Thursday, July 31, 2008

Hawaii Minus the Airfare

As some of you know we lost our Hawaiian vacation to a bankrupt airline back in February. When it came time to re-book our flight, the prices had tripled. No Hawaii.

This is where we have been all week, Laguna Beach, California. This vacation has cost us vertually nothing since my ever-so-generous friend had let us borrow her home. Wonderful.

The sun finally came out at a decent hour today. We didn't leave the beach until 6:15 p.m. the water is warm and fantastic. We have no sharks here locally, but we did see a pod of dolphins yesterday.

Here are the boys with their "cool guy" faces. They are getting their poses down since we are off the see the X-Games tonight.

I grabbed me a handfull of sand crabs with the little mister and got through one whole magazine. Yea!

My daugher was MIA. She is getting her braces off today and wanted her picture to show a braces-free face. Can you blame her?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Things Discovered

I have discovered a few things lately:

1. I cannot properly steer a golf cart and toss a friendly wave to passer byers. Curbs become involved, and not in a good way.

2. If I am eating lunch while wearing my bathing suit and happen to spill mustard, its all good. I just jump into the ocean and viola, mustard gone!

3. I enjoy a snack of Tricuits and jack cheese while I am taking a shower. Note: Step away from the water flow while holding cracker.

4. When a five year old yawns twice in thirty seconds while riding in the car, he will fall asleep. But, only after a full day.

5. One can gather much information from watching six moms hover over their children in the kiddie pool. And maybe learn some words in German.

6. There is a sweet sign in a local bakery which reads: "Unattended children will be given an espresso and a free puppy."

7. A 5.8 earthquake scares me, and my littlest mister. Thankfully, nothing broke.

8. Dog kennels make for an attractive play area for 14 year old girls.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

And the Beat Goes On

Songs get stuck in my head instantly. I think that something is wrong with my brain. My kids will start humming a tune and then for the rest of the afternoon I am singing the Wonder Pets theme song, or a Miley Cyrus tune. Unfortunately, I can't remember much of anything else. What gives?

My seven year old, ever since school got out, has had one song stuck in his head. He sings the song all the time. When he can't think of a conversation starter or a way to break up the dead air in the car he will just start singing.

At first I was impressed with the fact that he knew all of the words to this particular song, but now I am utterly and completely annoyed each time it erupts from his lips. He cannot stop singing our national anthem, the Star Spangled Banner. When he is trying to be funny he replaces the words with the names of his brothers and sister. This rendition sends them into a frenzy of "Knock it off!!"

Needless to say, I am always humming the Star Spangled Banner.

My other child had the privilege of opening and closing his brothers birthday card for the past ten days. When the card opens, a chorus of "Happy Birthday" comes bolting from the paper card and my youngest mister sings right along. He has since lost the card, but continues to sing "Happy Birthday" over and over again. I find myself singing the monotonous tune more often that I want to.

I wish they were singing the top twenty prepositions, algebraic formulas, most commonly used scripture verses from the New Testament, the constitution, or the rules for comma usage, some useful information I could store in my brain for another time however, I am stuck with the Star Spangled Banner, and Happy Birthday, and, if I didn't know those by heart before, I most certainly do now.

How about those rockets' red glare?

Monday, July 28, 2008


Waking up to the sound of waves crashing on the shore is downright fantastic. It is much better than the white noise fan humming,as it oscillates in my bedroom.

My generous friend, the one who took me to New York City, has offered her beach home to our family for the week and we could not pass up the offer. Did I mention the fact that she is fantastic?

We drive a little golf cart to the private beach, and when we are tired of the sand and seashore, we golf cart our way to the swimming pool. Lovely. We have had cloudy weather, but are hoping for some sunshine. Either way, this is a treat!

Her house is close enough to ours so that if we need to pop home for something it is only 25 minutes away, but when we are here it feels like we are in another country. My kids are in heaven, and I'm not sure that they will ever want to journey home.

God is great!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

She's Back

My daughter returns from camp today. I get back my girl.

I have been living with boys, and boys only for the past week. I love my boys; their sounds, wrestling, singing, smells, fighting, and 'round the clock eating. They are fun, crazy, wild, silly, and active, but I need my girl. She balances out the family.

