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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Sunday, October 18, 2015

Ding a ling a ling

It has been a long day...even longer than my usual Sunday. In addition to my usual work day, we had a church council meeting and a handbell concert. We had all the handbell groups in the church playing and it was pretty fun. The duet that I have told you I have been preparing for went better than I thought. I truly believed that I might actually puke into one of the bells I was using. That would certainly have been a concert to remember and the moment when I would not be able to show my face in church again. We got through it and I think it sounded pretty alright. It was a nice time, but I am extremely relieved for it to be over.

Forgive my rudeness, but Homeland is on now. I have been looking forward to watching it all day. And then I will crash. Night all.

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Saturday, October 17, 2015

Tiny post

I am freezing, but slowly thawing out as I type. Late morning consisted of soccer for G on a very breezy field. The rest of the day has consisted of sitting in a stadium for a band competition that S was competing in with her high school. They have moved up a division this year and were somewhat smothered by the over the top production value of some of their competitors. I'm not being sour grapey at all. The bands were technically very good. I just think there should be something said for just pure entertainment value. Our band has a fun and entertaining show. I was so proud of them whether they won 50 awards or zero. Today was a disappointing finish, but I loved every second of their show.

My percussionist just walked through the door. I need to feed her. Night all.

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Friday, October 16, 2015

Lesson in the chip aisle

My oldest is having some friends stay tonight so I can get the group of them to school tomorrow for band practice. They have a competition and need practice since they had Fall Break and a few other glitches in their practice schedule. SO, because teenage girls eat as much as teenage boys(I'm finding out), we had to take a trip to the grocery for some essentials. We saw my cousin and exchanged some pleasantries. As we were talking, I kept seeing people from church and school and soccer. She started calling me "Mrs. Kroger" which cracked me up. It is kind of my only true weekly social time. I love the staff like family and, since it is a neighborhood store, we always see someone we know there. My cousin and I parted ways even though we knew we would meet up in one section or another. S and I had picked up fruit salad makings for breakfast in the morning and had made our way to the chip aisle. I was about to send her on a task to get some ice cream, when we heard a lady yelling. "Somebody stop him!!!!! He took my wallet!!! I have kids to me!!!". The next thing I know, a man starts running towards me and then makes a sharp right and heads down another aisle. To be totally honest, I thought, well, it is a Friday and lots of weird stuff happens. Maybe they are a couple of friends just being crazy. Uh wrong. He clearly had a woman's wallet in his hand and was booking it. Once he hit the new aisle, he hit a roadblock with a rather large gentleman standing in front of his wife and baby. The man did a 180 and ran back the way he came and headed towards us again. He dropped the wallet at my feet, turned and ran down another aisle towards the Starbucks. The poor girl grabbed her wallet off the ground, got her cart and continued shopping. My child was understandably freaked out. She and I continued on down the row towards the girl who was wiping her eyes and trying to concentrate on crackers. I went up to her and asked her if she was okay and if I could do anything for her. She was shaking, but said she was fine. Various people came up and checked on her and then commended her on her bravery and her choice to yell and alert the store. A couple of the employees tended to her and took her over towards the Starbucks. I followed because I wanted to tell anyone who needed to know that I saw everything that happened. When we arrived in that section, the wallet stealer was on the ground with what looked to be a good three men on top of him. "Did you get your wallet back?" said one. "Are you okay?" said another. The offender started yelling that he didn't have a wallet and he had never taken one and that he was going to sue all of these men for assault. The different managers were making calls, checking with other shoppers and making sure the girl was okay. I met up with my cousin again and we discussed what we had witnessed. My daughter was disturbed and scared seeing the man on the floor, so I called the hub and asked him to come get her. I had to finish shopping. Also, it was kind of a neat sight. All of the other moms in the store kind of stood like a protective shield around the poor girl, waiting to jump to her defense if she needed it. All of a sudden, a woman and little boy walked into the store. SHe quickly shot a look to the floor and the man yelled, "I didn't do anything! I'm suing them all for assault...I didn't take anything!". The little boy, seeing his grown up in a strange and unnatural position, started crying and looked terrified. Many things started happening. The victim said she would not press charges. The woman with the boy yelled angrily at the man on the floor. Finally, the victim girl attempted to walk towards the woman and child..who quickly walked away. But she was persistent and called her back. They had a conversation...a tough one it looked like. Then the victim girl gave the the girl some money out her rescued wallet. "It isn't much...but you must need it." Then she gave her a hug. A hard, much needed hug. The shield of moms all started weeping. I mean, what would I do? Would I be the bigger person and extend grace to people who needed it? Would I demand he be charged with a crime and tell his finace', his pregnant fiance', that they were all getting sued? Maybe charges would be the best thing for him. If she dropped the charges, would he run down the road to the next store and try it again? Here this woman, a mother who didn't have money to spare, showed God's grace to people when she had every right to display righteous anger. I was so humbled in that moment...humbled and ashamed at my less than kind thoughts. People also extended grace to the fiance' and son. He got some treats and a drink and someone gave them a Kroger gift card. "They're just gonna go buy beer or something with that card!" someone said. Maybe so, but that is not our problem. The kindness was extended. What those people do with that kindness is their responsibility.

