Thursday, December 31, 2015

Eve of a New Year

I am on the verge of falling asleep and feel I had better write my post in case I conk out unexpectedly.  2015 has brought with it a lot of big changes and growth.  I am grateful for all of the friends I have, old and new, who have been with me on the many journeys of this year.  As it draws to a close, I am unsure how to feel about the dawn of a new year.  2015 has not ended exactly as I hoped.  It is hard not to be with my mom at all this season.  Her birthday is tomorrow and I would love to be with her, but I know she needs her rest to heal.  I pray that 2016 is the dawn of new possibilities for healing for her.  My children are growing faster than I can comprehend and I am just doing my best to hold on and remember every second of the ride.  The hub's back is improving which is such a blessing and I hope the coming year will bring even more improvement.

I am a blessed woman, truly.  I wish a wonderful 2016 to all of you and pray God blesses each of you on your journey.

Night all.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Putting it away

Our Wisconsin family left this morning and we could no longer come up with any reasonable excuses as to why we couldn't put the Christmas decorations up. It made me sad, but it had to be done. One child went back to sleep and the other two helped take all of the ornaments off the tree, get the strings of lights and cranberries and garland off and put the Santas back in their boxes. I felt they had done their due diligence and released them from work duty. The other got up from an early morning nap and helped sweep up the remaining fir needles and also helped to get all the ornaments back in their correct boxes and bags. We then had some breakfast, sent the boy on his way to a surprise play date with his buddy and took the girls to Barnes and Noble to spend the gift cards that were burning holes in their pockets.

Currently, the oldest and I are preparing to play Canasta whilst watching the beginning of the Twilight Zone New Year's marathon. This is what I look forward to every holiday break. We sit, play games, watch weird stuff and are together as a family. I'll take it.

Night all. Time to snuggle up and play some cards.

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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Little to say

We have had a big day with lots of family activity time with our family from the snowy north. We played at the MUSE for a long time. The dog got more than her fair share of fetch time. The corn hole boards saw their fair share of use. The Tomato Head had a nice group of satisfied customers with happy bellies. We had a super smack down on the Kinect and some very exhausted and hyper children. We are one in the process of trying to calm them all down and point them towards bed. I may fall down asleep first. We'll see.

Night all.

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Monday, December 28, 2015

Taxi driver

I, blog woman, am now an official family taxi driver. My poor oldest child has had to be at school multiple times today for band purposes. I think we should stick a fork in her, because she is done. She enjoys band, but the pressure of practicing for her senior clinic auditions and getting signed off by her band directors is about to turn her into a basket case. She has missed out on time with her relatives and time out of her holiday break. Oh well. Such is life. She and her sister have now been officially bitten by the cribbage bug and are currently playing on our bed with an iPad cribbage board...or whatever it is called. The power also went out tonight which meant all the cousins played Kings in the Corner by camping lamp light and had shadow dances. Who says you need electricity to have fun?

Night all. I'm tired.

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Sunday, December 27, 2015

Visitors for the north

We have family at our house now...from Wisconsin. They have been visiting the outlaws in South Carolina for a few days and we are now excited to have them with us. Our children love playing with their cousin and aunt and uncle. The girls learned how to play Cribbage this evening thanks to Aunt S. It is too math head for me, but I envy people who can play cards and use the fancy wooden board. My only knowledge of Cribbage was on an episode of the Monkees when they decided to swindle a bad guy by playing their version of the game. Afterwards they had to battle Rip Taylor and deal with a Frodis and all this weird stuff:

It was towards the end of their run and when they were probably using some psychedelics and all that. But the Cribbage part was funny...I promise. My niece and I battled in Apples to Apples Junior with the boy and the hub. THe adults determined that it really is the game that will never end, but we had fun and lots of laughs.

We look forward to our time with them and hope that the rain will hold off so we won't be cooped up in the house too much. If not, we will find something to do with our time and wear each other out. That's what family is for!

Night all.
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Saturday, December 26, 2015

Cake Day

Today was cake decorating day in our house. G loves to decorate cakes and volunteered to do the dessert for our monthly community meal at church. Let me just say, I was thrilled that she wanted to do something to help out those who may want an extra special Christmas treat in their belly. While I was happy to bake the cakes and get them ready for her to decorate and get the 6lbs of icing it took to cover and decorate all of them, I hit my stickiness limit about noon today. The cakes were well received and, because it was a smaller group, we had a whole cake to give away. I was glad to see it go. We also made brownies decorated with snowmen and some decorated to look like reindeer.

I'm going to go cuddle up with my children and watch a show. Night all.

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Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas!!

It has been a long day today that started with a six o'clock wake up call. They were kind. It could have been a lot earlier. They were all very pleased with what they received. It was just unfortunate that many of their gifts were meant for outside and apparently this is the December monsoon season that we unfortunately forgot about. Hopefully a dry out will occur before they go back to school. It was strange not seeing my parents this year. I wanted to go surprise them so much, but I know that this was not the time for that. Hopefully her neck and condition will improve enough that we can see them soon. We did spend time with my brother and his family. Fifteen month old little ones are so fun and busy. She wore us all out. The evening is coming to a close and we are about to watch S's Christmas present from her brother: the second season of Survivor. We will also be playing canasta.

Hope you all have a great night and Merry Christmas!

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Thursday, December 24, 2015

It's almost the day....

The kids have gone upstairs and will desperately try to go to sleep.  Not going to happen, but they will give it a good try.  I am taking a 10 minute break to watch Ralphie try not to shoot his eye out.  The hub is playing some game on his phone.  We have already gone to church.  It was a wonderful service; my favorite kind.  It is loud and unpredictable, but it is still very meaningful.  G's friends E and CR played the violin and the piano and did beautiful jobs.  G sang and her sister and I accompanied her on ukulele.  The boy said the Christmas prayer.  We are very blessed.  Once we got home, we discovered that the elves had made a visit to drop off some pajamas and mess a little in the house.  They always seem to get in the fridge and eat something.  They left Star Wars miniatures next to the picante sauce this year.  We feasted on the traditional Christmas Eve meatloaf and mashed potatoes.  Right after dinner, the hub and I were surprised by our youngest coming down the stairs dressed as Ralph in his pink bunny costume.  It was the funniest thing I have ever seen in my life.  I would put a picture of it up, but I am writing on the desktop and not on my pad.  I will flood the next edition with pictures.  My parents and the kids pulled off a good one.  I'm still laughing.  Afterwards, we sat together and read our two Christmas standards:  the Christmas story out of the Bible(we chose Luke's version this year) and Edwin Markham's "How the Great Guest Came".  It was extra special this year as the children took turns reading the passages for us.  We can stress over the gifts and who is going to fix what for dinner, but at the end of the day, we sit down together and remember the real reason for all of this...and we are thankful.  

Sleep well all of you.  I will pray that the reindeer don't damage your shingles and that the elves flush the toilet at your house(they always forget here).  God bless each of you and have a very merry Christmas tomorrow.

Night all.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Cookied out

Fa la la la laaaaaa...I am so tired.  I have baked more cookies in the past week than I have the past three years.  I am sick of looking at them.  Sick to death.  We will be handing them out to members of our community tomorrow who have to work on Christmas Eve.  It will be fun and we will enjoy ourselves, but I am not going to be sad to retire the mixer for a bit.  

It has been another busy day leading up to Christmas.  The boy went with his friend to see the new Star Wars movie and it is killing him to keep his mouth shut about it.  He better though!  I went shopping to try and find the hub a present.  He doesn't exactly play fair and give suggestions, so he gets what he gets.  Our Wisconsin relatives came through for a quick trip to drop items off, have a little cousin play time and then make their way to South Carolina.  They'll be back for a longer stay on Sunday.  The hub is out doing something and I am trying to get some side dishes pre-made for Friday.  Then it will be on to wrapping a few more gifts before I pass out.  I keep reminding myself what this holiday is all about and focus back on the new star shining that leads us to the real reason for Christmas.  

For now, I am going to take a trip to the dungeon to wrap for a while.  Night all and happy Christmas Eve Eve.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

We talked to the big guy...

It's been a long and busy day here at the ranch.  Lots of cooking and appointments and waiting in lines.  My work gave us all a gift card to Honey Baked Ham, so I went for my first visit ever and waited in line line with a bunch of the other crazies looking for Christmas meat.  I had no idea what an operation it was.  You ask them for what you want and then they bring it out, open it up and let you inspect it.  Not really sure what I was looking for, but it looked hammy to me.  I also had a lovely discussion about ham bones and their large role in tasty soup making with the employee.  After an afternoon of baking what seemed like 5 million cakes for our community meal on Saturday, the family and I took off for our annual trip to see the big guy in red.  The kids were various levels of excited and our wait in line brought with it prime people watching.  Their aunt and uncle came along as has been tradition for several years now.  It was fun as usual.  