I miss my girl. I hope that she wants to talk. I hope that she has a lot of stories to tell about all of the fun that she has had. I hope that she is not too tired to share. I hope that she did not come home from camp with a new found affection for high school boys - ewe.

I hope that she wants to come home. I need her.

Friday, July 25, 2008


I made a grave mistake. Since my mistake didn't cost me any money, I am not out any cash.

I was on my sixth journey in a row, driving sixty miles, to see my son and his baseball team play in the championship game. I had the privilege of being a passenger in the car as opposed to actually driving and I forgot to bring any reading material. This is a gave mistake when one is undertaking an hour and a half car ride.

My father-in-law offered his Restaurant News and the DVD player was showing Evan Almighty. My mother-in-law offered me a book that she described as "weird" and I passed on all offerings.

I sat frustrated that I had nothing to read, so I tried my hand and writing and made a list of the things in the car for which I am thankful:

-my purse, and it's ability to carry three wiffle balls, a bag of snacks, baseball cards, coupons, and all other normal necessities.


-portable DVD players

-hand held electronic devices

-wireless headphones for the DVD

-a mother-in-law who doesn't mind driving

-cup holders

-other people to entertain my children at the ball field

By the way, my son's team lost the championship. :)
No more driving to Granada Hills.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


There is no better fruit than summer fruit. We have had a steady flow of white nectarines, white peaches, plums, strawberries, and watermelon in our refrigerator and on our kitchen counter.

I had mentioned before my peeve with "seedless" watermelon. I don't like to pick white seeds out of a watermelon that is supposed to be seedless, nor do I like eating small, flimsy, white seeds during my watermelon chewing. From what I understand, seedless means: free from any and all seeds. No?

In the age of millions of disclaimers; "Caution, hot coffee may be extremely hot," "This peanut butter contains peanuts," and "Eating this Big Mac every day for every meal may cause weight gain" (I made that one up) I laughed as I was purchasing my bagillionith watermelon from Costco. The little sticker slapped onto the seedless green blob not only gave the cashier the code to type into the computer, but also had this disclaimer: "May contain an occasional seed."

I guess that I'm not the only one who believes that seedless watermelon should, well, have no seeds. Someone, somewhere evidently complained. At least now I know.

Dear Mr. Executive at Kandy Watermelon company,
Thanks for the warning.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

How Far Would You Drive?

I am drained. I am physically, emotionally, and mentally, drained. My biggest mister is on a baseball team which has continued to win their baseball games=good news. The team has to play other baseball teams from L.A. so we are driving 3 hours round trip every night=bad news.

How far would you drive every night to watch your kid play a sport, dance, sing, act, play an instrument?

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but the light isn't until Monday. If they win tonight, they play on Thursday. After that, they play best of three on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. We have been driving out to Granada Hills, 60 miles, since last Saturday. The games are at 7:00 p.m. so we sit in traffic. My husband drives, so I am catching up on my magazine reading which is great. I not sure why I am so drained from sitting in a car, and sitting in the bleachers watching a baseball game.

We arrive home at 11:00 p.m. and fall into bed around 11:45. We get up the next day and do it all over again. My son leaves at 3:00 p.m. and we leave at 5:00 p.m.

The boys appear to be unaffected entirely. They are having fun. Where do 11 year old boys get their stamina? I need some - right now.

Jet Set

"Mom, can you take a picture of me and my jet and put it on your blog?"

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Freshly Buzzed

I had coupons. They needed haircuts. After thirty minutes, this was the result. The youngest took some prodding and the middle mister wanted his hair to look just like my big mister. My biggest mister loves the low maintenance approach to hair.

My middle mister loves to twirl his hair when he is tired. I told him that if he gets a buzz, his twirl days are gone. He was up for the challenge.

The youngest just wanted a faux-hawk; spiky on top and short on the sides, but after asking him for the last time if her wanted a buzz like the other boys he succumbed.

I only spent $23.00 for three haircuts and the tip. I love a good bargain, and clean cut boys.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Re-Gift Card

Okay, let's just be honest and admit that we have all, at some point done the re-gift thing. Perhaps you haven't which means that you are more organized than I am by a long shot. Some people that I know have gifts already purchased and wrapped for the next gift giving event. Kudos to those people, really.

