Monday, September 29, 2008

New Bed

My daughter lives in a room which resembles half the size of a dorm room without the cute refrigerator and roommate. It is cluttered, overstocked with office supplies, and her furniture is too large for the small surroundings.

As we were leaving for the mall the other day, I drove down the street and noticed that our neighbor had a bed in his driveway that he was selling for $30.00. Think Ikea+1990+Patrick Nagel+black metal+bunk bed with the bottom bunk missing and replaced with a desk. Got it?

For my daughter, it was love at first sight. A high bed with space underneath for all of her junk which includes a desk lamp and a bean bag chair. Just like dorm living.

Three things were involved with the bed relocation: getting the bed from the neighbor's house to mine, removing my daughter's old bed and putting it in my car, getting the new bed into her room, my husband leaving for church so that I would have to put on my Handy Manny hat, and a daughter who likes to see things on the tip of her brain come to fruition immediately. I think that was more than three things.

The neighbor was kind enough to have four boys carry the bed to my house, and my daughter diligently removed the bedding from her bed and began to disassemble her old bed. What I didn't know is that when she took all the bedding off and emptied things from the drawers on the bottom, she shoved everything under her existing desk in one big heap.

After finding an allen wrench, and taking the metal monster down to a maneuverable pile, we got it into her room and began the reassembly. I think it was 90 degrees in her room because I couldn't stop sweating. Construction work will do that to you. I wanted to strip down to my underwear, but the four children inhabiting the four walls, asking questions every 2.5 seconds would have raised even more questions. I opted for a fan and turned on the air conditioning.

I wanted to cuss about seventeen times during assembly. The screw wouldn't go in tight enough, the metal was scraping off and hitting her walls, and I accidently put it together backwards. When we tried to turn the bed around, it hit her desk piled with more crap than any fourteen year old should have, and the desk crumbled in a particle board heap. All of it's contents fell to the floor. [insert cuss word here and more buckets of sweat]

At 8 o'clock the bed was finished. The desk contents still remained sprawled like confetti on the floor, and now the three boys began digging through her "stuff" creating a frenzy. The boys brought in food now too, and sat ringside as she yelled, I sweat, and they sang and laughed.

I finished the evening with sore arms and a bowl of ice cream. I am hanging up my hard hat, and next time, I will wait until my husband returns from church before I decide to assemble any furniture. It's either that, or just use duct tape.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Just a Bunch of Love


The Challenge: 40 Days of Love

Our church has launched a 40 Days of Love Campaign based on God's commandment to "...love the Lord your God with all of your heart, soul, and mind, and love your neighbor as yourself." Yikes.

I am also leading a small group of women during the study, which, by no means on God's green earth, signifies that I have this whole "love" thing wired. It just means that now I have to work harder at "love" because I am asking others to work harder at it too. Yikes.

I made the grave mistake of telling my children about "40 Days of Love" and the fact that I cannot get frustrated with people in traffic because I am working on being more loving. Word of advise: Never tell your children that you are working on a character flaw. They will hold you accountable more that you ever wanted to be held accountable. I speak from experience.

Since we are challenged to memorize scripture each week I took up the challenge. The verse is only six words, "Let love be your highest goal." I Cor. 14:1

I have the verse posted on a sticky note in my car as a reminder. The challenge is not remembering, it is in acting.

The other day I passed by a homeless guy while I was jogging with my youngest in the stroller. I have a tendency to fall on the side of "all homeless people are either addicted to drugs or alcoholics and beg for money in order to feed their addiction" so, even though I was carrying my wallet in my stroller, sped past, ignoring his slight built, filthy clothing, and painful shuffle as he walked.

No sooner did he feel the breeze of my stroller as I passed by did the verse, "Let love be your highest goal" pop into my head. At that point I had a little talk with God, and told Him that I was not going to give an addict money to help fuel his addiction,

I continued on my jog.

Three seconds later the words, "40 days of love" popped into my head. I had another talk with God. I told Him that I am a loving person most of the time, but I wasn't going to turn my stroller around and give a homeless guy cash.

I continued my jog.

Three seconds later, I pictured Rick Warren acting out the motions to the verse, "Let love be your highest goal." At that point I had another talk with God. This time I told Him that I would just leave the money on the sidewalk or stuff it in a bush and the homeless guy could find it on his own. I was not going to turn my stroller around and jog in the opposite direction. I was on a time constraint.

I continued my jog.