I need to go and wrap up a cake to put in the freezer.  And then I am going to pass out.  I'm so tired.

Night all.

Monday, December 21, 2015

What an idiot I am...

The Monday before a Friday Christmas and where did I find myself? Two of the dumbest places to be: Toys R Us and the United States Post Office. Both have a big job to do this time of year for sure and both headquarters for insanity. I needed to get a package out to family for a Christmas Eve arrival and knew that I might have to sell a kidney to get it there. Luckily, I didn't have to stand in line for the hours I thought I would. I was in for about 30 minutes and saw lots of stressed out holiday mailers. The big blue outside mailboxes were stuffed to overflowing with letters full of Christmas cheer waiting to be taken to their intended recipients. People inside the post office were juggling stacks of boxes; one man had a tower of six tat he rested his chin on as he dodged people looking for boxes and tape and stamps. I got through unscathed. After spending time there and shopping and the pediatrician's office in the morning, I went home to have a tiny little snooze. Just enough to get a second wind and then go back out to the wolves. The kids decided to go with in numbers. The Toys R Us was the height of insanity as expected. We quickly discovered, after talking to an associate, that the toy we were looking for was out of stock and not to be restocked for the foreseeable future. It took us longer to get out of the store than it did to try and find the item. I was able to keep my sanity and not lose a child. We ended up finding what we needed at a specialty store, but only after a man barley missed shooting me in the face with a pop gun. It made for interesting shopping conversation..."Hey, remember that Christmas when I lost an eye in the toy store? Those pop guns are not a joke." It all turned out okay.

Gots to go wrap now. Night all.

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Sunday, December 20, 2015

Dog tired today

I am in another season of insomnia. It seems as though the seasons are coming closer together which really stinks. After going to bed at 10:30 last night, I flipped and flopped until I finally passed out from boredom I think. It was sometime after 4...which really sucked since I got up in the 6 o'clock hour. I have been a zombie today. I then had to go to a work Christmas party and then the hub and I wrapped presents all evening. Thank the good Lord for him. He is my hero.

I can't type anymore. Night all.

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Saturday, December 19, 2015

Far behind

I've been, in the last several years, pretty good about being ahead of schedule when it comes to Christmas shopping and that sort of thing. No wrapping presents on Christmas Eve and that sort of thing...I've been pleased with myself. Not so much this year. As I sorted gifts to see what I still needed to get, I realized that I was not nearly as far ahead and actually way behind. This is not a happy feeling. Not only does it send me into a panic, but it takes my eyes off the true meaning of the whole holiday. Not good. I worked on making candy today for the neighbors and prepping cookie dough for the Christmas Eve cookies to be delivered by a group of us to different businesses who have to be open and need a little extra cheer. It will get done and all will be fine.

Now I must go and get some things done. Have a good evening. NIght all.

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Friday, December 18, 2015

Yay for break!!!

Our Christmas break from school finally kicked off today after a half day of school. The two youngers wanted to go because there were talent shows to watch at their schools. S did not want to go as she and her fellow students had been told by teachers to absolutely not come. She felt they made their opinions so strongly known that she did not want to show her face there and, reluctantly(ha), slept in until her dad got her up at TEN. She did have exams and all that business, so I can't really blame her although it has been 20+ years since I have slept nearly that long. I did a little CHristmas shopping, a lot of cleaning and some baking today. We also took the dog for yet another torture session at the self dog wash. It was as entertaining as always and I do believe she is downstairs on her bed, smelling of Pupperoni and plotting our painful deaths. She smells 100% better, so whatever floats her boat. I am tired and am hoping that the hub will rub out whatever demon keeps popping my hip in and out. It hurts like the devil.

Night all and happy Friday.

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Thursday, December 17, 2015

Party day...whew

The boy had his Christmas party at school today. No shocker here, but talk about AMPED UP. Those children were mad excited about everything and sugared up to the nth degree. I was on glass ball ornament decorating duty. No pressure there. We managed to get through 24 children without breaking one during the making of them. I heard a few bit the dust later on, but not on my watch. My boy was very well behaved and a good share friend. I was a proud mom.

This afternoon I have been a taxi driver and shopping consultant for children. I'm not sure which was more exhausting, the party of the shopping. Either way, I really am ready for bed. But I go to bed grateful for a great teacher for my son and for a son who is a great guy(and his sisters aren't too bad themselves).

Night all.

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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

I have no words...well I do.

Soooo, my morning was quite productive. I delivered children to schools, picked up groceries, picked up needed items for Christmas parties, fought through a mountain of laundry and made cookie dough. Productivity and I were friends this morning. Then I picked the oldest up from school early...they get to leave after their exams are over for the day. We got her fed and then we sat down for a little rest. I was in a documentary mood, so I went surfing on Netflix and found something that has changed our lives. The whole afternoon started off with my daughter saying, "I hate documentaries!". This sparked a lively discussion about her not really knowing what a true doc was. She took offense and said she did. Anyhoo, I basically told her she just hadn't seen the right documentary and I would change her thinking. Then, enticed by the title, we chose this movie:

I don't think we took a full breath until it was over. My child witnessed the greatest piece of wackiness she has ever seen...and she LOVED it. People dressing up monkeys and calling them their daughters and letting their monkeys have baby dolls and birthday parties with elaborate cakes and discussions of having portions of their wills dedicated to monkey care and ladies saying that their 20lb monkeys are going to have to take care of them in their old age. It was insane. The best part about the whole documentary was that one of the profiled monkey people was a lady from our area. She has a business, Sonshine Monkeyshines, and has actually visited our church as a part of a Bible School kickoff treat. She has also had her monkeys at our local Fountain CIty Day in the park on Memorial Day. The monkeys eat Dum Dum suckers and scurry about in a somewhat terrifying manner for those unfamiliar with them. Mind BLOWN. If you have Netflix Instant Viewing, you must check this out. I cannot emphasize it enough.

I have baked cookies all evening and my dogs are barking. Night all.
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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Barking in the kitchen

My daughter wants to make special treats for some people, so I am in the kitchen making them. That sounds ugly. I am more than glad to do it. I love the holiday baking fun. I am currently waiting for a batch of peppermint bark to harden up and then I will be breaking it into little pieces for gift bags. A little of that stuff goes a long way, I mean mint oreos and candy canes and two kinds of chocolate. Yowsa. I hope it is eaten and enjoyed. The hub is in helping with exam studying and prep. It is math and, since they all have surpassed my abilities, I am glad to be the provider of beverages and refueling snacks as needed. That's about as much excitement as we have around here.

Night all!

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Monday, December 14, 2015

Cake and books and bball oh my

It is late and I have little left in the tank, but I will let you in on the events of a day on fast forward. The annual taking treats to the staff at the elementary school occurred today. This year went more smoothly than most. It helps to have the help of three children who have grown stronger over the years and can schlep more and more each season. The staff of the school enjoyed the treats I think and my mom's Italian Cream Cake was the hit of the lot. I called to let her know their reaction and I think it pepped her up a bit. She's had a hard day. Her PT was different today and caused her a lot of pain...but sometimes that has to happen to get to a better place. Let's pray that happens soon.

I did my favorite kind of shopping today: book shopping. It is always dangerous for me to go to a book store and I have a hard time getting out, but I escaped. Our elementary school librarian, Mrs. J, is retiring this month and there was a reception for her this afternoon. We could bring some books for the library in her honor. We got an oldie but goodie and a new one. A classmate of mine from high school is a successful artist, author/illustrator who has more talent in his finger than most 4person families do altogether. If you want a fun book, "Archie the Daredevil Penguin" is a good choice. Look that title up on youtube and you'll find a fun song to go with it as well. The boy is having a hard time with Mrs. J leaving. He spends a lot of time in the library and enjoys talking with her about book suggestions. It will be tough for him and all the children, but we wish her so much happiness in her retirement and will have our fingers crossed that she will come back to visit.

G did not get to go to the reception today and was bummed, but she missed for a good reason. She and her soccer teammates were honored at the middle school basketball game halftime for winning the middle school championship for the third year in a row. She has only been on the team for one of those years, but he sister was also on one of those teams. We were so proud that she was able to be a part of this team and had such a positive experience.

After all of that, we went to church and participated in day two of the church Christmas concert. It was lovely again. We are all tired and a bit relieved that this day is over.

Going to watch the rest of The Great Holiday Baking Show. Night all.