In all of this melee, I have learned three things at least:

1. People respond when you scream and the mother network is not one to be trifled with...especially on a Friday afternoon at the grocery store.

2. Do not ever, EVER leave your wallet and keys and phone unattended in your cart. I hate carrying a purse, but it keeps all that stuff together and makes it harder to grab.

3. Don't ever underestimate the goodness and grace in people. We can all take a lesson. As I said before, I am humbled by the kindness this woman showed towards her aggressor and his family. I got my Bible study acted out in real time today.

After all that businees, I am exhausted. Time for bed. Night all...and pray for that little boy. No child should ever have to see their daddy in a position like that. I just pray he has happy dreams tonight.

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Thursday, October 15, 2015

Come on, Mark Packer!!

I am sitting here watching the televised Thursday night high school football game only so I can watch S and the band play their show. There are have been other Thursday games and we have been able to see large chunks of the shows. Not tonight. They had to do a huge segment on all day breakfast at the golden arches. I understand sponsorship, but people forget that the band is always asked to pep up the football team...give them their moment in the sun or the stadium lights. And while I am on my soapbox about inequality, here is this piece of crud for you to chew on. One of G's club teammates made the basketball team at her middle school. Pretty darn exciting. She is also on the soccer team for their school. Around here, middle school soccer is not a school sponsored sport. It falls under an umbrella of a middle school soccer organization that organizes the teams and brackets and all that business. Our middle school is somewhat supportive. They put the times and locations of their games on the school website and announce the results. I'm not sure what our school does about conflicting sports and practices, but G's friend's school has definite opinions. Yesterday, she made the basketball team, a school sponsored sport. Today, she had a soccer game(not school sponsored) and missed a practice...the first one. She was kicked off the team. They make allowances for cheerleaders(school sponsored)and football players, who aren't school sponsored. This kid wanted to play sports and be active and healthy. One season that will be over at the conclusion of next weekend and another that won't start for another two weeks. Shame on you, coach. Shame on you.

Stepping off the soapbox. I'm tired. Night all.

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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Haircut high

I have often discussed the importance of the barbershop in our family. Today was no different. The poor boy has been begging for a hair chopping for several weeks now, but scheduling has not made it possible. He does not have the kind of hair that gets shaggy really, more it just gets straight and plastered to his face. If he ever decides to grow his hair out, I dread to see what it would look like. Thankfully, he can't stand it if it grows past a certain point. We got there at the perfect time, because the barber was getting his hair cut himself and was almost done. He jumped right up into that chair and went into his haircut trance. Afterwards, you would have though he had just downed a bottle of 5 Hour Energy. He was on a "Haircut High". I think he thanked me like 20 times in two hours. Who knew that would make hime so excited? But then, I love having a good hair cut. It makes me feel awfully good too!

Go get a haircut is healthy and legal. Night all.

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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Food fail...