Three seconds later the word "obey" jumped into my head. This time I dropped my shoulders, turned my stroller around, ran up to the homeless guy, and handed him a five dollar bill. At first I told God that I was only going to give him one dollar, but the five was sticking up farther than the one dollar bill in my wallet. I figured that this was God's way of telling me to give him the five dollar bill instead of the one.

After much prodding, I obeyed. Obedience feels much better than disobedience. God's patience is amazing.

I'm trying to practice being more loving, however, sometimes it just takes God having to ask me two, three, or four, times. I am a work in progress, which God, thankfully, does not mind working with.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Mouse Trap

The highlight of the morning was walking out into the front yard and discovering a dead mouse. A boy's dream. All things dead, smashed, noisy, and on fire, appeal to the life giving neurons of boys.

It appeared that the mouse had been dropped by a meat eating bird since no blood was present. Since school was minutes from starting, the mouse sat in our grass all day while the boys were away.

As soon as we all arrived home in the afternoon, all eyes were on the dead mouse, and some feet. Flip flopped guys kicked the mouse around the grass and into the street and "ahhh!" and "ewe!" echoed down the sidewalk.

At one point during the afternoon the voices were reduced to an uncommon quiet. I ventured outside to see why quiet had replaced the squeals, and discovered two of the boys sitting on the curb, staring into the empty street.

"What are your guys doing?" I queried.
"Waiting for a car to run over the mouse." They replied as if I asked a stupid question

Upon further investigation I noticed that they had kicked the limp remains of our furry entertainment into the middle of street. They sat, watching, and waiting, as each car zoomed down the street hoping that one of the black tires would smash what little guts were left of the mouse.

They screamed each time a car came by, and a great "ahhhh" in unison sounded when the car's tires missed the mouse body.

After the fifth car failed at squishing I had to do what any good mother of boys would do. I grabbed my keys and started my car. Backing out of the driveway I watched as all four of children lined up curbside and my husband stood in the doorway of our house. With my tires perfectly positioned on the black asphalt I inched forward attempting to squish the waiting rodent. I missed.

I backed up, and missed again.

The third time my tires met fur, and I was well on my way to a good squish. My daughter closed her eyes and plugged her ears, while laughing hysterically. I'm not sure what noise she thought would emulate from the road kill, but she was prepared nonetheless.

Everyone screamed, "yeah!!!" and I was quickly voted "Most Likely to Please."

Now, in front of my house, in the middle of the street, sits not only a dead mouse, but a dead mouse that has been run over by a twelve year old Suburban. Now we must wait for vultures.

Pure male bliss.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

My Oh My Oh Magazines

I have subscriptions to approximately 7 magazines. The reason for the massive amount of subscriptions is not because boredom fills my day and I can leisurely sit and read with no disruptions, or that I have a bunch of extra money which I enjoy spending on glossy magazines.

I have been given a discount on most of the magazines. I pay only $5.00 for a year subscription. Now that is a bargain. The only legitimate, full price magazines are Today's Christan Women. Real Simple, and Cookie. Cooking Light was a gift and Family Circle, Women's Day, and Ladies' Home Journal were practically free. I imagine that you are absolutely riveted by this astounding information.

In my attempts to whittle away at my stack of 21 magazines dated back to July, I came across some interesting information. I cannot remember most of it, but it was interesting, from what I do remember.

One fact that I do remember is that newspaper absorbs odors. Handy. Every now and again, I shove a section of the newspaper into the trash can and viola! Odor free.

Perhaps I will uncover more exciting information as I continue to absorb the magazines a little faster by reading two at the same time. Beware. More fabulous fact to come.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Two's and Three's


I have been out of the twos and threes stage for three years now. For the mathematician that desires perfection, 2 years and 4 months. My youngest child turned 5 at the end of May.

I recently helped in the 2 and 3 year old group at church. One crier needed to go for a walk in the stroller so I offered some assistance since I was recently certified to volunteer in the Children's Ministry. The crier knew that I was a stranger so wasn't pleased when I took over stroller duty.

We walked to the playground so that she could see her brother, and when I ventured toward the bark filled play area another boy grabbed my leg, so I picked him up. We chatted for a while until he saw something more exciting than the three buttons on my blouse.

Another boy needed me to hoist him up to the second level of the climbing area while another needed a lift to reach a bar he wanted to dangle from.

One girl needed help with her shoes and when I attempted to shove them onto her feet, I realized that they weren't her shoes. I kept asking, "Are these your shoes?" She just repeated what I said, "Shoes? Yours? Shoes?" I may have been speaking a foreign language - adult speak.

When we returned from the playground to the classroom, the "stroller crier" started in again. I shoved a cup filled with Nilla Waffers in her hand and got out some bubbles. Thankfully the sugar and entertainment worked for her, but another boy needed constant deterrents from another worker.