I will most heartily admit that I have re-gifted. I cannot pinpoint the exact moment or time I have settled upon a re-gift, but I know that it has been done, especially in moments of "Oh no, tomorrow is the the teacher's birthday and it is 11:00 at night. What do I have that I can wrap?"

If I happen to have nothing to give in the instance of a birthday party, I usually have one of my kids make a card, and throw some cash into the envelope. Everyone loves cash.

Once I received a gift card to Red Lobster for $50.00 from one of my students. Right before I was ready to use the card, I went online to check the balance. Since I had only known the student for one month, and it was the month of June, I knew that the card was a re-gift since it was purchased in early December. I still loved the gift, and all of the food I was able to purchase at no cost.

My oldest boy giggled the other day when he opened a birthday card from one of his friends. On the back of the gift card were the words, "Happy Easter!" What was once placed inside an Easter basket was now my son's gift. He couldn't care less. The gift card worked, and that's all that matters.

I say re-gift. It is cheep, easy, and convenient. However, make sure that all names have been changed to protect the innocent, er...I mean the original gift receiver.

Sunday, July 20, 2008


Back in the day, I used to drive my daughter to church the day of her camp departure, and chat with friends while she boarded the bus and anticipated leaving for a week with no brothers. I would wave good-bye as the bus drove away and slowly walk back to my car praying that she found a seat next to a friend, and that she would make great choices and have plenty to do on her week away from home.

This is her sixth year of camp. This year she is going to attend high school summer camp at Hume Lake. Four buses were boarding students for camp this morning in the church parking lot. In addition to her group of friends, there were many kids I have never seen, big kids, seniors, men!

This time she wanted me to just drop her off. I barely got a hug good bye. She was off like lightning, meandering, finding her way. I cried as I left the parking lot. She doesn't need me. She is independent. She is in high school. I worry that she won't be okay even though I know that God is watching over her.

I rushed home to snuggle with my boys who were fighting over who got to lay next to me. They still need me, thankfully.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Black Eye-2 Boys-0

Alas, this is the summer of eye injuries. Last night, my middle mister had a cement wall catch his fall as he slid down a short banister outside of a restaurant, and the result is pictured. My husband told him not to slide any more because he was going to get hurt. He isn't very good at listening. Oh, and all that stuff around his mouth that looks red? He scraped his lip too, but mostly, it's spaghetti sauce.

The first words out of his mouth after the first aid was administered: "Mom, will you put my picture on your blog?"

That kid. He knows a good blog post when he sees it - out of one eye.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Black Eye Boy Turns Twelve

Twelve years ago we were visiting Disneyland, and I was nine months pregnant. It was actually the night before today. We had just arrived at Disneyland and my then 2 1/2 year old was excited and giddy. We made a beeline to the Hungry Bear Inn with some great friends to scoff down burgers at 6:00 p.m.

I stood up to exit the eatery and my water broke. It didn't gush, so I told everyone that we were going to stay and enjoy the park. After all, we had just arrived. We left the park at 11:00 p.m., went home, and went to bed. At 3 a.m. I decided that I should go to the hospital. Our very first boy arrived at 1:19 p.m.

The balloons are scattered around, the "Happy Birthday" sign is hung, the presents are wrapped and my large boy is anticipating chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast and dinner at Olive Garden. He has never eaten there, and is quite excited about his inaugural visit.

His black eye is a distant memory and he has now moved on to wiggling his two loose teeth. He hasn't lost any teeth since the second grade and he is one thrilled sixth grader.

A birthday, and a visit from the tooth fairy all in one week is quite possibly too much for one boy.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Drawing Lines

I draw the line at lines, certain lines. Let me clarify.

I'm not the type of person who would spend the night in a line in Central Park, NY and than sit the entire next day in line, just to get a good seat on the lawn to see Bon Jovi, for free. I wouldn't sit in line over night to see anyone for free. I wouldn't sit in line for six hours to see anyone for free. My limit is one hour, and that is only if I am holding a large coffee and a large slice of cinnamon crumb cake.

In addition, no cupcake is so fantastic that I need to stand in line for 45 minutes in order to make a purchase, and I love cupcakes. I'm the type of person who would saunter to the front counter, ask the cashier about a better time to return when the line is not so long, or ask a local about a cupcake store that is highly compatible to the one who's named has swept the state as being, "the best." Chances are, the ma and pop cupcake place four blocks away is just as great, just not as popular.