Fall Break brings with it a couple days of sleeping in and getting to do some sort of fun activities during the course of the time off. My oldest was assigned a Geometry project to build a scale model of an item that could fit in her hand and enlarge it by at least 2 times PLUS write a paper answering questions outlined by the teacher. All of this is to be due the day they get back from Fall Break...tomorrow. Really? When do our children actually get the break they are given by the school system? I mean, come on. Anyway, she worked on it quite a bit to the detriment of her free time and break enjoyment. One of the things that I try to do during these times is make special breakfasts for the children. I found a food hack on Twitter for Nutella stuffed pancakes. They seemed easy enough. Make little disks of the hazelnut goodness and plop it on top of a sizzling pancake and put more batter on top. Then flip it and cook it the rest of the way. Simple enough, right? I thought so until I tried it. While they tasted pretty darn good, it looked like a hazelnut spread and batter mixed disaster. They were tasty...ugly but tasty. If I didn't have the smell of burning spread permeating the kitchen, I would have taken a picture. Probably best that I didn't. Maybe I will try again sometime. It'll be a while.

Night all.

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Monday, October 12, 2015

Guest Post

This is a post from Dear Hub... The opinion expressed here is purely hs own.

I have been increasingly disturbed by the violence in this country. The senselessness started on on April 16, 2007 when the VIrginia Tech Massacre took place. My father-in-law was teaching a class on campus that day. I wept as I walked by the memorial at my first return trip to Blacksburg. I mourned for Virginia Tech and the family's for many years. In recent years, there seems to be a all too frequent tragedy related to gun violence. I own a shotgun, but I don't carry it for protection. I like to shoot skeet... or at least I did until back surgery.

There appears to be 2 mantras from two polar opposites. The mantras are boiled down into either "Pro-gun and arm everyone" or "Anti-gun and disarm everyone." I am completely confused by these solutions... Hang with me for a minute while I summarize each side.

In the "Pro-gun" side: Intuitively it makes sense to me... An armed population should deter violence.

In the "Anti-gun" side: Intuitively, it makes sense to me... Fewer guns means less opportunity for them to fall into the worng hands.

But wait... you agreed with both sides... Yes, I did, but here is my confusion: How can two groups of people arrive at completely different conclusions to the same problem?

The only answer to my confusion is that the problem is poorly defined. You see, when people say "Gun violence", most people focus on the method ("Gun") and not on the root cause of the "Violence"... If we take "Gun" out of the problem statement, here is the question: "How do we stop violence?"

I think the solution starts with "Love thy neighbor", "Tolerance", addressing addictions(alcohol, drug) and mental illness. We must teach people to address conflict proactively and constructively.

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Sunday, October 11, 2015

Crazy from the corn

We decided after the past few extra rainy days to get out of the house and do something outside, maybe even get some vitamin D and fill our lungs with fresh air. So what better activity to do in October than go to the corn maze with about 57,000 of our closest friends. We did get our steps in for sure by doing both sides of the maze plus the "Back 40" with all kinds of other activities and photo ops. My brother is taking a photojournalism class and came along with us so he could try to get some assignments done for his class. I've decided that there are a few different types of people who frequent the maze attractions:

1. The Boy Scouts...who do everything but bring out their compass. They actually look at the map, attempt to understand it and follow it to the nth degree They are going for the beginning to end speed record for completion of said maze. This is my husband. Maze completion time? 45minutes

2. The couples in love. They have the map of the maze, but they are more interested in looking deeply into each others' eyes and getting lost in the maze...sometimes by accident and sometimes on purpose. They get romantic about the fact the the paper punch used to mark off their arrival at a clue stand is a heart and that it must be fate that made that the shape for their corn maze visit. Maze completion time? Um, I think they're still in there.

3. Younger youth. They break every rule of the corn maze as quickly as possible. They throw the corn, they create new paths in the corn, they try to steal the corn, they hide in the corn and jump out at their friends and strangers. They get on the bridge above the corn maze and declare their rule over the corn. Unfortunately, it is the boys more than the girls. Sorry. Maze completion time? When they get kicked out by the corn cops. Anywhere from 5 minutes to 2 hours.

4. Older youth. They go in the maze all serious about getting out quickly...they want to be better than the younger youth, but the youth eventually takes over and they can't stand it anymore. The group stays serious for a fair amount of time, but one by one they no long resist the temptation to hide in the corn and scare the bejeezus out of both their girl friends and their bro friends. There's a lot of laughing and profane name calling...and girlfriends who wonder where it all went wrong. Maze completion time? It's hard to say, but usually when they go a bit too far and end up scaring a child and their significant other makes them leave when they feel bad.