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Sunday, December 13, 2015

Day one: Done

Day one of the super duper church Christmas concert is done. The recording day is over and tomorrow night's performance should be a little more relaxed. The children did fine. I was worried about the boy's stamina. His body is not at 100% or even 90% after all this medicine and infection that is eating up his sinuses and ears. He made it and so did the others. Tomorrow will be at 7:30, so I have a feeling we will have some sleepy kids.

My dad came to bring some things to us today and saw the cantata as well. I wish my mom had been able to come, but her pain is just too great at this time. It really breaks my heart. We will send lots of videos, so hopefully she will feel a little like she was here with us.

G sang her song at our friend's church today. I was shaking like an idiot, but she held herself together so nicely. If I can figure out how to put the video on here, I will share it with you. I was one proud, nervous mom.

I'm going to watch "Homeland" now and hopefully find out Quinn is doing better...he's my favorite. Night all.

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Saturday, December 12, 2015

Super quick

The boy has struggled today. His medicine and yucky drainage upset his tummy this morning and now he has another fever...102.3. He is so done with being sinus/ear sick. He is done. It breaks my heart to see him so pitiful. Please pray that he can shake this so he can sing for the church Christmas concert tomorrow afternoon. He wants so badly to be with his group and get to be on TV. The hub and I are so frustrated he can't get well.

Pray for G as she sings tomorrow. I know she will do fine, but I am worried about the person playing her music...she's a shifty one. Let's hope she(her ukulele player)steps up and does a good job.

Pray for my mom. She has injured her neck and is in excruciating pain. She is not one to be still, ever, and it kills me to hear her suffer. I hope so that therapy works. She does not want to have surgery.

Night all. This house is sad, exhausted and done.

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Friday, December 11, 2015

Okay, so I may overdo it....

I heard someone say once that the ukulele is one of the only instruments that you can't play and frown at the same time. I find that to be true. While I may not have a super huge grin on my face when i play mine, I am smiling and happy on the inside. As I have spoken about recently, I have always been a big Sam Cooke fan. That has now amped up since I have learned how to play his songs on the ukulele. What is even better is that the kids have started singing them independently of me. I heard G singing, "Nothing, NOTHING can ever change this love I have for you...". Couldn't ask for a better sound. My fingers are raw from playing that song and maybe, just maybe, I have worn the family out with it. But they sure are troopers about it. I guess I maybe should break out some Christmas songs considering the season. I need to learn "When the River Meets the Sea" from John Denver and the Muppets: A Christmas Together. Haven't worn them out on that yet.

Night all.

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Thursday, December 10, 2015

Ear trouble once again

The poor boy, I tell you what. We were awakened in the night by G telling us that something was wrong with the boy. He was trying to hide his tears under his pillow, but we could hear hime. "I don't feel good and my ears hurt and I haven't slept all night." We got him out of bed, motrined him up, looked in his ears and then bedded him down with us. It has been a LONG time since we had a little visitor in our bed. Even though he kicked and flopped a fair amount, moaning from the pain of his ear, it was a sweet time to cuddle up with my baby. Time is passing too quickly and my babies are slipping away from me. I'll treasure every kick and snore from those children...even if I may not get any sleep and be evil the next day.

Sorry to cut this short. Watching Dolly Parton's "Coat of Many Colors" and getting teary. One of my very favorite songs ever. Ever.

Night all.

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Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Another dose of spirit...

We had our children's program for Christmas at church tonight. It always gets me in the Christmas spirit for sure. All those sweet little faces, singing their hearts out. They get it...they have yet to learn to be cynical and find the joy and true excitement of the birth of Jesus. This was a little bit of a melancholy night for me. The boy participated in his first musical with the singing and drama group...he is the last of the three to still participate on this special night of singing. I got a little teary thinking about it. Not gonna lie. He was still as serious as he always is singing. Never will he crack a smile, but he sang every word and danced every dance. He felt the weight of his responsibility in the group and as a Roman soldier. He worked hard and wanted to contribute. His buddy D did a great job singing a solo and being a a very expressive and excellent angel. Ms. Kathryn directed another wonderful musical and Mrs. B and Mrs. Melissa directed two wonderful choirs. What a lovely evening!

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Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Busy little Bethlehem, er, household

As the days get closer and closer to Christmas, more and more acivities are added to each week and things get crazy. Cra-ZY!!! My Friday afternoon became so full with activities that got added on to it today that I think it might explode before Thursday is done. That makes no sense, but let's just say it is jam packed. This evening I was practicing with G for her song that she is singing at a friend's church on Sunday. We have been practicing it for over a month and are really both getting to the point of being kind of over it. It's a sweet song...really it is. So I said, "I know you are kind of sick of this, but what is your favorite line in the song?". She had to think a bit and then declared she had made a decision. "But the cold, the dark and hunger couldn't take away their joy...". It was a good line for today. We were sitting in the cold and semi dark at soccer practice, hungry and grumpy from a long day, but the joy of the season, of the arrival of the King is a joy that can never be taken away. I pray that each of you can find that joy this season.

Night all.

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Monday, December 7, 2015

Dying socks kinda day

The little people in our church are going to have a Christmas party on Saturday with crafts and snacks and fun that is appropriate for them and not too overwhelming. They are going to be doing a sweet craft that is requiring me to dye socks. With tea. The basement smells lovely and the socks are looking okay...kind of splotchy. This might be a little problem if the color doesn't even out. We'll see how it looks when I run them through a rinse cycle. So besides dying socks in tea, it has been a sewing, picking up children from school and going to Charge Conference at church kind of day. The hub worked, took my car to get repaired, took the boy to scouts and hemmed another pair of pants. We are ready to conk out.

Hope everyone has a great night's sleep.

Night all.

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Sunday, December 6, 2015

Hemming husband

I am so very thankful for my husband. Not just today, but everyday. He is an extremely hard worker...he is an excellent father....he makes the best hamburger in the world...he can fix anything....five million other things....and he can hem the heck out of some pants. I sew and I can hem pants alright, but I would rather take a beating than do it. This man has hemmed two pairs of pants in the last three days and I couldn't be more glad of that fact. He took a squirmy eight year-old boy and made him still enough to get the pants legs right and even. He ironed them and sewed them up. What a rock star! And, no, I am not being sarcastic. I am so very grateful for him. I am one lucky woman.

Night all.

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Saturday, December 5, 2015

We're crazy parade people

We had our community Christmas parade today. It started off very chilly, but with about 25 layers between the five of us, I think we were okay. S marched in the band, but I didn't really get to see her. I was handing out candy about 7 floats behind her. Speaking of floats, our church did their usual float of children dressed up like members of the Christmas story. The Cub Scouts walked with us and one of our associate pastors drove the church bus. The staging area before the parade is always a hotbed of activity when people boldly ask for pictures from random people they find interesting. For example:

The hub couldn't help but get a selfie with the jolly old the parking lot of a CiCi's Pizza. Oh yes, he did. Then one of our pastors and my son had their pictures made with the "Candy Cane Queens". They have been a community fixture in the Christmas parade for many years:

There are no words. Really. G rode on the trailer with the children and made sure they were happy and enjoying themselves:

It was a great morning. Lots of ways to get into the Christmas spirit.

Night all.
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Friday, December 4, 2015

Gettin' our tree on

We finally were able to get to the tree lot and pick out our favorite Frasier Fir. Boy does it smell good! G helped her daddy get it off of the top of the car and get it into the house. After the in laws arrived and we had dinner, we got to decorating the tree. I thought we had a pretty substantial tree this year, but it filled up quickly. We are learning we have to be more choosy about which ornaments go up as we have accumulated so many treasures. The kids sang Christmas songs with our Pandora Christmas station and hung each ornament with care. They placed each Santa with purpose. We had all left the living room but G. She was meticulously placing each member of the Playmobil nativity set in their proper place. "Baby Jesus? Now you are going to be right here in the middle of all that is going on. Watch out...I'm not sure how good of a camel steerer that one wise man is." She then started singing "Mary, Did You Know?" and placed the Holy Family around Jesus and put everyone in their proper place. Sure, we do Santa and the tree and all that business, but she knows what the true meaning is all about. Sweet girl.

Tomorrow is the community Christmas parade and S is marching. She worked hard to decorate her drum and get everything ready:

The others are marching with our church's flatbed and bus. It should be fun!

Night all...tomorrow's going to be busy.
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Thursday, December 3, 2015

A shot of Christmas Spirit

Tonight we had a lovely time hearing all of our oldest's(and her classmates')hard work at the high school Winter Band Concert. It was full of lots of melodies to get us all in the Christmas spirit. S was so nervous, but she did an excellent job on her pieces. It took me back to my holiday concerts and the fun, and stress, that came with them. I was one proud mom and one crazy woman hit with the holiday spirit. Now I am tired, cold and ready for bed.

Night all!

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Wednesday, December 2, 2015

I don't know what to say....