I may wait in line overnight for a free car, but only if I would be guaranteed a free car. Also, I would wait in line for free money, again, only if I was guaranteed the money. I would wait in line for a free house too, unless the free house was located in Antarctica. I don't do well in cold weather.

Since I am not a line waiter, I never saw Bon Jovi for free or got a cupcake from the very famous bakery place. However, I did wait in line for famous pizza, but only for 15 minutes, and my cupcake from "the other cupcake place" was delicious, and there was no line.

If you look up the word "impatient" in the dictionary you will see a photo of me. Perhaps that is the reason why I don't do lines - just a thought.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Mirror Mirror

If someone asked me to picture in my mind my facial image, I would imagine a face close to the real thing. After all, I see my reflection in the mirror more than once a day. I know what I look like based on the mirror in my bathroom. That is my best judge.

My mother's mirror in her bathroom has a ton of natural light from the sky light situated above the mirror. In her mirror I look basically the same except I notice more the deep wrinkles and stray black chin and cheek hairs that miraculously appear overnight. My grey hairs are more apparent also.

Mirrors at the department store are the opposite of lovely. I have gotten into a routine of doing lunges for the past eight months, not every day but often. They are supposed to reduce the appearance of cellulite. Huh! After trying on a pair of jeans, and standing in my undies in front of the three-way mirror at Nordstrom, let me tell you, I saw more cellulite that should be legally allowed. Stupid lunges! Stupid mirrors!

While wandering around the airport with my coffee cup and wheeled suitcase, I splashed some coffee on my hand and dashed into the bathroom to clean up. When I looked up into the mirror I was aghast. I looked nothing like how I pictured myself to look. I looked terrible, haggard and worn to the bone. I looked as if I was experiencing bouts of nausea and had aged 5 years. I attempted a blush application and some lip gloss which did not help. I even grabbed a bottle of "tester" perfume from the gift shop and misted my nasty looking self. The scent was pleasant, but my appearance didn't change.

I'm giving up on mirrors and intead, resorting to taping sheets of foil on the front of my mirror. My relflection always looks better in foil - unclear and out of focus.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


I must have one of those faces. The face that says, "I'm happy to help with whatever you need help with."

Many folks stop me while I am jogging and ask for directions, I have helped older folks with their garbage cans; getting from the curb to their side yard, and also had the opportunity to help people change a tire, well, I mean, help people make a call to have someone come and change their tire. Does that count for helping?

Yesterday's request takes the cake. I was exiting a bathroom after washing my hands, and an older woman, standing near the sink area, was fiddling with her pants. She was wearing a long shirt and had black pants which were equipped with a side zipper. She had the bottom half of her shirt tucked under her chin so that her mid section was exposed.

Right as I was ready to exit the bathroom she called me over to help her. Let's just say that the zipper on the side of her pants didn't shimmy up with great ease. While she gripped the top section closed together, it was my job to zip the zipper shut while it was stretched to the maximum width.

My zippering was a success. She was happy, and thanked me for my help. I left the restroom scratching my head while replaying in my head what had just transpired.

I am quite good at helping with zippers on children. However, I have never helped anyone in their sixties with their zipper, except for now. I hope that I don't have to do it again.

Monday, July 14, 2008


My NYC Whirlwind has come to a screeching halt. I'm exhausted.

We landed at JFK airport at 10:00p.m. on Friday and checked into our hotel at 11:00. I was craving breakfast so we found a diner at 11:50 which closed at midnight. The man told us we had ten minutes. We ordered (bacon and eggs...yum!) and went to bed at 1:15a.m.

Saturday was biking in Central Park which was packed with peopled waiting in line to see Bon Jovi in concert. We ventured over to 5th avenue for some delicious cupcakes from "Crumbs" which, for the record, are better than Magnolia Bakery. They didn't have tons of frosting which I didn't even notice because the cake part was so spectacular.

We had John's pizza on Bleeker Street, rated best in - the city, and shopped until 8:00 p.m. I bought a watch for $5.00 that fell apart three times, and caramel corn from Garrett Popcorn (so delicious I could have eaten the entire bag and made myself sick)but never found the floor length,jersey dress I wanted for under thirty dollars.