5. The youth group/college group. They are trying a little team building exercise and think the maze will be great. Someone will end up blindfolded in each small group while the rest lead them around to help them out of the maze whilst they are blindfolded. If there is an open space in the center of the maze, they will often be found have a little devotional or extracurricular activity. Maze completion time? When all team members have complete and total trust of each other...they may still be in there with the couples in love.

6. There are many other people as well. The mom who takes so many pictures her child must be appearing on the cover of TIME magazine. The escapee from a parent who gets seperated from their child because their child has gotten faster than they originally planned. The list goes on and on.

We made it through...I got my 10,000+ steps in and we all survived. Now it's time to go make some s'mores. Night all.

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Saturday, October 10, 2015

What? No soccer today?

We had a rare non-soccer Saturday today and we didn't know what to do with ourselves. We woke up to a rainy morning and it was quite tempting to sleep the day away, but I always hate to do that. The boy was up earlier than everyone else and took advantage of his weekend TV time to watch the Avengers cartoon I imagine. We finally woke the oldest up at 9:15. She's had a very busy week and needed some extra sleep, so we decided not t run the vacuum until after nine when it was cleaning time. I thought that was more than considerate. She has a geometry project due the day they get back from fall break, so she needed to get on with that. I needed a new dish drainer, so I took G and the boy to Bed, Bath and Beyond armed with my 20% off coupon. Who knew it was such a place of temptation? Watch out Lego section at Target, your new competition is in the kitchen accessory section...or maybe the clearanced out comforters in the bedding section. I think they examined every single item in the store. The boy has his Christmas list started and completed. This is it I think:

Heck, I know what I want for Christmas! I wonder if they have it in king sized with a Hawkeye pillowcase...I'll have to check that out. But before we got to Christmas shopping, we needed to get a birthday present for a friend and some lunch. The children felt like this was the best option for lunch, but I'm not sure:

A turkey party almost seems too good to be true, but a girl can dream. We can have a party with organic turkey Slim Jim wanna be's while we play the newest game that's sweeping the nation:

Let me just say that the smallish warning on the bottom left about "explicit content" really needs to be bigger. When my oldest comes home from band camp each year with new terms she has learned from the drumline, we have had to consult this dictionary. The terms often make me feel the need to sit down and take a contemplate what kind of free time do people have to come up with this stuff. We took the game out of the cart, did not have a turkey party and left with some Legos and shampoo. Big spenders.

As it is a Saturday night, I am going to have a bowl of ice cream and then retire for the evening. Work comes awfully early after a full Saturday. Night all.
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Friday, October 9, 2015

Finally almost fixed

The hub was off today, thank goodness, and we went out on a mission: to get estimates on the damages of the Sequoia vs School Bus battle royale. We have been in a holding pattern for quite a while, waiting for the bus's insurance company to return our calls and throw us some sort of bone. Finally, the hub received a call and a check+estimate breakdown came in the mail. The first place we visited for an estimate had changed hands since a non-insured driver rear ended me the last day of school before Christmas break. They were nice then...four years ago. Today, I think they really could have cared less if they got anyone's business. Complete and total lack of customer service and brushed us off like the dandruff on an old man's shirt. Don't know why I said it that way...not the kind of poetry that would move a man's soul. Sooooo, out the door we went. The next place we visited was like the superstore of collision repair. They got to us, examined the car, did the estimate on the car and got us our printout all in 20 minutes or less. Unfortunately, maybe, their estimate was at least $300 higher. Not completely our problem, but we also don't want to be stuck with the difference. The collision people are handling the insurance company. They do it all the time apparently. We also will have a rental car for 4 days. WHen they were trying to determine what we would need, they first decided we would get a Dodge Charger:

While that might have been fun to drive, schlepping three children and their backpacks and soccer bags and junk would not be enjoyable. At all. So they changed that to a midsized SUV. It should be interesting regardless.

I have to go friends. Must get ready to go wrap hamburgers and hot dogs for the football game. Woohoo.

Night all.
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Thursday, October 8, 2015

Just say no!