The day started productively enough really. I got some Christmas presents purchased, some decorating done, some laundry clean. I may have even hummed some holiday tunes and planned some baking to make soe tasty treats...and then I turned on the news. When, for the love of everything holy, is this violence going to stop? The non-gun people say it is because there aren't enough restrictions on guns. The gun people say that not enough people are armed and ready to defend themselves. What do I think asked no one ever? I don't know. I think there are so many sick people out there. I don't know how else to truly explain it to my children. I want to wrap them up and put them in a little bubble where nothing can touch them. But that isn't possible. All my husband and I can do is teach them right from wrong and how to deal with life in a healthy way. Give them a whole lot of love and a whole lot of Jesus's words and hope that they are equipped enough to make it through life. God be with all those victims in California and all of the recent and similar tragedies. Just heartbreaking.

Night all.

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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

But the rain came down and the flood rose up...

Good golly we need to freshen up our knowledge of cubits and such down here in the south. The hub and a hired professional replaced all the gutter guards or helmets or whatever they are called this weekend. Thank goodness they did or we would have much more of a mess than we do. After straight drenching rain for too many days in a row, we have a leak in the basement. If the guards had not been changed, there would be no blog post...only the sounds of mopping and the shop vac. I am grateful for my saint of a husband who takes care of us and this house. My hero for sure!

I cannot believe it is December. Can you? Even as I say that, I feel a great sense of urgency thinking of all that I have left to do. Instead, I really need to slow down and watch and wait for all that is to come. Jesus is coming and it is such a time of excitement and anticipation. Pray that I can remember that.

I'm going to bed now, lulled to sleep by the sound of rain pitter pattering on our roof. Who am I kidding...I'll be wondering if a mop or a vacuum will be on tap for tomorrow morning.

Night all.

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Monday, November 30, 2015

I want to move

I am really at that point, friends, of wanting to move away and start fresh. Just get away from everything and start with a clean slate. My children have been hurt too many times, my heart has been broken too many times. Starting in a new place would be hard and have a period of adjustment. I would miss some people for sure, but that is what Skype and email and summers are for. Social media has become a horrible nightmarish monster for kids and parents alike. I feel like I am constantly steeling myself for new reports of "I saw ____ on Facebook and you child wasn't with them. Did you know they were left out?". "Why wasn't (insert child here) at ____'s party?". Uh, well they weren't invited. It sucks. And children are given access to social media before the given age listed in the rules for the website. They are not emotionally mature enough to handle the responsibility of using said media. Their parents don't understand why we don't allow our children to have these apps until the actual given date. I'm not saying every child is not responsible. Not at all. But boy those who aren't really know how to tear a person down. My sixth grader is the only one of her friends not to have Instagram. She is eleven. And she will not have it until she fulfills the requirement of rule number one: you must be 13.

Sorry. I will get off of my high horse. When my iphone account is linked to those of my children and therefore I receive all of their text messages on my phone(annoying but informative), I see things arriving that hurt my heart and scare the crap out of me. No, I can't shelter my children forever, but I can sure do my absolute best to shape them into responsible and kind young people. No I can't keep them from hurt feelings or hurting feelings, but I can make for damn sure that they don't want to make anyone feel hurt on purpose.

I'm going to try to go to bed and sleep. I doubt it will happen.

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Sunday, November 29, 2015

Spoons and Star Wars

We had a rare Sunday afternoon that was free of youth choir and bells and other things, so we took advantage. Lazy Sundays are a welcome gift and I was so grateful for the time with the family. Sure, we've had a Thanksgiving break here recently, but just time as the five of us is rare. Today we chose to have a viewing of "The Empire Strikes Back" just to get everyone primed and ready for the new Star Wars movie that is coming. I still cried when Han Solo was frozen in carbonite...I went into a dark period of mourning when I first saw the movie in the theatre. My big brother could not console me. It was a rough time. The boy reacted appropriately at the "Luke, I am your father..." with a "NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!". Hopefully "The Return of the Jedi" will be a big hit with the kids as well. After the movie and dinner, we played several rounds of Spoons. The violence got real, but at least no one lost a finger or had any blood drawn. Some bruising maybe, but no breaks. There was a lot of yelling and laughter and smack talk. Oh how I love family card games!

Night all.

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Saturday, November 28, 2015

Nice quiet day

After the long Black Friday of yesterday, I was happy to not be committed to much of anything except for community meal in the evening. I took the boy the a shoe store to support Small Business Saturday. I took him to the Dollar Tree so he could peruse the wonders it held. I took a nap and watched a movie. I didn't watch the Hokies game until the end when I knew they were going to win. Remember my jinxing ability for my favorite team? Our winning of the Commonwealth Cup was an extra sweet one as it meant VaTech would be going to its 23rd consecutive bowl game. Is it a National Championship? No, but it is a post season game and Frank Beamer can go out with that in his last game before retirement. They carried him off the field...a hero's treatment. I will always love Feank Beamer. He is a class act through and through.

Night all.

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Friday, November 27, 2015

No need for bail money

Well, we survived Black Friday and did not have to visit a bail bondsmen to free us from mall jail. There was a sketchy point in a popular bath product store that often has "Buy 4 get 7 free" kinds of deals. An employee with a red ping pong paddle looking thing(God bless her)stood in the store yelling at customers to show them the new back of the line. Line cutters beware. There were hand sanitizers and body sprays and soaps everywhere. In order to get out of the store with my children, I nearly took a lady with 17 bags out...I apologized profusely. Couldn't lose my kids in a mall. All I have to say is, I am wxtremely grateful that I haven't had to work retail in a while AND I am extremely grateful to those who worked today, were kind and maintained their Christmas spirit. I had some success. I'll take it. Tomorrow....I rest...and maybe look for a tree.

Night all.

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Thursday, November 26, 2015

Tom Turkey Tired

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day here. A bit of lazy day fun and then crazy turkey fun with a mess of family. So much food and laughter and children and laughter and family and laughter and food again and laughter. We are beyond blessed this day and every day for the bounty God has blessed us with. SO very fortunate.

Tomorrow brings with it Black Friday shopping with the girls and people watching galore. Also there may even be a moist maker sandwich in our future with leftovers. Post dinner wrap up has brought with it dirty dishes, a stopped up toilet and the hub making an emergency trip to a now open for Christmas shopping store so he can stand in long lines with the crazies to buy a bottle of Draino. Pray for him...I may be searching for bail money.

Night all and happy Thanksgiving to you, dear readers!

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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Cooked out

It has been a cooking blitz day here as it was in many homes across the country I'm sure. I love cooking for Thanksgiving. I set up my ipad, turn on Netflix or some music and get cook-a-lookin'. This morning I put a cake in the oven at bout 8:45, took the dog for a walk and came back in time to get it out. Not a bad start. My oldest baked a cake as well to use in a trifle, which is lovely and yummy looking. I got the sausage-cornbread sausage made and two pecan pies in the oven. Then G and I got down to business. Our nephew from Nigera(who is living in the midwest)is coming in and we always like to try some dishes that hopefully taste familiar to him. We have made Jollof rice before and he said it was a good American interpretation, so we got to working on it. It turned out to be tasty enough last time(not my cooking skills...a great recipe)that we decided we would double it. It requires a lot of ingredients and a lot of steps. A LOT of steps. We got started on it a little before 2pm and I finally turned the stove off declaring it complete at 5:15pm. There is a lot of boiling and parboiling and more boiling and pureeing and boiling and reducing and waiting. Let's say this: my fingers are burning from the 5, yes 5, habanero peppers that went in it. I knew to wear gloves, but I didn't and I am paying for it now post steamy shower. I also made Shuku Shuku, which is coconut balls. A dessert cookie puff thing. I hope they will be a welcome sight to him. The boy and I played a game of War on the kitchen floor while we waited for them to bake. A fun time was had by all.

I have a feeling they might not do a whole lot of Green Bean Casserole and cranberry sauce in the shape of the can in Africa. Who knows? Tomorrow brings mashed potatoes, GBC(aforementioned casserole) and pepper jelly and crackers. And then eating and conking out in time to get up to take the teenager Black Friday shopping. She enjoys the sport and has managed to complete her shopping for Christmas on that day. More power to her.

For now, I am going to lay down, listen to my children cheer and yell and Survivor and drift off to sleep...I hope. Night all.

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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Time for a break

Our Thanksgiving Break has begun, thank goodness. I think this break could not have come at a better time. The kids are cooked and they need sleep and a break from studies. I need it as much as they do I think. I will not argue about sleeping in a tiny little bit tomorrow. The cooking will last all day, so I will be grateful for the extra sleep. I am also grateful for the extra time with family. We just don't get uch of it these days. I'll take what I can get.

