankets later, the hub came home to find the carnage of his wife. I got the flu shot and I am praying that this is a fluke and not flu. Just please pray that I can sleep it off. With school back in session and a new puppy, I cannot afford to be down.

If anyone finds that truck that hit me, hit them with viscious rhetoric on my behalf. Thanks.

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Thursday, January 9, 2014

Please stick with me...

I am in a dry spell. Writer's block is not necessarily the right term for it, but creativity block might be better. Two weeks of being with my children in the house in various forms of sniffles has caused me to hit a dry spell of experiences. I have written about our obsession(ongoing)with Emergency! on Netflix. I have written to probably a nauseating extent about our new puppy. Can't help it. She is cute and a big pill all at the same time. Right now she smells like a can of mandarin oranges that spilled on a slightly damp dog. We got new wipes that are basically like baby wipes for dogs that smell like mandarin oranges so we don't have to traumatize her right now with a bath as well as a new house and children who want to hold her like a baby all the blasted time. Cough cough. off track there. Tonight I could write about the fact that my oldest child's math teacher yelled at the class about a shortage of graphing calculators for their classroom that the kids use in class and then return at the end of class thus rendering his whole welcome back to school after Christmas speech pointless since he was not welcoming. We spent an hour this evening trying to find one of the blasted things to buy so he would have one less calculator to complain about. But I won't bother you with that. I also won't bother you with my indying love for crock pot liners, especially after cooking a pork loin all day for bbq sandwiches and the clean up was pretty much nonexistent.

Forgive my creatively dry spell. While I should probably skip a few days between posts, I have gotten into a habit. I feel like I am missing a step in my evening routine if I do not put something out there. Don't worry though. Material rich days are a-comin'. We will be getting into a full blown kitchen/breakfast room/bathroom remodel in the very near future. Four years+ is long enough to go without cabinet doors or something other than luan. Should be an interesting time.

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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

So the groaning has begun...

Well, the late afternoon-early evening phone call that has arrived the past two days did not come. The kids jumped at every text tone, email notification and telephone ring. "Is that the school?!!?". "Uh, again, no." At least they are only going to have a two day school week. How excellent is that? I will be sad to drop them off tomorrow, I really will. But we need a routine again. We have to have a routine again. I have them in bed now, so hopefully they will conk out soon.

My friend is leaving Friday to spend three months in Guatemala. I sure will miss her while she is there, but I am so very excited for the adventure she is about to have. She will be living at an orphanage our church helped build. Boy will those kids be in for a treat with her there. She will be so much fun for them.

I hope that I will have better material to post very soon. I need a good Pizza Inn post....without having to go there. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Hot water pours and locked doors

Another frozen day in Knoxvegas. I woke up this morning at 6am to see this on my television:

Yipes! When we lived in Missouri, we had some pretty rough temperatures, but that was par for the course living there. We have winter here, milder than they used to be, but they are Tennessee winters. So it was interesting to see the "2" on the screen this morning. I will say that the new puppy does not tarry when going outside to use the bathroom. This gesture is appreciated by all.

Today was the day I was determined to break out of the ranch for a little bit and rediscover life outside of the house. I had no idea that it would take so long to get the car defrosted. First I had to get the doors open. After ten minutes, I got one open and the car started. I then had to call in the big guns. G bundled up, got in the car and crawled over seats into the back. As she pushed with her feet, I pulled the door until it finally opened. Repeat process on the others. I know the neighbors thought we were crazy. Okay, crazier than usual. Between scraping for thirty minutes, 6 degree temps and inhaling carbon monoxide for the same amount of time, I was hacking like a carton a day smoker. Classy. Oh well. It is cleared off and we got out for a bit. Froze our rumps off, but broke the cabin fever cycle.

Tomorrow is another frigid day. For now, I willl hunker down under the covers and conk out for a peaceful night's sleep. Fingers crossed.
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Monday, January 6, 2014

The snow came, but...

We woke up this morning to a nice blanket of snow on the ground. Nothing huge, but enough to make the grass disappear. The kids were excited although it was short lived, because I took one look at the temperature and knew there was no chance of outside play today. With the amount of snot currently found in our house, there was no way I was going to introduce snow to it and make it multiply. So we stayed in an had buttermilk pancakes and watched classic Star Trek episodes. The boy especially enjoyed his pancake ritual of getting to have a glass of buttermilk with his breakfast. The boy is just like his grandfather. He'd drink the whole bottle if I let him. As the temperature dropped, the puppy got more snuggly. At one point, she was half on a child while buried under two blankets. Funny thing, she is. About 3:00, we got a call from the school system that school was cancelled for tomorrow due to extreme temperatures. Again, my WI relatives are having a good chuckle right now, I'm sure. I must say that I am glad. One of S's friends has to stand at the bus stop for 20 minutes since her mom has to go to work. She'd be a popsicle before she got picked up. Brrr.

I'm off to get underneath some covers and drift blissfully off to sleep, warm and happy. Tomorrow should be an exciting day of nothing in particular but waiting for the next school day to arrive. Yuck.

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Sunday, January 5, 2014

Stop the world! Snow and Downton are coming!

The apparent "Snow/Iceamageddon" is coming and Northeast Tennessee is in a panic. The shelves are wiped of bread, milk and eggs. Somewhere someone is going to be making some serious French toast. We here at the ranch are not too frightened by the snow, but are not lovers of ice. The kids have one more day of break and then will go back Tuesday. Expect to hear large amounts of groaning and moaning to come forth when I make the wake up calls. I may let them sleep in a half hour later than normal tomorrow, just for myself. I'm a giver.