We have a child taking a health and safety class this year and she is learning lots of valuable information. I'm glad she's hearing about drugs and alcohol and STD's this early. Maybe some people don't like that, but if she gets slapped with the cold hard truth early, hopefully she'll carry that knowledge with her during the most tempting and difficult of times. We were passing one of the 67,000 'vaping" stores while returning from an office supply store and had a discussion about the dangers of that particular habit. She then began to tell us all of the dangers of and damages related to smoking. As we drove down the road, she mentioned "black, yucky lungs and yellow teeth and horrible breath and..." The hub and I were helping her list off things and then she said, "Oh yeah! You get a hairy tongue! A hairy tongue!! I saw pictures and they were gross!". The way she said this last side effect of smoking was so comical that I truly thought we were going to run off the road. Once we gained our composure, we talked about how it is so very difficult to quit smoking and that it is said that heroin is easier to kick than nicotine. She then said, "Don't you mean 'heroi-ja-wana'?". Again, the hub almost ran off the road while I desperately tried to catch my breath.

All kidding set aside, I am so glad we can have an open and honest dialogue about these kinds of things with our children. If we react with disgust or horror at their questions, they will no longer come to us to talk. If I need to react, I will ask for time to research the question and have a come apart away from the question asker. I may just need to have a good laugh. Who knows?

Have a good even and watch out for hairy tongues. Night all.

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Wednesday, October 7, 2015


I am currently watching the live feed from our airport on the local news station, WATE.  Today, an Honor Air flight left our airport with a full plane of veterans from WW II, the Korean War and the Vietnam war.  They landed in Washington DC to go and see the memorials commemorating the different wars in which they were involved.  Many of them have never been to see the memorials.  They never received a hero's welcome home...never received a single thank you.  This is their chance to receive that welcome both upon arrival to view the memorials and when they return home to their families.  Our oldest was given the opportunity to go with her high school band and play for the men and women upon their return.  Sure she had lots of homework and a bad cold, but I am so glad she was able to go.  She has several relatives who served our country during WW II and felt a deep desire to go and thank the people who fought for her freedom so many years ago.  The Honor Air organization does such a spectacular job with this whole process.  After they landed back in our airport, they did a mail call on the plane and all of them received cards and letters from children and other grateful individuals.  As they walked into the main part of the airport, they were greeted by many current members of the military, families, strangers, balloons, anthems of the differing branches of the military and cheers.  I haven't had a dry eye since I turned the live stream on in my office.  I hope it is a memory for a lifetime for my S.  My heart is heavy and full all at the same time with the sorrow for the loss and gratitude for the sacrifice. 

God bless America.  Good night.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Brassy frustration

In a week or two, the handbell choir is going to have a special program on a Sunday afternoon. We hope to entertain AND raise some money to buy another octave of chimes, the big and low ones, for the choir to use. I was asked to perform a two ringer piece, my partner being the choir director. Gulp. She is wonderful. I always get extra anxious working with someone who "does music", as a friend said, for a living and has a genuine gift. So when we decided to practice for the first time today, I felt the real need to reapply my Secret and pray I didn't yell out a profane word in the midst of my frustration. Our ELL classes(or ESL as it is sometimes called) meet from like 9:30 to 11:30 and I prayed they would not understand what I was saying if I let a word slip. Luckily we didn't have to find that out. I did do some clanging of brass and violently mouthing unkind terms under my breath. It ended better than it started, thank goodness. I hope it will only continue to improve.

I am a tired puppy. The hub is already sawing some logs. Night all.

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Monday, October 5, 2015

Sock animal insanity

For whatever reason, I am back in the sock animal game.  Why, I do not know.  Nobody buys them anyway.  There is something comforting to me about a soft squishy creature made out of a sock and stuffed with something that is the polyester equivalent of a cloud.  I have recently learned of a way to stitch their bodies to look like their hands are in their pockets.  Kind of me.  I got a lot of strange looks from people on the soccer field as I was giving my child a hard time and sewing a gray and yellow striped creature at the same time.  "Why is she sewing at soccer practice?'.  Well, why did the lady who sat with us at Wednesday Night church supper knit while we ate?  Multitasking, people. Multitasking.  Granted, she was making a prayer shawl that someone requested and I was cutting up a rejected sock from the bargain bin.  Oh well.  I actually found a steampunk sock monkey on Pinterest that I am going to have to make.  Weird kinds of oiled brass looking buttons were on sale at Hobby Lobby today and so they will work perfectly.  