I'm going to go watch a Charlie Brown Thanksgiving with my people now. I plan to have plenty of feast preparation pictures for you tomorrow.

Night all. I'll leave you with a picture of the Doberman that waited in the barber shop with us. That wasn't intimidating at all.

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Monday, November 23, 2015

New Adventures of Copper dog

Our chocolate pup has been smelling a bit gamey the last couple of weeks and has been in need of a bath. All of our options were less than palatable, to be quite honest, but something needed to be done...and soon. Option number one: Give her a bath in the bathtub. Uh, no. We have remodeled and this dog is strong and crazy. We did not want to be re-remodeling over the holidays. Option number two: One person hold her by the collar or leash while at least two others vainly attempt to soak her enough to work up a lather on her hair whilst she goes into a crocodile inspired death roll in a pile of leaves on a 35 degree day. Double no. Option three: Bite the bullet and spend the money at a national chain pet store/groomer where we have gone before. She'll get a "Very Berry Facial Wash" and they will give us a report card that says she wouldn't let them cut her nails and that she was spooked by the hair dryer. What to do, what to do. Then the hub remembered that there night be a dog wash not far from our home. We checked it out and decided, what the hey, we'll try it. The last home bath given this summer ended in a "Copper, you are better than this!!!" and a broken collar, so she got a new one for the experience. I think she knew something was up. She was right.

You know things are going to be interesting when the dog wash is located in the back of the car wash...and run in a very similar way. She took it in stride, but was not a fan of the hair dryer. If it had been a person, they would have lost a hand.

Again, she took it in stride. She is so soft and yummy smelling. She may be plotting her revenge. Stay tuned.

I'm going to bed now. It has been a strange day.

Night all.
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Sunday, November 22, 2015

My fingers are sore

As I have spoken about in recent days, I have a small obsession with Sam Cooke and his velvety smooth voice. I've known his music, but ever since I went to see the movie "Innerspace" in high school and bought the soundtrack with Sam's music on it, well I've been hooked. Now that I am a ukulele geek, I work on figuring out his songs so I can have yet another way to annoy my family. Tonight I worked on "Nothing Can Change This Love". I believe I may lose a few fingers here soon. I sang it to G who was kind enough to indulge me. I think I'm going to have to learn a One Direction song next in order to gain any credibility back wih her as some sort of human being. Don't know if that will work, but I'm up for the challenge. But right now, I need to rest my fingers...after I finish typing.

Night all.

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Saturday, November 21, 2015

End of an era

Our beloved coach, Frank Beamer, had his last home game at Lane Stadium in Blacksburg, VA today. While I would have loved to be there, it was much more important for the hub, my dad and the boy to be there. As a right of passage in this house, in the year you turn 8, you get to attend your first VaTech game. We figured at that age one would be able to understand the rudiments of the game, be able to control their behavior and bladder(even though some of the grown ups there can't) and generally enjoy the experience as a whole. The hub was great about sending me pictures throughout the day and even sent video of the stadium jumping it out to Metallica. It was bittersweet for sure to see Frank run in with his boys for the last time. On days like this, I am prouder than ever to be a Virginia Tech graduate who had the privilege to see Coach Beamer on the sidelines and in every day life. He was as gracious in the grocery store as he was in the stadium. He is a pillar of the university and I am so very grateful for his example and influence. I am also so grateful that all of my children were able to see him coach in person.

Thank you, Frank Beamer. You are loved and appreciated by so many.

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Friday, November 20, 2015

Update confusion

Being married to an IT genius, you'd thik I would be up to date on everything computer device related. I am a creature of habit and routine and that attitude doesn't always jive with devices that require constant updating. Unfortunately for me, I could see the time approaching that I would have to update my ipad. It was limping along and struggling on its operating system that should have been updated a good year or more ago. Yes, IT people who know what that means, I have been opearting on an inferior operating system for over a year. My day of reckoning came when I asked the hub to switch out some of the TV shows/movies that I had on the ipad and put some different ones floating around in the cloud on there. "I'm going to have to go ahead and update it to the current OS...are you going to be okay with that?". Sigh. "I guess I don't have a choice. Will you just make sure all of my apps come back?". The poor man labored and toiled over this antique of an ipad and finally got it updated. My problem now? Everything looks different and I am confused. I know I'll love it if I can just figure it out. Gotta keep these antiques alive and kicking the best we can. I'll keep you updated on my progress. You might be able to hear me cussing it from your current location. I hope not.

Night all.

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Thursday, November 19, 2015

Fall Finale Day

Thursday is my day for television for the most part. I do love Homeland on Sundays, but "The Blacklist", "Scandal" and "How To Get Away With Murder" are my shows...the latter two being my now not so secret shames. I just enjoy a good nail biter. James Spader and company will be providing me with that this evening. It has been one of those days that I am glad to end with an escape. It wasn't a bad day, just a day. We are so close to Thanksgiving and a little break. I am ready. I am SO ready. I just want a little bit of time to snuggle with my babies and husband and not have to worry about much of anything. What a gift that will be!

Off to watch some shows and match about a million socks together. Night all.

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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

I already passed that...

A phrae that comes up somewhat often in our house when the gnashing of teeth happens due to homework is "I already passed _____" filled in the blank. I heard the hub say the other night, "You can get annoyed with my help, but I already passed math!". So tonight, as I was helping with an animal report and I received flack for my editing, I said, "I passed third grade science. Arggh!". But during my helping, I did get a few new wrinkles in my brain. Did you know that the Poison Dart Frog was named for the fact that the natives dipped the darts for their blow guns in their venom when they went to go hunting? That they are colored with fancy colors that tell predators "Back off...I'm toxic!". That there is only one animal, a particular snake, that is safe from the frog's venom. I may have passed secondary school, but I can still learn some exciting facts with the best of 'em. But I can also still get annoyed from time to time.

Night all.

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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Born in the wrong time...

I have been playing my ukulele a ffair amount these days. Doesn't make me very good, but I am certainly expanding my repertoire. I don't think there is much call for 43 year old woman ukulele strummers who play REO Speedwagon, Ronnie Milsap and Elvis in the privacy of their living room, but who knows. So I decided to expand my playlist to include some from one of my very favorite singers of all time. He had passed before I was born, but I've heard his music all my life and have always felt warm and fuzzy when I heard his voice. I don't know much about Algebra either, but I do know that I love Sam Cooke. So in between practicing with G for her singing engagement, I have been wearing the children out with "Wonderful World" and "Bring it on home to me". Luckily they have been good sports and have taken a break from 1D and Shawn Mendez and Adele to hear some from the man who made their music careers possible. I'm glad they enjoy the music and it thrills me to hear them humming their songs while doing homework or drawing a picture.

So if you hear of anyone in need for a ukulele playing housewife, let me know. I'll have to make a business card.

Night all.

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Monday, November 16, 2015

Sick at my stomach until Christmas

It is that time of the year when people are looking for performers to fill some time in their Christmas services. I don't think you can put too much music into services during Advent, but that's me and I have absolutely no say in what happens in any service. But I think lots of music is great. Anyhoo, G has been asked to sing for a friend's church and, because there I'm too cheap to buy the music and didn't pay attention to theory class like I should have, I can't come up with all the chords and write the music for piano for someone to play. So I am playing the ukulele once again to accompany her. She seems to be fairly calm most of the time. Her nerves come from singing to family members, but she does pretty well in front of strangers. The song is very sweet and makes me cry every time she is singing it in a serious manner. Of course we have to joke around a bit, so we sing it at super speed, in country voices, heavy metal voices and I did a Talking Heads version as well. But when I said, "Baby Jesus found himself, born in a shotgun shack...", I worried that I would cross the line of being disrespectful. Stable, shotgun shack, apples and oranges really, I suppose. Sorry, I digress. The thought of being her background music is making me quite queasy and I imagine I will stay that way untl she is done by mid December. In all of this, it is not about me and my sick stomach or her and her family performance anxiety nerves. It is about the message and the reason for the Advent season. That will guide us on our way.

Night all.

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Sunday, November 15, 2015

Turkish Delight...not bad

I had a Missions Meeting this afternoon and met the minister from our partner church in Albania. He spoke at church this morning, attending the meeting this afternoon and then spoke at a reception in his honor this evening. What a lovely man and so very engaging. What a nice time we had talking and fellowshipping with him. We had some refreshments at the reception and he brought some offerings of his own that we tasted. It was in a box that was labeled, obviously, in Albanian. It was very sweet and gummy and did I say sweet? It was what we would call Turkish Delight. All I could think of was The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe and how Turkish Delight was used as a lure. That's just me. Either way, it was a nice time and experience and I was very pleased to be able to visit and learn.

