Sunday, December 27, 2009

Friday, December 25, 2009

How Many Kings?

Follow the star to a place unexpected
Would you believe, after all we've projected,
A child in a manger?
Lowly and small, the weakest of all
Unlikeliest hero, wrapped in his mother's shawl -
Just a child -
Is this who we've waited for?

'cause... How many kings step down from their thrones?
How many lords have abandoned their homes?
How many greats have become the least for me?
And how many gods have poured out their hearts
To romance a world that is torn all apart
How many fathers gave up their sons for me?

Bringing our gifts for the newborn Savior
All that we have, whether costly or meek
Because we believe.
Gold for his honor, and frankincense for his pleasure
And myrrh for the cross he will suffer
Do you believe?
Is this who we've waited for?

'cause... How many kings step down from their thrones?
How many lords have abandoned their homes?
How many greats have become the least for me?
And how many gods have poured out their hearts
To romance a world that is torn all apart
How many fathers gave up their sons for me?

All for me...
All for you...

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Bump, Set,


Yeah, I know. It's not working for me either.

But, that is the name he came with so that is what we've been calling him while we decided if we were keeping him or not.

We decided he can stay, but the name has to go.

One of the deciding factors?
He puts up with a whole lot of this.

And this.
But seriously, he needs a new name.
So, here's where you come in.
Leave me a comment telling me what YOU think he should be called, and on December 31 the kids and I will decide if any of the proffered names "go".
If we pick your name, you will win either a $10 gift card to Target, or a $10 gift card to Petco.
I will announce the winner January 1, 2010.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

You Are Now Entering The Twilight Zone

I lied to myself today. I told myself I would just "run into WalMart" since I had a half hour before I had to be at the baby shower I was going to. The lie is that you can NEVER "run into WalMart". Never.

There is a disruption in the space time continuum as you walk in the sliding doors.

"Hi! Welcome to WalMart!" they say. Or so you think. Really, it is a secret code that stalls your personal space time continuum.

No matter how fast you walk, it is never fast enough. Even if you just stick to your list, inevitably, the last thing on your list will be impossible to find. You will look for a clerk, but the only ones you can find will be holding their name badges in their hands making a beeline for the doors- eager themselves to break free from the time suck. When you do finally find your clerk, he/she will direct you to either one or the other department. They will, of course, be on opposite ends of the store. Coincidentally, neither one will have your item. That item, you will finally learn, will be in the department next to the first one- yep, on the other side of the store. Finding the right department, you will see that the stock of said item is pitifully low- neither model will fit your needs.

You pull your cell phone out of your pocket- your only life line to the outside world- only to see that you have spent 45 actual minutes inside the timeless abyss. Now, to check out....

You quickly find the shortest line and hop in it. And then the lighted number on the pole starts to blink. It must be an electrical phenomenon, because as you contemplate moving, all the other lights either start blinking or shut down entirely. You sigh and resign yourself to the line you are in.

Standing, as you are, with no where to go and nothing to do, you begin to contemplate the company around you. Amazingly, they all look like they hit their heads on the shallow end of the gene pool. Maybe, just maybe, they have been here so long that they have given up all hope and have taken to interbreeding. Hm, it's a theory. I mean, there is a restaurant, all manner of food, bathrooms, cell phone vendors, and, come April, tax preparation specialists. It's just a theory.

When you finally break free from the swirling vortex and break for the door, they say to you on your way out, "Thank you for shopping at WalMart! Come back soon!"

No way, Buddy. Not for a long time.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Fish Wrap

Let's talk about what has been going on around here since Jonah turned 5, shall we?

We had our first snow Sunday night. Before Christmas.

There was no school on Monday, since our little town has NO way to manage the snowfall we get twice a year. The kids could have gone to school with a 2 hour delay since the roads were all bare by 9 am, but since the district put out their automated calls at 4:30 am, I guess they just didn't know that early. I am super glad that I went to the grocery store On Sunday. I didn't go anywhere on Monday except to take Abby to the doctor.

And speaking of Abigail-

Thursday night she fell off the guest bed. the lowest bed in the house. It also happens to have the smallest space beside it because it is tucked between the eaves and the half wall to the stairs in the family room. We have no idea what actually happened, but we think she may have hit her arm on the base moulding. It warranted a trip to the ER. She is such a dramatic child that when she gets hurt- and the drama stops- we know she is really hurt. The ER doctor said that her arm is *not broken* and that was confirmed by the radiologist the next day. However, on Monday she was still asking me for pain meds about 2x per day, and it hurts her arm to be touched or jostled. She is in a soft cast- splint, padding, ace bandage, and sling- which makes dressing an adventure. I had to take the side seam out of the arm of her long sleeve shirt so she could get it on since it hurt too much for her to try to push her arm through the sleeve. We will get a follow up appointment some time this week.

I sewed a new cover for Jonah's car seat. "They" say you should replace your car seat every six years to avoid obsolescence. I don't think it matters too much if you are driving a car that is twice as old as the outdated car seat...