Walking the streets all day ensured coffee and a shower. When I ordered my coffee the guy at the donut shop kept asking me if I wanted cream and sugar. He thought I was a nut case for drinking coffee black.

After showers, we hailed a taxi at 9:15 p.m. for a ride to dinner at Schiller's. We ate key lime pie at 10:30 and hit Times Square at 11:45. I bought MLB All Star hats for the boys at the only store open until midnight that sold the hats. We fell into bed at 2:15 a.m.

We were gone by 8:00 a.m. on Sunday heading back to the airport where my girlfriend arranged for me a seat in first class. Oh heaven in the air!!! After a hot rag was given to me to cleanse my hands, I ate a cup fill of warm nuts, antipasto salad, green salad with strips of red and yellow peppers, wheat rolls with butter, a warm grilled chicken sandwich, hot fudge sundae, and later on a fresh baked chocolate chip cookie with black coffee.

I watched two movies, "21" and "Definitely, Maybe," read, slept in my fully reclining, leather seat equipped with a small comforter, and the guy sitting next to me wondered if I was Celine Dion. I told him, "yes." You have to be famous to be in first class, right. ;)

Now I am home. [whew!] Amazing! My girlfriend's generosity is amazing. God knew I needed a small break. What a blast! Back to reality.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

For Sale: Perfect Dog

I am having dog withdrawals since our 15 year old Golden Retriever, Lab mix went to Heaven last November. I have always had a dog. As I have stated before, I don't miss the hair every where, just the cuddling.

Everyone in New York has a dog. People have big dogs, small dogs, dogs in tank tops, dogs in bicycle baskets, dogs in carriers, every kind of dog.

If I lived in New York City, I would have a dog. I would have to live near Central Park so that he could run free, on a leash of course.

I need a dog. Not right now, but soon. He needs to be shed-free, in perfect health, cuddly, well-behaved, potty trained, hate to chew on things other than dog bones, and love dry dog food and children. I don't require much from a dog do I?

If you happen to encounter a dog for sale meeting my standards, let me know, because, I'm having dog withdrawals.

Friday, July 11, 2008

N-Y Oh My

One of my very best of friends for the last 25 years happens to be a flight attendant. She asked me if I wanted to pal along with her on a trip to NY. She is working the flight. After acquiring a "hall pass" from my wonderful husband, I am going to NY! This is too good to pass up.

This is the third time that she has invited me, I know, she is wonderful. We are going to ride bikes around Central Park, eat cupcakes, and chat, chat, chat, with no interruptions.

I am very excited. I was told to pack light, and wear business attire on the plane. I will do as I am told.

I leave in three hours and will be home Sunday afternoon. Wow, I mean wow!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Dinner for Nine

Last night my oldest mister made dinner. He watches so much Food Network that he thinks he is a chef. He is, sort of.

He made a fantastic pizza from scratch using dough that had to rise, fresh sauce, and four different cheeses. The best part of the night was that he made the pizza's with his Nana, dirtied her kitchen, and all we had to do was go to the house and eat. Perfect. I love Nana.

The dessert had great intentions but flopped. The gelatto kept melting, and the chocolate it was supposed to be dipped in kept sliding off of the gelatto. "Rachel Ray makes it look so easy mom," he noted. "I know, she really does."

He'll probably never attend culinary school, but any time he wants to go to his Nana's and Sammy's house, use their ingredients to cook dinner, and dirty their kitchen, I am all over it. Let's face it, anytime I can show up to someone else's house for dinner and not have to do the cooking myself, I am all over it.

I hope that Nana want's to have my boy cook dinner again very soon. Friday would be great. I have no plans.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


I do love a clean house, although the pine scent doesn't last long. I know deep down that I cleaned my house and that for the next day it will remain clean.

Everything shines in my kitchen. I have buffed away the fingerprints from the appliance surfaces and now cringe each time a child opens the refrigerator for fear they will leave smudges. I know, it is a sickness.

My black stove glistens after three rounds of soap and water, followed by a drying. For the next week I will not be doing any cooking. I don't want to get my stove top dirty. I think that is reasonable.