Now it is bedtime. Night all.

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Saturday, November 14, 2015

Let there be peace on Earth...

I have had a lot of thinking time today and I am still so very saddened by the events in Paris.  I remember going there as a middle schooler...a trip my parents saved for years to take.  Twenty one days with an American Express your group across the UK and Europe.  We had the time of our lives; steak and kidney pie and Big Ben in London, diamond factory yours in Amsterdam, the Davis in Italy, the winter Olympic Games site in Austria, Swatch Watch purchase in Switzerland and the American Exptess building in Paris.  I remember being so impressed by it because Cary Grant had been in it in a movie:  I loved the sights and the smells.  It was an exciting place.  My brother and I read Asterisk comic books in French while our parents exchanged their money.  It was a lovely time.  I weep for them.  For the innocence that gone.  I pray for their safety and their future

Night all.

Friday, November 13, 2015

So tragic

I am listening to the news and sure am saddened by what I am hearing. Paris is the center of chaos and violence right now. Such loss of life and fear and uncertainty. Hostage situations and shootings. Just terrifying. Saying a prayer for peace and healing there. Makes me just want to hug my babies. The oldest is on her way to an away football game and I can't get in touch with her. I'm sure she will be very saddened to hear this news as well. She is taking French and learning all about France and their culture.

So sad. Pray for France. Night all.

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Thursday, November 12, 2015

To react or not to react

A speaker once advised, when talking about discussing awkward subjects with your kids, to not react when they ask. When you feel like dying inside or freaking out, instead say, "Let me get back to you on that...or let me do some research and I'll get back to you..." If you have a total meltdown freak out, they will react negatively and never ask another question of you. I get that. I really do. Also postponing the answer for a little bit gives you a chance to have a private freak out and fact finding time. On the other hand, is there a time when a very violent or expressive reaction is necessary? Oh heck yes, I think. A friend just tweeted that her daughter asked, "What is a virgin?". Okay, so that is a "Let me look and get you the best answer that will make sense for this situation. Give me ten, okay?". "Mom, a friend brought brownies to school. I had two and then they said they had pot in that okay?". I feel that a somewhat expressive reaction is okay. And, no, that has not happened in our house, but a discussion about pot brownies did happen. Luckily, nothing had been ingested...just shock and confusion that someone would put a dried plant into a perfectly good brownie.

I'll be happy if she has that reaction the rest of her life. Night all.

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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Respect and love

How do we teach our children true respect and love for their most difficult of colleagues? As a Christian, I am taught to look in the Bible and find my guidance there. I am embarrassed to say that I fall short on that idea on a constant basis. We live in a time where we look for the quick fix and are often unwilling to put in the hard work and I am the number one most guilty of that fact. Even though I was a young tween/teen myself, I fail to remember that friendships at this time are cyclical. We're best friends, we're okay friends, we barely speak, we awake from that cycle and are friends again and then lather, rinse, repeat. All I can tell mine is to love their neighbor as they love themselves...obey the Golden their friends through the lean times and the lush. But when they are in the middle of the down part of the cycle, it is terribly tempting to give up on the hard work and just give up altogether. As parents, I guess we have to rev them up to get back up the hill of friendship to the summit. Friendship is hard work, but my gracious is it worth it. So worth it.

Night all.

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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

My toes are froze(n)

We just got in from the youngers' soccer/futsal practice. It was outside and it got chilly. Fast. Let me say right off the bat, I did a dumb thing. I went out to the shed to get our super blower for the neighbor. Being in bare feet seemed a bad idea in the soggy, muddy leafy yard, so I slipped on some shoes with no socks and went about my business. Our sweet neighbor was very talkative and he wanted to discuss all of the recent burglaries that have happened in the neighborhood. So when we finally parted ways, it was past time to leave for practice and I forgot to change my shoes. So here I stood for 2.5 hours in cold, wet shoes with no socks. Not my finest hour. My feet were frozen, but at least our coach was in a good mood. Like a really good mood. That is unusual. I also kissed up a bit and gave him some peppers out of the garden. He was pleased.

It has been a fairly uneventful day, but I am pretty darn tired. I must go shower and hop in bed. Night all.

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Monday, November 9, 2015

Looking for an ark

It is day I don't know what number of rain around here and I am about over it. Dog paw prints, damp everything, mud hole for a back yard and dark rainy moods all around. Just yuck. I took a nap today. I confess. No number of lamps turned on could beat the power of a dark outside. I need to start counting animals two by two and have the hub put all of his scrap wood to use to build some sort of vessel. Come on.

The two youngest have gone to bed. G is, as we say in our house, "stomach aware" and dragging. We went through the steps of clearing the area around her bed and getting a trash can ready. Let's have a big prayer that she can sleep this feeling off and she isn't really sick. I am a horrible mom at puking time. Colds, coughs, snot, even digestive distress on the other end of things don't bother me. Vomit is a struggle. I just hate when they are sick or feeling sick. SO pitiful.

I may hit the hay early and get a head start. Praying hard for an uneventful night.

Night all.

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Sunday, November 8, 2015


This afternoon at church, we had a packing party. A shoebox packing party. It is that time of the year for Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes to be decorated, packed and sent all over the world to children to teach them about the true meaning of Christmas and what it is all about. The ladies in charge of this event were organized and ready to go. There were rows of hygiene items and school supplies and toys and trinkets. The shoeboxes were filled and then taken to a table where they were decorated. A note was written to go inside for the recipient to look at and the box was placed on a cart to be taken to the drop off point. The packers completed 159 shoeboxes in an hour. I think that is pretty great! That does not include the shoeboxes filled by individual church members and families. God is good for sure!

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Saturday, November 7, 2015

How "bazaar" how "bazaar"

I did some baking yesterday to help contribute to our 48th annual churchwide bazaar. Today the kids and I went back to see if we could find an treasures. Each got a baked treat which all looked wonderful. I must confess that in my distracted state of visiting with other church members and looking at the goodies, I failed to see that the boy ate his purchase...which wa an entire mini loaf of pumpkin bread. I guess that counted as breakfast and lunch. Yeesh. I pray that the sale did well. We will find out the total at church tomorrow. The wonderful thing is that all the money goes to serve mission projects in our church. They have purchased bibles for the children and helped provide funds for other ministry areas. They do such good work...and sure have tasty treats!

I just sent the two youngers to bed, or at least to wind down, after a rousing game of Charades. My gracious these children were nuts playing that game. What looked like my 11 year old had turned into a serial axe murder who was systematically taking out a neighborhood opening one door at a time, turned out to be a janitor plunging a row of toilets in a public bathroom. Or my baby acting what looked like a person with a vomiting bug walking around a house turned out to be a person reacting to his low savings percentage when shopping at the grocery store and doubled over in disgust. Needless to say, I failed miserably as the guesser, but I certainly remained entertained throughout the whole evening.

Never dull around here. Night all.

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Friday, November 6, 2015

We're all shot up

Forgive my horrible sounding grammar, but it is appropriate for our situation. After a lot of faxing and calls and voicemails and missed calls and call back, we finally got the Rx we needed to have the boy get his flu shot at CVS. Why CVS you ask? My uncle, the best flu shot giver in the world, is the pharmacist there. Once he started giving the flu shot, I went to him. Why not have family stick a needle in your arm in the hopes that it will prevent you from horrible fever, aches, vomiting, respiratory distress and so much more? Sign me up. So right after we picked him up in the car rider line, we whisked him away to store to do the deed. He was not thrilled, but he also remembers how deathly sick he was when he got the flu a few years ago just before Thanksgiving. He said, "I want the shot. I do NOT want to go to the hospital again." When we got in the store, he walked right back to his uncle and pushed his sleeve up and turned his head. Uncle D started talking to him about his day as he wiped the are clean and then asked him what he had for lunch and what he learned. Shot in...shot done. Didn't flinch. He took that sucker like a champ. He did say he felt it, but it was not as bad as he thought. For his reward, he got a special treat of his choosing which was a bottle of fruit punch with the Incredible Hulk's head for a lid. What a cool kid! Just saying.

Night all.
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Thursday, November 5, 2015

Still holding my breath....