I was reminded of the energy surrounding a 2 or 3 year old which side cars their constant motion. I was reminded of the fact that they need to be properly fed and watered. They need their shoes put on and they spill their cups filled with water.

Veggie Tales only entertains them for ten seconds and bubbles for another 15. Their diapers need changing, their hands need to be washed, and some of them enjoy listening to books while others like toy trains, yet all of the children are excited when they see their parents faces at the door and the workers are equally excited.

Surprisingly enough I left from my temporary duty energized and not completely exhausted. This was due in part to the fact that all of the children were returned to their parents and none of them came home with me.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Clear as Day


I saw it. It was as clear as cloudless day. There was no hiding it, and I don't have that great of eyesight. My children saw it too. It was shelved behind the Halloween costumes and grotesque statues of skeletons with blood oozing from their hands. It was next to the Halloween candy and on the other side of the gardening supplies.

I saw Christmas lights, in boxes, on shelves, ready to be purchased by those who plan ahead WAY too much.

Am I ready? Not a chance.

It's one day at a time, not one holiday at a time. Yikes.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Sun-Free


Please alert the authorities if you ever see me driving my car wearing long gloves and this visor. I don't think that I would be able to drive properly while wearing a face sun visor. I may deserve a citation.

For now I will rely on my handy tinted windows and sunglasses to protect me from harmful UV rays. I hope that it works.

Friday, September 19, 2008

i Don't iPod


I was given an iPod. Yes, given. A very generous gift. The main intent with the gift is to download staff meetings and pre-recorded "things I should listen to as a one month old staff member." I have noted the things I should listen to, however, that would entail taking my new iPod past the point of just turning it on.

In my attempts to move past the "power on" stage I noticed that my iPod is functioning with Japanese letters. My name section is in English, but the rest of the menu is, well foreign. That's how techie I am.

I accidental downloaded all of the songs from the play list of my children. I am not interested in their song choices, yet I am stuck with all of them until I can figure out how to purge them from my iPod.

I made check marks on the songs I wanted to keep on my iPod, but cannot delete the songs that I do not want.

I was told that I am severely lame if I cannot figure out how to make my iPod work properly. I take no offense. I am teetering on the side of lame and dysfunctional when it comes to electronics. Included on the list of things I suck at doing are Sudoku and crossword puzzles, although those are non-electronic.

For now, I will either have to be subjected to the top hits from Aly and AJ, or take a crash course in iPod functions for the lame and stupid. At this point in time I cannot decide.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Talented

I am good at some things and not good at a lot of things.

I could never audition for “America’s Got Talent” even though, after watching the “top 10” episode last night, neither should some of the folks in the top ten. Sorry, you really cannot sing that well people.

If they had a show titled, “Mom’s Got Talent” I would definitely audition.
Aside from my amazing talent of being able to skate backward really fast, I can also braid hair (although not French braid), grill some chicken breasts and only burn one of them, macramé, water indoor plants so that they don’t die, vacuum the carpet while at the same time shout at the kids to lift up their feet, and add oil to my car.

I also have the uncanny ability to locate any lost clothing item within 10 minutes, add a picture to a blog post, and make up a song to go with our address so that my children can learn the address quicker.

I make a mean batch of chocolate chip cookies from scratch, and have my “secret” recipe committed to memory. I can whip up a Chinese Chicken Salad in just three trips to two different stores, can remove the smudgiest of smudges from the rubber top of a Converse high top with my Magic Eraser, and blow a double bubble with one piece of bubble gum.

I can wash and dry a PE uniform in one hour, look someone in the eyes and appear to be listening while typing an email, turn on my iPod, sharpen a package of pencils at 10:00 at night without waking up any children, and form a shopping list just by imagining myself perusing the isles of Target and picturing the items needed on the shelves.

I cannot do the splits, dance, sing, play an instrument, or juggle, but, you have to admit, I have an amazing list of talent.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Brush and Floss Daily


My husband invested in an Oral B electric toothbrush to deter stuff from sticking in places, and more thorough cleansing in the mouth area. I suppose.

I like the old fashioned toothbrush with three rows of bristles and that doesn’t spin or alert me when it has been 30 seconds, 1 minute, 90 seconds, and 2 minutes. I don’t like being on a time constraint. I have my own brain timer that doesn’t need to be meddled with so I use the automatic spin-a-thon brush in the evening and the handy, plastic, scrub-it-yourself brush in the mornings.