While I was running errands the other day, my husband decided to make lunch for the kids and needed to use the stove. When I came home there was salt sprinkled over my previously sparkling stove top. I growled at my husband. Since he too loves a clean stove he suggested that I pull out the vacuum and suck up the salt from the surface of the stove. It worked, however, I need help. My obsessive cleaning is sad, and scares people. I don't want people to be scared, so I am coming - clean.

Today I have decided to let go of my impulse to following the kids around with broom and dust pan. It exerts too much energy. Today, anything goes, and I am just going to have to deal with a small, bit of a mess.

Really, though, I'm not that bad. I have exaggeration tendencies.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Let Me Explain

At the risk of you thinking that I purposely went out to a photography studio to get head shots done for my blog, let me explain:

1. I would never, with a capital "N" get head shots done unless it was utterly and completely necessary. I like my 6th grade school photo that was attached to my blog previously.

2. As some of you know, by God's AMAZING grace, I have a book, with Zondervan Publishing, coming out in April of 2009. It is titled, Spilt Milk, Linda Vujnov's Devotionals for Moms It is humorous and unconventional. I had to have these head shots done for the back cover of the book. I wish that I was wearing a necklace. My chest looks - exposed.

side note: I will be requiring each of my children to set up 24 hour "book stands" on many of the street corners in and around Orange County so that they can sell my books. Who needs lemonade? People need Jesus! I hope that my 5 year old learns how to give back the proper amount of change by then.

3. I figured that I would use this same photo on my blog so that those unfamiliar with who I am could put a face with the same face. Wow! That makes no sense.

4. I have also started a Facebook which is interesting. I have two friends. Watch out, my popularity is overwhelming. Whoa!!!

So that is my very formal explanation of why I have such fancy photos now on my blog.

side note 2: My daughter just started blogging. I'm thrilled that she will strengthen her typing skills as well as her writing skills. Check it out here. She would be thrilled if you left a comment, hint, hint.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Please Do Not Disturb

Dear lady sitting behind me in church last night,

I wanted to listen to what the pastor was saying, but I kept getting distracted. When you haphazardly put your feet on my chair it jolts my seat and interrupts my concentration. I understand making the mistake one time, but this happened several times. When I look behind me, and down at your feet, that is a hint that you are messing with my chair again.

I think that you should keep your feet on the ground, or prop them up on your own chair, or, at the very least, if you do want to use my chair as a foot prop, be gentle. Please don't disrupt my worship.

One of the verses from last night was Eph. 5:15-16"Be careful how you act; these are difficult days. Don't be fools; Be wise: Make the most of every opportunity you have for doing good." Which includes not bothering other church attendees by shoving your feet on to their chair and jerking their body while they are listening to the pastor speak, just so you know.

Thank you, and next time, just sit in the front row please.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

House of Boredom

I bother myself. Some of things that come out of my mouth are dumb. I say things, and then moments later think to myself, "Why did I say that?"

My oldest mister had slept over a friends house the other day. With the addition of another boy, there were three boys total. In the morning when I went to pick up my son he pleaded with me to allow the boys to come to our house. With four children already meandering through the crevasses of my home, adding two more feels like a circus.

"Out house is boring." What mothers says that out loud to three boys waiting for your reply? Evidently this mother. I was attempting to turn off the two boys and remind my son of the fact that our house offers nothing out of the ordinary in which eleven year old boys can indulge their senses.

"No it isn't" my son replied, "We have Wii!" Acquiring a Wii system came only two weeks ago, and frankly I didn't think that having a Wii sysytem set our home in the "More fun than fun" catagory.

Until recently, we had nothing. We have no pool, no video games, no ping-pong table, no Foosball game, we don't even have a big television. Our Slip and Slide tore, our backyard offers nothing but grass, and we have no creek running alongside our neighborhood bustling with frogs and lizard needing to be captured.

It bothers me that my vision is so askew. In my mind I feel like boys need constant entertainment in order to consider visiting someones house.

As it turns out, the boys didn't want to leave our house. They enjoyed the Wii game, played with airsoft guns, hit wiffle balls in the front yard, drank homemade smoothies, and snacked on an array of offerings.

I need to keep reminding myself that it is not about what we have, or don't have to offer, it is about what we do with what we have to offer.

May I be ever grateful for all that we have to offer to anyone who wants to come and visit. Thanks God!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Firery Fourth

They are all pyromaniacs. All of my kids. They love fire.