It has been a pretty good day for us at the farm except for the hours of 4-7. I had an epic fight with one of my children to the point that I had to walk away and take a break. We've all had those moments; moments where our anger almost overtakes the reason we have to deal with stupid situations. This fight was over getting a flu shot which, if we are being quite honest, is the BEST of all shots to receive in terms of pain inflicted. Okay, I guess the best of all shots is no shot at all, but you get where I am going with this. Anyway, in the middle of our knock down drag out, my mom called to tell me some disturbing news. A childhood friend of mine still goes to the church we grew up in and is married to her high school sweetheart. They have several children and are wonderful parents. They have fostered and adopted and have taught classes for potential foster parents. Just all around great people. After church activities last night, the son left church...he had been angry with his mother. They couldn't find him. The police were involved and a communications center had been set up. We even received an alert for him here in town an hour and a half away. My heart sank. My mom and I were sick. He has diabetes and did not have his medication with him. Here I was arguing about a flippin' flu shot and a mother was worrying about where her boy was. O kept checking the news and my email for news. Later on this evening, ny nother called to say he had been found, but had few details other than that. While I took a big sigh of relief for them, I still feel like I can't breathe for them at the the same time. This is not a situation that will go away now that he is back. There are a lot of questions that need to be answered. A lot of hurt that needs to be addressed. I ask for your prayers for this family as they work through the repercussions of what transpired over the last 24 hours. They need them.

Night all.

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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Sausage's revenge

I love breakfast. I would eat it for every meal, but I don't...for a reason. One's tummy can only take so much of that good ole heavy fare before it hits the reject button to reverse the process one way or another. Tonight was that night for me and so I have very little to share. No one needs to know the ins and outs of a stint in the bathroom...we've all been there. We'll just say that I am harboring bad thoughts and feelings towards breakfast sausage right now. Jimmy Dean and the people of Clifty Farms are lovely people I'm sure. We just need a time out in our relationship.

I think I'm going to go to bed and sleep while I can. It's going to be a long night. Blurg. Night all.

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Tuesday, November 3, 2015

What's in there?

Not to be at all racially insensitive, but when we were little and digging what we though was the deepest hole in the sandbox, the catchphrase was that we were "digging to China". There were days where I was just sure it was going to happen within the week, I mean, I would dig a hole so deep that my WHOLE arm went in it. My whole 4 year old arm. So shoot on up to present day. Our dog wages war every day with the chipmunks in our yard. We must have a flipping colony of them, because she hunts them constantly. They run out from under the A/C unit, move as if shot out of the piece of downspout that needs to be replaced and occasionally glance over my foot as they flee across the patio. Not gonna lie, I may have wet myself a little when that happened and I jumped up like an electrocuted bunny rabbit. These chipmunks are the cutest things, but they are making our life hell. She is trying to dig her way under the A/C unit. She pushed the piece of downspout around that yard for 20 minutes to try and get that little creature to come out. I swear it probably had a heart attack in there. And then tonight, on the edge of our big flower bed, she decided to dig her own way to China. I looked out and saw dirt flying and rapped on the window and yelled. When I got out to the hole, I was angry but impressed:

The picture doesn't do it justice. It looks like she has a telescopic leg-paw to dig down that deep. Let's just say that the hub was not pleaed. At all. Guess I know what I'll be doing tomorrow. I'll be a filler.

Night all.
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Monday, November 2, 2015

Moist is a dirty word

I am so tired of rain. I'll probably be eating those words this summer, but I am so tired of it. Our mail is moist, our newspaper is moist, our entire garage contents are moist. A lot of people hate that word, but I've been okay with it. Until today. Our newspaper guy does not believe in putting our paper in a plastic bag when he puts it in our box. I am all about saving the environment, but when I wanted to read the Motley Fool this morning, opened the paper and it ripped in two due to be ing so moist and damp...well, I hit my limit. The breakfast room is covered with muddy dog paw prints. The yard looks like a leafy mudhole. Wah wah wah. Forgive me, friends. Life is short and could be so much worse. Forgive my attitude.

I'll blame it on the time change. I almost fell asleep in my bowl of chili at dinner. Not good.

Night all.

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Sunday, November 1, 2015

I am speechless

I must confess, I am rarely speechless. I am not a huge talker, especially in social settings...but I am rarely left with nothing to say. Today I can chalk speechless up on the board. Our neighbor called and the hub answered. Apparently they were victims of being way, WAY overtricked on Halloween. Someone or ones, in the middle of the night, decided to steal the wheels off of their Honda. They came prepared and armed with their own cinder blocks to jack the car up. Also, they found their cat dead. Now, these two things may not be related at all, but it is awfully coincidental. They have since taken the cat to our university's vet school to have the body examined. They want to know if it died of natural causes or if it was killed. How wrong is that? How sick are people? I mean, really? How much gaul do people have to possess to just go into someone's driveway and steal their wheels...all four?!?! What a da#$ shame as far as I am concerned.

RIP litlle kitty. Watch out, horrible people. We're all watching out for you.

Night all.

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Saturday, October 31, 2015

Fun and learning

Today is Halloween and my children, as usual, have thrown me curve balls for their costume ideas. My oldest made things easy and wanted to be Mike from Monsters, Inc. I dont have a picture of her by herself and I don't have permission from the others in the picture. So here is her costume which was fun to make:

The boy threw us the biggest curve ball as he wanted to be a guy riding on a jet pack. After looking up costumes in this genre until I wanted to puke, this is as good as we could get it...he was thrilled:

I have a feeling the flame pants may be recycled. The legs lasted the walk up the hill to our neighbor's house and then they bit it. Oh well. Fun while it lasted. G decided to be a history lesson and feminist icon. I was surprised at how man people, when she was asked who she was going to dress up as, did not know who she was. We taught history lessons today:

Rosie the Riveter, aka, G the Riveter was a tough girl and so is our G. Our veteran neighbor was most pleased with her costume. S did her hair and makeup. G paid her off in Twix bars. It was a win win.

Night all.
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Friday, October 30, 2015

The force is with us

The boy woke up this morning wanting to go to school, but realizing that he did not feel remotely up to par to go and try and learn. With him as my captive audience, I decided it was high time he see the Star Wars movies in the order in which I saw them: IV-VI and then I-III. We watched Star Wars: A New Hope today. I was excited for him to see it, more than anything because I want him to be ready for the new one when it comes out. We popped the disc in and the iconic "STAR WARS" came on the screen with the music so suddenly that we both jumped. I read the words to the boy and felt a little catch in my throat and this strange moisture coming from my eyes. What is going on? Why such a reaction for Heaven's sake? I knew why. When my brother and I were growing up, these movies were beyond the most amazing things we had ever laid eyes on. It was to us what maybe the Marvel movies are today...but that doesn't even seem to cover it. We were rabid fans, saving every penny and working extra chores to be able to send away for special mail order, box tops required versions of Boba Fett and waiting in lines at department stores to get our autographed pictures of Darth Vader and Boba Fett. My grandmother made us all Star Wars blankets and one Christmas we woke up with freshly made Star Wars pillowcases under our heads. I cried my eyes out and went into mourning when they froze Han Solo. It was quite a franchise and the center of everything we did when we played, toy or make believe. So I guess I embrace the misty mood that hit when I watched with him and again when I watched with G later. I am grateful for the memories generated as a result of all of those characters. My childhood was richer for them.

Night all.

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Thursday, October 29, 2015

My poor baby...

Wellll, we made it this far in the school year before we had a casualty. I did something this morning I never like to do. I am admitting right now that I am the top contender for mother of the year. I drugged my son up and sent him to school...against my better judgement. He was warm and his ear hurt, but he wanted more than anything to go to school for pumpkin activities that his class was participating in today. Go ahead and boo-hiss me all you want. When your child BEGS you to go to school, uh, you do everything you can to get them there. If he had been vomiting or any of the tummy stuff or streppy, absolutely not. We'll make our own fun at home. But he is an ear infection kid. S and G are sinus infection kids, but he is an ear infection type of guy. I know in his eyes when one is on its way. That is how it was this morning. So when he got in the car at pick up today, I felt about an inch tall. He was on fire. After picking children up and dosing him with pain reliever, I carried him out of the car and placed him on the couch to nap. When the hub got home, he got him to the doctor where they found, how bout that, an infection in his left ear. He has gotten the right meds, has taken them and is currently laying down in bed.

Again, I went against my better judgement and let him go to school. But I also called the ear. Poor guy. Night all.

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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

That boy!

Tonight was Wednesday night supper and activities at church and that means I don't have to cook...yay! We were having Brunswick stew, which was really appropriate for the weather 3/4 of the day. I am kind of sick of rain and cleaning muddy paw prints off the floor. I love our dog, but her brown hair and paws hide the dirt that is all over her. It gets quite frustrating. Anyhoo, I digress. We were going through the line after we had gotten our bowls of stew and other sides and headed on to get our drinks. Usually at the end of the drink table there are different salad dressings if we have a salad, maybe a thing with butter in it or toppings and sauces that are appropriate for the meal. I noticed that the boy was liberally applying hot sauce to his stew. To his credit, he loves hot sauce and enjoys the flavor and the heat that come with it. Still, everyone has a limit where your application goes from tasty to torturous quickly and I wanted to stop him before he ruined a perfectly good bowl of stew. "Bud, I know you like Tobasco, but you need to slow down on that. Okay?" He looked at me with wide, shocked eyes and said in a very offended way, "Mom. I do not smoke. I just like my stew spicy." Then he took his tray and marched off to his seat where he sat down, gave me a dirty look and commenced to eating. To his credit again, we don't call it by the brand name. It's just hot sauce. The whole condiment end of the drink table erupted in laughter. Tobasco=Tobacco. Stick a fork in me...I'm done.