Well, that's all I've got.  Going to shuffle the poor hub off to bed.  He has to leave the house by 5:30 in the AM tomorrow.  He's one tired puppy.  If you have a few minutes, say a prayer or two for him this week.  It's a doozy for him.  Night all.

Sunday, October 4, 2015


Just kind of dull today and don't really know what to write about. One person told me I was wrong to write every day and that I should save up for a really good post. Others say write every day because you need the practice. Not necessarily me in particular, but people who want to be better writers need to practice quite a bit. I feel like a list for this Sunday, but I have no particular theme, so I'll just call it RANDOM MUSINGS ON A SUNDAY!!!

1. Getting old sucks. I have gimped around today on an ugly hip. I look like Igor...just in time for Halloween.

2. There can never be too much emphasis on the healing powers of a Sunday nap.

3. There can also never be too big of a warning label on a Sunday nap and how it screws up your Sunday night sleep patterns.

4. Being a parent is the single most rewarding and painful job mone can have. Today was the painful side. Painful mean girls. Enough said.

5. I need to examine the state of the public park subject and find out why, when I took my son to the park today, he was surrounded on one side by what looked like doomsday cult members out for their monthly trip to remember what the sun looks like AND a tighly and skimpily clothed woman swinging with a cigarette in one hand and a BEER in the other. Apparently I missed a memo.

6. Car rides, the dinner table and tucking into bed time are the three places where my children choose to spill all of their anger and hurt and worry. Just in time for me to run off the road, puke up my food or have a sleepless night. Whatever way they do it, I am sure glad they will share.

7. Treadmills are very beneficial to our health, but very dangerous if one falls and the kill switch malfunctions. Very grateful injuries were minor.

8. I shouldn't be this excited about the season premiere of "Homeland", but I am. I really am.

I think that is about it, friends. Time to get ready for bed. Night all.

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Saturday, October 3, 2015

Shortest post to date

I think my hip has popped out. I want to kill someone it hurts so bad and I know that it is doubtful that I will get much sleep tonight. To recap the day quickly, my son got cleated in the face and got sandwiched and his ribs pounded to where he was flat on the field with the wind knocked out of him. He didn't move and it scared me to death. He will be one sore somebody tomorrow.

Night all. I will leave you with the worst and funniest child's costume I have seen yet this season. It would go good with some fava beans and a nice chianti:

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Friday, October 2, 2015

Rainy, rainy day

I feel like I am finally dry. Finally. It has been raining off and on all day today again. Luckily I haven't had to be out in it too much. I've been doing some sewing today, so I've been a basement dweller. S is currently sitting at a high school football game probably freezing and soaked.G is at a Lady Vols soccer game probably freezing and a little bit soaked as well. The boy has gone to bed. He had a fun evening with some of his buddies, pizza and Just Dance for the Wii. They've all had a fairly good evening I think.

I failed to mention this yesterday, but will correct that tonight. Please say a prayer for my brother and sister in law. They had to say goodbye to their sweet dog Dakota on Wednesday. She has been sick for a while, but certainly defied the predictions and dealt with her illness with the sweetness she always possessed. Anyone who has had a pet knows how difficult it is to say goodbye. An animal that gives us companionship and loves us unconditionally is truly a gift from God. And what a gift it is. Long may you run, Dakota.

Night all.

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Thursday, October 1, 2015

Night for dumplings

It is kind of a grey and nasty night. The East Coast is bracing for Joaquin, my cousin and his family being in that area, and Oregon is reeling from yet another act of violence on a school. Just a nasty day. So my Pinterest discovery of crock pot chicken and dumplings was kind of the perfect comfort food for an evening like this one. It wasn't the best rendition, probably, of the recipe, but it satisfied hungry tummies and throats sore after playing out in the rain. We all need to have comfort food every once in a while.

Just a little Throwback Thursday funny for the evening. My girls were playing in the basement some years ago and wanted to come up for a snack and TV time, but I told them they had to clean the basement first. As is often the case in our house when a job request is given, one of the intended workers somehow miraculously is suddenly afflicted with gastrointestinal issues. This job was no exception:

Night all.
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