Also, brace yourselves America, Downton Abbey is back on tonight. All new, all country estates and aristocracy and upstairs/downstairs and snotty Lady Mary. That's right. I am not a Lady Mary fan and I am not looking forward to a season where she is even uglier and more entitled and witchy than normal. Oh well. Complaining about a television show like there's a gun to my head to watch it.

Well. I'm off to watch some of the show and start snoozing very soon. I hope to wake up to snow covered grass.

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Saturday, January 4, 2014

Sleepy Saturday

I cannot get warm to save my life. It doesn't help that I have had a nasty cold for several days and all the business that goes with it. So I went into sloth mode today, only moving long enough to move from one couch in one room to another couch down the hall. To complete the look, I even had a hooded sweatshirt with the hood up...I looked like the grim reaper meets Funky Winkerbean...toss back to comic strips of yesterday, young'uns. I did rise from the funk of sloth to venture out for a deal at Kroger. Unfortunately it was a wild goose chase, looking for cheap chicken breasts. We did get out of there with enough cereal and toilet paper to pad my child's stockpile for a bit. With the threat of super cold weather and a possible snow dusting, our town was out in droves finding the makings for French toast. If only we would really get some super duper snow. That would be excellent.

Puppy report: She is looking cute. Her human siblings are going to wear her out if they have their way. When we got another lab, I did not know we were getting a "lap lab". It sure is cute now, but when she gets to be 70 pounds, it might get a little bit awkward. She does have a marked fascination with my wedding ring. In an ever so gentle way, she tries to nibble it off my finger. Never gets old to her. Pretty amusing. She also tried to chew my toenails the other day...TMI maybe, but it happened. She's opening new doors of odd behavior.

Lastly, I saw this on TV and may not be able to contain my excitement at the genius that it is:

Make your own Bacon Bowl. Nice. After you eat your bacon bowl with the advertised burger in it, you can buy a Shake Weight to work it out. Happy New Year.
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Friday, January 3, 2014

Winter Break malaise

I love having this time off, don't get me wrong, but when we have time off and people are sick and unable to go anywhere with friends, yeah that's a problem. We have been stuck inside due to foul sinuses and frigid weather. Apple TV has given us some fun watching Emergency! and McGyver and Twilight Zone reruns, but that can only go so far. Playing with toys and reading books can only go so far. The kids have had to resort to cleaning and helping with construction projects in the backyard. G went to her class today and the boy got to go to the pediatrician today. They forgot about us in the room, which is always a joy, but he did get some medicine...and a Dum Dum. They got to clean up after the dog this evening when she, out of nowhere, decided to drop a pile in the middle of the breakfast room. Gagging occurred, I do believe, but they wanted a new pet and steaming heaps come with the sweet, skunky smell of puppy breath. She is an awfully fun little pup, when she's not mouthing on your hand or sneaking out of her confines. But heck, she's been with us since Monday and she needs a break. She is a nice warmer on these cold days:

I'm going to go watch Good Burger with the kids until the hub gets back from Lowes. He's getting supplies to protect our oddly and stupidly placed water spigot that is located in the middle of the front yard. Since the cold is only getting colder, he is going to bundle it up a little bit more so it won't explode in the middle of the night and cause a neighborhood incident...but that might break the monotony. Night all....
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Thursday, January 2, 2014

Quirky girl I am

First off, today was a banner day for children in this family. My two youngest have saved their birthday, Christmas and commission money for quite a long time in hopes of buying something wonderful and exciting for themselves. Today was that day. We took a trip to the Apple Store and they both purchased, with their own money, iPad Minis. Pretty proud of those kids:

While I find the Apple Store frustrating and confusing, I have to say they are very good with kids who have saved their money and really praise them for doing so. Of course they ching in their pockets, but it means a lot to a parent trying to encourage kids to save.

Not that this is a surprise to me or anyone who knows me, but I have strange quirks that I have no explanation as to how they came to be. Here are just a few:

1. When washing my hair, I have to rinse my hands off first before I can rinse the shampoo out of my hair. Why?

2. I must turn the open end of my pillowcase inward so as to avoid any creatures, monsters or aliens from crawling inside it. You can never be too careful.

3. On ice cream Saturdays(the hub and I have our bowl of ice cream on Saturday), I have to eat my ice cream with the same spoon. I must confess that it is the same spoon that happened to walk out of Dietrick Dining Hall at VPI when I was a freshman in college. And, yes, the ice cream tastes better when it is used.

I won't share anymore. I don't want you all to think I'm even stranger than you already do. Just my quirk sharing for the day. I'm now off to read up on nippy puppies. Love little Copper girl, but her puppy nippiness is growing quite old and needs to be, ahem, "nipped" in the bud. Sorry about that.
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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Dopey New Year

I am not a late night kind of gal, so staying up for the dropping of the ball is one of those events that takes several days for me to get over. I'm a wimp. Naturally the boy wakes up at the crack of dawn and is ready to go. The rest of us are loopy. The girls managed to sleep late into the nine o'clock hour. Lucky ducks. Our day consisted of working on the new railings for the patio, buying tennis balls for the puppy, eating traditional sauerkraut(yuck) and pork for good luck in the New Year AND playing games. Currently Catch Phrase is the game of the evening and the guesses and clues have had us rolling in the floor. My oldest and youngest are having an argument over the rules of the game Blokus and the hub is vainly trying to block all of it out and mess on his phone. Living the dream, friends. Living the dream.

I must go, gentle readers. I have a child who is begging for a back scratch. A mom's job never ends. Night all.

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