This morning my middle mister brought the box of matches to me while I was brushing my teeth and asked, "Can I light one?" That scares me. It is a good thing we have a fire fighter who lives two doors down. We may need his assistance one of these days.

I have been entertaining children the last three days by making trips to the firework stand to purchase goods. In the daylight only smoke balls, snakes, and piccolo peets, work well, so after lunch we spend a few moments - playing with fire, I mean fireworks.

Yesterday a cop appeared in front of my house just as I was clearing the shrapnel from the street. I wasn't nervous, and my heart wasn't pounding because I wasn't doing anything wrong. He simply asked if we could hold off lighting any more fireworks until the 4th of July. Evidently the smoke billowing down the street was a distraction for him as he sat in his patrol car waiting for stop sign violators.

I agreed to stop and my youngest cried. He truly is obsessed with fireworks.

Tonight we will be lighting off "The Nite Thriller," all 25 pieces. I just hope my kids don't blow a brain cell waiting for the sky to get dark. That is the worst part - waiting.

Happy Fourth of July!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Window Shopping

Just in case you needed any help in trying to figure out fun and festive places to take your children during these summer months, I have generously listed a few places below, which any child, even those suffering from extreme boredom would never want to visit.

These were actually real store fronts that my kids and I encountered while driving from the recycle center to McDonald's, to spend all of our recycle money.

"Places You Should Never Take Your Children - even if you are Desperate!"

Dart Works Who is so into playing darts, that they need to frequent a store specializing in dart sales?

Nail Cottage I'd like to go here, however, it doesn't sound very sanitary for some reason.

Elana's Wig Center Okay, maybe it would be fun to try on wigs.

Boot Barn A store lined wall to wall with boots - in Orange County?

Friar Tux Shop Catchy name, yet boring.

Red Hot Hearth and Home Ooh, I think I may pluck my eyeballs out if I had to visit this store.

Solo Tire Shouldn't if be "so filled" tire

Book Carnival I wish that this sounded exciting for my kids. Who wouldn't want to visit a carnival where books were the performers?

Yarn Yarn This needs no explanation.

Bird Clinic How do you know when your pet bird is sick? Who has a bird for a pet? Can I see a show of hands?

Pablo's Hair Studio...hmmm.

If you owned your own store, what would you sell?

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Life's a Beach

The beach was spectacular yesterday. Pristine. The kids romped and played for seven minutes until the complaining began:

"The water is too cold. It is always cold!"
[enter tears here] "The sand is all over my legs and it won't come off."
"There are no good rocks to climb."
"I cut my toe on a shell!"
"When can we leave?"

It is difficult, trying to entertain a five through fourteen year old and I thought that this gorgeous beach would be the cure to sitting at home. It saddens me that my children are so used to going to the beach that it has become passe and dull.

I ignored their complaints and settled into my chair with a magazine. My daughter and her girlfriend sat under an umbrella listening to their ipods and plucking away at their mobile phones. What happened to old fashioned conversation?

We merged from the beach to the pool and all seemed to be happy, until the five year old fell backward out of the lounge chair scraping his shoulder, knee, and elbow, and tearfully announced, "I just want to go home."

I was able to keep everyone quasai happy and fed until we left at 3:45. Next time I am getting a babysitter, and going to the beach alone. I love the beach.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Go to Bed!

For some reason my youngest could not fall asleep last night. That is a terrible feeling. He wiggled, squirmed, and came out of his bedroom three different times, bright eyed and bushy tailed.

Frustrated, I finally turned on a Veggie Tales DVD in my bedroom to calm his brain and help him feel more sleepy. At 11:00 he still wasn't ready for bed, but I was!

Eventually he fell asleep after another round of questions, shoving his water bottle under his pillow, arranging his Webkinz at the bottom of his bed, and situating his blankie so that the correct side was facing in the upward position. Ugg!

At 4:19 he entered my room ready to snuggle and snore next to me. I exited immediately and went to his bed. He had clearly pushed the envelope this time. At 5:57 I was woken by my middle mister.

Out of four children only one of them, my oldest boy, will go to my husband's side of them bed when they encounter a problem or wake up in the morning. What gives?

Today I may need an extra dose of coffee and I may resume to my yawning incessantly. At least this time my yawning will legitimately be because I am, well, exhausted!