Night all.

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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Hey there!

I am pretty much out of thoughts and words today. It has been a long and busy day with little down time, but that could be said of any person. I am currently eating a spoonful of vanilla bean ice cream since I was too tired to have ice cream on Saturday...which is dessert night around here. I just finished a survey for a focus group that I will be involved with tomorrow with a friend of a friend from Ireland. It should be interesting. It is about toys and what kids ages 6-10 might like. Hope they are ready for an in depth conversation about Legos. I will be well versed, my friends, well versed.

Night all.

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Monday, October 26, 2015

Rumor has it...

I got a good laugh today. One of my children heard a rumor and told me what it was. "Did you share this with anyone else? Uh, do you think it's true?". Child: "Well, it's pretty awful if it is true...but I only told you and nobody else." This happened yesterday. It was a very busy day and I kind of forgot the conversation happened. This afternoon I received a phone call from a friend whose children are friends of my child. She heard the same rumor story from them. "Do you know if it is true?" "I don't about you?". We were quite flummoxed. Not only did we hear the same rumor story from our children, but we both got tickled about the nature of the story and the retelling by our children. We got tickled to the point that neither of us could speak at all; we just heard the sound of each other gasping in hysteria from the strange rumors that kids come up with these days. No, I'm not going to share the rumor and I didn't mention the whole situation to be coy and act like I have information that others don't. The whole situation was not worthy of the time we spent except it was totally worth it to hear someone lose their composure while overcome with laughter. Kind of equivalent to hearing a rumor that someone shaved their head and they really just got a haircut. That was the rumor importance level. I needed that on a rainy, nasty Monday. It also turned into a lesson for the children about the damage rumors can do and the importance of not repeateing them AND the importance of stopping them cold. I will carry the sound of the other mom's laughter with me for a long time.

Night all. Hope to have better material tomorrow.

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Sunday, October 25, 2015

What a game!!!!!

I am currently watching Homeland and relaxing after a lively Fall Fest at our church. We have had better crowds, but with the threat of rain, we had a pretty great crowd. Before I got to church for the fest, I was watching one of the best, but roughest, soccer matches I've seen one of my children play. In all of their soccer careers, I can remember one to two phenomenal games for each child that I have been privileged to watch. Today was one of those matches. G's team played one of the hardest fought, roughest games any mother has had to sit through without Xanax. The officiating was not great. The opposing team's fans were quite brutal. After the ref allowed it to get out of hand, I turned into one of those parents who scream like a banshee. My oldest went crazy as well. It got dangerous. In the end, the girls pulled it out and won the tournament. It was so exciting!!!. I think G was excited, but also was exhausted to the point of tears. One of her club coaches stayed to watch the whole thing. He told her how proud he was of her and was pleased with her performance. I am so proud of those girls. What a game! And I am so proud of my girl being one of only three 6th graders on that team. Proud mom for sure!

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Saturday, October 24, 2015

Alien in my temple

It started sprinkling the first time at like 11am today, but beforehand there was an alien in my temple. I don't know what kind of weather system is moving through, but my head and sinuses are excruciatingly painful. it is almost too bad to open my eyes enough to type, but I am trying so I can go to bed soon. G had day one of her soccer tourney and they won both games. Finley did not win, but he scored and played well most of the time. Everyone came home healthy. That is all I care. I need to close my eyes. The light from the screen hurts too much.

Night all.

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Friday, October 23, 2015

Glad she wants to go

It has been a long day and will be a very long and rushed day tomorrow, but that's okay. The hub and G are at church for middle school night and S is still at Powell High School for the football game. G had a couple of offers of things to do tonight, but we had to have her close since she has lots of soccer this weekend. While she was torn in some ways, she was SO excited to go to church tonight for middle school night. One of the rights of passage of the new youth is to play Underground Church. Basically kind of a hide and seek plus treasure hunt plus tag plus darkness plus access to places that they aren't usually allowed to go in the church at night. They go crazy for this game. G was so excited about playing, that she couldn't hardly stand herself today. I love to hear that.

Tomorrow is a big day of soccer. Please say a little prayer for safety for my players tomorrow. Tomorrow is also the last marching band competition of the year. Praying for S's safety as they travel by bus to and from the competition. Just get a little nervous.

Time to go to bed. Night all.

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Thursday, October 22, 2015

Heading for battle

We are heading into a crazy weekend what with band tournaments and soccer tournaments and Fall fests and all that business. I love to watch them play, I really do. I am ready for life to settle down a bit once some of these activities die down for the winter. But before they settle down, we have battle on the pitch this weekend. G's team has the potential to win their division and their opponents are gunning for them. The one team they played over Fall break is really gunning for them and I fear that someone will get injured. Just pray for their safety and good sportsmanship all around. It will be good soccer to watch...I just wish she could have more of a cheering section. i think people would be impressed to see the athlete she has become. Oh well. Too much going on here in Knoxvegas. Oh well.

I'm going to watch some trash TV and relax. Enter your evening with this sweet picture:

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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Tiny post

I have just arrived home from work and I am about to fall over. Luckily there have been no purse snatchings or abusive telemarketer calls today. Just laundry, going to Target and cutting out bunnies to sew sometime. Everybody is all pajama'ed up and two of the three are asleep. My oldest was last seen singing a song in French to the dog while she looked at Fall fashions on Pinterest. That's how we roll around here. I will have to catch up on my Wednesday shows tomorrow sometime. I'm wiped.

Night all and sweet dreams.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

First of many...

Tonight marked another first in the history of our sweet G. She had her very first band concert. I love going to these concerts. They have a distinct sound as you can imagine. In nine weeks, they have learned a lot and played quite a few songs. I've said it before, I think that being a middle school band director must be simultaneously the most frustrating and rewarding job on the planet. The squeaks and blurts and womps and squawks turn into notes beautifully woven together into glorious melodies. But everyone has to have a first concert. They all sound exciting and wonderful and I will gladly stand up, clap like a maniac and yell, "That's MY baby on the trombone!". Mr. Jordan, the band director, has a personality that is so very entertaining and endearing to both parents and students. We are grateful for his patience and encouraging spirit.

Now I am going to get into my pajamas and wait for our other band student to return home from the Knox County Band Exhibition. She'll be one tired puppy dog when she returns.

Night all.
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Monday, October 19, 2015

Lesson learned

Disclaimer: This may have a not so nice word in it. I will try to place appropriate puntuation symbols in the word when spelling it so you get the gist, but I don't get flagged as too inappropriate.

Well, friends, I learned a valuable lesson today. If you mess with fire, you have a very good possibility of getting burned. I was messing in the basement today and the house phone rang. It doesn't ring too often, so I picked it up. We have an old school phone down there that has no caller ID screen on it, but I was expecting an important call, so I was answering old school. Here we go. Apparently, according to my male foreign friend, GASP my computer had been hacked and he was going to help me stop the criminals. I played along for a little, as I always do(and maybe I shouldn't do that at all). After three different instructions I said, "This is a scam, do not call me again!" and hung up the phone. I didn't slam it down...just hung up. A few seconds later, the phone rang again. Not thinking, I picked it up and a stream of threats and obscenities filled my ear. I thought maybe I was hearing things, but what my foreign friend said was crystal clear. I hung up quickly. I was trying to process what happened while resuming my job of folding sheets. I have never been spoken to like that in my life. Wow. It kind of creeped me out. I put another load in to wash and the phone rang again. Please let this be who I need to speak with so I can stop anwering this phone. I really should have left the basement, but I was making progress and I didn't want to leave. I answered, "Hello?". The foreign friend said, "Well hello, wh*** b!$%^. How are you now?". Well, that did it. I hit my creeped out level and got out of the basement. I got out of the house and texted the hub and a friend. My friend was a lot of help..."Hey! Do you remember when that happened to a woman and the harrassing caller had somehow crawled into the woman's attic and was watching her?". Uh, thanks a lot. The hub is going to file a report with the proper authorities, but nothing will happen. These people have perfected the art of scamming and harrassing people. It sucks.

Just word to the wise. Be warned if you fight back at all, be prepared to get someone who fights dirty in retaliation. And it is more disturbing than I ever thought it could be...truly.

Night all.

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