Anyway, Jonah's cover had basically shredded under his tush, and he made matters worse by picking at it while he was sitting in it. I took the old cover, cut the seams out and used the pieces as a pattern for the new cover. I won't tell you where the boo boos are, you don't look too closely, and we will all pretend that this is a new car seat, K? K.

Besides, all the materials for a new cover were only $10. Have you priced new car seats lately? They start at 4x as much!

I got through the MOPs brunch. I put my MOPs newsletter out on the brunch day. Since we don't have MOPs again until January, I have a feeling that the next volume will be rather slim.

I also got to sing some special music and lead Christmas carols with some of my girlfriends. The Moppet Coordinator happened to be in the room to hear it and said, "G, it just doesn't get any better than that." Little did she know.... The Moppet helpers have their brunch after the moms, and we steering stay to help serve. We ladies sang our songs again, only this time we brought Mr. Five-Year-Old-Jonah in on the last song, Go Tell It On The Mountain. For weeks we have been singing this song together. I sing the verses, and he belts out the chorus. My little man brought the house down! I remember singing my first "Special" at a church picnic when I was 5- and I have been singing ever since.

I painted my kids' bathroom. I forgot to take a before picture, of course. The kids had been gone with their dad on a "snow hunt" into the mountains so I decided it was a good time. The bathroom had a wall paper border, but since the kids always forget to turn on the main light/fan combo, the paper was really peeling. I painted the upper section white and the lower section lime green. I also bought a new shower curtain and rug. They really liked the color I chose. I still need to hang the towel rack and I plan to run a flat, white moulding at the color change. Ugh, everything just takes so much time- and power tools. I will have to ask my husband to bring the proper ones home....

Of course there has been homeschooling, house cleaning, business running, bill paying, child bathing, tooth brushing, bed time praying, and clean head kissing too.

I guess that's about all the news that's fit to wrap your fish in.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The End Of An Era

Does any one care to guess what this is?
If you said, "Well, duh, it's a gumball machine." you would, technically, be right.
But actually, it is SO much more than that.
It represents the end of an era at our house.
Let me back up and explain this to you...
When I was young, and single, and childless, I had a lot of nieces and nephews- and I took notes.
My oldest sister, Karyn, had a rule at her house. No gum until you are 5 years old.
When I had kids I realised why....
So, I adopted the 5 year old gum rule.
And the milestone has been reached wherein my baby has turned 5 years old. (Truthfully, I wondered at my past rate of conception if I would ever say something like that.)
And for his birthday he received a gumball machine.

He requested a MONSTER birthday this year, so this is the cake idea I stole off the Internet- with the exception that I added coconut "fur".

We sang happy birthday and let him spit all over the cake blow out his candle.

We played with friends- and our favorite baby who DOES NOT live at this house.

Happy Birthday BIG BOY! I love you!

P.S. I really hope you didn't find anything good up there- especially since I am wearing those jeans again today....

Friday, November 13, 2009

In Which I Rant- Again

Remember how much I like shopping with dogs?

Well, here's another stellar example of rampant disregard to put on the pile:

I was in Target about a week ago with my girls and I noticed that some skangy looking guy and his equally skangy friend were shopping with their rats dogs. I muttered under my breath as I walked in another direction about how I hate it when people bring their rats dogs into store with them.
Later, we were wandering into electronics when we passed Skangy Dude 1 again. My daughter was fiddling with her coat and had it over her head as she passed by the cart. The cart with the rat dog that I didn't even see. The cart that was about 2 feet away from her.
The little rat dog craned her neck, bared her teeth and growled/barked/snapped at my daughter and startled us all.
Skangy Dude whirled around (He did not see a thing) and snapped at my daughter for approaching his rat dog.

#1 All of my children from the 12 year old to the 4 year old have been trained to never approach a dog unless they have asked permission from the master- and then to approach the dog in a non-threatening, even submissive position.

#2 Dogs do not belong in the store!!!!

I yelled at him that she didn't even know the dog was there and that his rat dog didn't even belong inside the store, and I promptly informed the front end supervisor that I think the policy of allowing dogs in a store sucks. And then I left.

My point is this:
I respect the fact that people need service dogs.
I can even buy the argument that there are some people who need a companion dog to function on some level of normal.
The thing is, that ONLY service dogs should be allowed in stores, and those dogs should be marked as service dogs and fully trained not to interact with the general public- And certainly not to snap at a little girl who happens to pass by.

The dog is just lucky that it didn't touch my daughter... I'm just sayin.

Now, I have a letter to write to the Target headquarters and a newspaper editorial page.

Maybe I'll get a dog like Marmaduke and take it shopping. We'll see how long that stupid PC policy of not requiring dogs to be service animals lasts.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Bless That Stupid Alarm Clock

because it averted a house fire.

Last night, Elizabeth brought me her alarm clock with a bent plug. I straightened it, she plugged it in, set the clock and turned it on. But, she forgot to set the alarm. Which meant that the alarm went off at midnight.

At midnight, I yelled for her to turn it off. "Mom, I can't..." came the sleepy reply from just outside my door. She pushed her head inside my door. The one that had been shut.

"So, unplug it, please."

She wandered back to her room, unplugged the clock, crawled back in her bed, and promptly fell asleep. About 2 minutes later we smelled it. HOT. I hate the way hot smells. I always have. Sebastian got up to investigate. It seems that the fire he had built before we went to bed (just like so many other nights) had super heated. The stove was full of white hot coals, and the wooden guard that we keep in front of the hearth was almost to it's combustion point. Sebastian pulled the guard away, opened the doors and pulled the coals apart. After about 20 minutes he came to bed.

That is why we were still awake when the fan cord shorted out and started throwing sparks everywhere. Into the room. Under the insert. That smells even worse than hot. Electrical hot is horrible.

We got the insert unplugged and poured some water into the fire to cool it down even more. We poured cold water on the hearth and it immediately sizzled and evaporated. We kept at it until the area around the fire place had cooled down. Sebastian went back to bed, and I stayed up for an hour more to make sure it was going out.

And that is how the stupid alarm clock assured that we would all wake up safe in our own beds this morning. I'm going to make sure to kiss my kids this morning!

Romans 8:28
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

Monday, November 2, 2009

I'm Cool Like That

On October 8th, Caleb turned 10.
Unfortunately, on October 8th, his sister brought home the flu. Not the swine flu, thank goodness, and not the puking flu either, but the high-fever-want-to-die flu. And she shared.
Finally, on October 25th we were able to have his party.
Being nearly Halloween, Walmart had these cool black light bulbs for a dollar.
So we decorated the house with white.
And we colored on the table with highlighters- they glow really cool!
This is what my pictures looked like when I used flash.
And this is what it looked like in real life (except the highlighters glowed much better).
We even had glow sticks to brighten up the night.
Every one left a message for the birthday boy on the table- even our baby cousin.

Here's the cake I made in keeping with the black and white theme.

Remember the cake I made last year? This time I made 7 minute frosting. I maybe should have made 5 minute frosting. It was hard. And crunchy- but no one complained.
And a very happy ten year old opened his gifts.
Of course, no party is complete without a few crazy games...
I kept trying to rescue Baby D from the middle of the chaos- but that was where he wanted to be, so I finally had to let him go and let it go.
A parting shot. I hope it isn't a lampshade in a few years!

Happy Birthday Caleb!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

He Even Smells Like School

Could it be the bubbles he spilled on the deck just before coming inside?

Maybe it was the batch of salt dough we used to shape letters and numbers.
Could it have been the Spagettio's he loves to eat for lunch?
Or maybe just the nostalgic smell of Crayola Crayons?
Whatever it was, I almost cried. Almost.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Remember Building A Fort With Your Dad?

Yeah, me either. I remember doing other stuff* with my dad.

But, sadly for me, my forts consisted of a couple of rusty nails and a pallet or two.

They usually fell apart fast. Or they were moved. Or they were chopped up to keep us warm.
I liked to play on an old rotted stump in a line of trees on a little hill. In the summer the stump grew huckleberries. If I sat real still, no one could see me, and I could eat all the huckleberries before anyone else knew they were ripe.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. I just never built anything like this with my dad.

Do you suppose they realize how lucky they are that all their dad wants to do is come home and play with them?

'Spose they'll remember tea parties in the fort after dark?

That it was Dad with them out there?

That Dad was the one who ran to the store to get the Oreos?

You bet they will!

*Other Stuff: castrating pigs and cows, watching piglets being born, butchering chickens, hiking, rollerskating, AWANA, picking berries, and most importantly- sneaking out to the bakery before school.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Ruining The Track Record

I have 5 kids.
I have been to the E.R.
I've been with a baby in tow when my 10 year old fell head first off the half wall onto the stairs below.
I've been in the middle of the night when the same child had a croup attack badly enough to make us call the neighbor and head out in the snow.
I've made appointments to have various items removed from facial orifices.
I've had an infant taken from the doctor's office to the Critical Care unit for pneumonia and RSV.
I've left church for stitches at the walk in clinic.
I've forgone stitches for butterflies.
But NEVER in my mommy career had I needed to call 911- until Tuesday.
Hello. My name is Gina. I'm a bad mom.
Hi Gina.

We have a prune tree. It's a nice tree. The prunes are really yummy, and we have been snacking on them for weeks. The kids have been moving higher and higher into the tree in their quest for the purple-black goodness. See:

But look again:

That's about 15 feet up. He's about 3 feet tall. He is 4 times over his head and more than twice over mine. And I mentioned the kids climb this tree. I do not. As nice and plummy as it is, it will not support me. I also couldn't find a ladder tall enough to get him down. Somehow he has gotten all the way out to the end of the branches- wearing his "new" camo rubber boots- that are 3 sizes too big for him and afford very little hold on the tree branch. Needless to say, he was not getting back. Enter 911.
I have mentioned I live in a small town, right? See this guy? Our families hang out. We barbecue. His wife does my hair. They go rafting with us. Um, yeah. "Hi, Officer Brian."

Luckily, the day before at preschool, they had a fire safety talk and had met a fire man. The fire man said that when a fire man comes to get you you go right to them. Good thing, because he knew exactly what to do.
It was all fun and games until he was safely on the ground.
Blew my track record right out of the water.