Since the electric toothbrush cost a bit of cash, I use it. The kids don’t love it, and, like myself, switch between the manual toothbrush and the electric.

My oldest son and I have the same old-fashioned toothbrush, in different colors. My manual toothbrush stays in my section of the drawer and his stays in his section of the drawer. They don’t get confused with each other that way. I don’t share my toothbrush. Ewe. If ever, and I pray it is never, find myself in a remote area with one toothbrush to share between my family, I would, before having to use it in my own mouth, scrub the toothbrush with soap and bleach, and scald it in 200 degree water, just for good measure.

Thankfully, I don’t see myself ending up on a deserted island with just my family and one toothbrush. As if a deserted island would have soap, bleach, and 200 degree water.

The other day my son and I were in the bathroom and he opened the drawer to grab his toothbrush.

“Who keeps moving my toothbrush to your section?”

“What? That’s my toothbrush, not yours.”

“Mom, mine is green, and yours is orange.”

“I thought mine was green.”

At this point my insides are gurgling at the mere thought that I have been using my son’s toothbrush, without proper sanitation, for the past week. Ewe.

After throwing up a little in my mouth because I am so grossed out, I grab my toothbrush which has fallen behind the toothpaste, out of sight, and grab the nearest Clorox Disinfectant wipe to scrub my tongue. I then re-brush my teeth with MY toothbrush.

My son then grabs the toothbrush that I just used on my teeth and proceeds to brush his teeth – without a stitch of grossing out.

I am confident that I will never be stuck on a deserted island with my family, and only one toothbrush. In that case, my teeth will just have to fall out.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Personal Shopper

I need a personal shopper that doesn't mind running errands for me at no cost. I have so many things that need to be done.

I have a list for Target, Trader Joe's, the grocery store, I have to return something to Nordstrom, I need a coffee, and I need to go to Costco.

I think that every mom should have a volunteer person who just goes through her "to-do" list and makes all of those pesky "to-do's" happen in rapid speed.

Oh, and is there someone who can write my blog post for me in a timely manner instead of late afternoon?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Text Spam


Has it really come to this? In addition to deleting unsolicited emails from my inbox, am I also going to have to delete unwanted text messages?

The other day I received the following text message from an unknown sender:
sup, i found out about u, and i wanted to say hi. Ummm, I'm, kinda quiet. So maybe you come check me out online. I have a profile at date-shake.com

EWE!!!

I had to take a shower after I read that.

I hope that Mr. Date Shake stays far away from me. Otherwise, I will get my husband, four children, and mother after him. They are a brutal bunch.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Love

"Let love be your hightest goal." 1 Corinthians 14:1
Hefty goal. Are you up for the challenge?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Commited to Memory


I am not very good at memorizing things. All things which are committed to memory are on a need-to-know basis. I don't need to memorize any one's mobile numbers because they are already programed into my phone. I think that everyne should have to wear a name badge, and although I have memorized the birthday's of my children, please do not ask me their birth weight or the time that they were born. Do I really need to memorize that?

Memorizing the name of a person is often difficult. Just the other day I said "hello" to a girl and called her by the name of her husband's ex-wife. Dang. No amount of backtracking could take fix my words so I said her real name about a dozen times in a three minute conversation - just for good measure.

I failed Spanish in high school although I evidently can cuss in the language just like a seasoned trucker.

Certain sayings will forever be stuck in my brain. These are useful, so I don't mind them setting up camp and staying for a while:

*Righty tighty, lefty loosey (for turnig screws and tight caps)
*Cooking rice? Water's twice (1 C of rice to two C water)
*I before E except after C,or in sounding like A as in neighbor or weigh.

I know the names of my children and our family members. I know my address and phone number. I now my driver's license number and social security number, and I know my PIN number. For now, that should suffice.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Saved by Twitter


What the Twitter?

What is Twitter? Twitter is a "social networking and microblogging service utilising instant messaging." I was signed up to subscribe to my bosses twitter so every few hours my phone will receive a text message from him giving an update on what is going on in his life at that moment. I Twitter as well, but I don't think anyone cares or is signed up for my account.

Twitter is the rage around my office among the younger folk and a few of us older folk. I however, am still am partial to blogging and Facebook.

Anyway, now that that is out of the way - I was leaving the office and came to the first signal. I was going to go straight and the light was red. I quickly grabbed my phone to check for any messages and noticed that I had a new text message, usually a Twitter from my boss. I read what he had to say, and as I looked up I realized that my light had turned green. Thankfully no one was behind my car honking for me to get going.

As I began to accelerate passed the middle of the intersection, a white SUV came speeding from the right and speed right in front of my car, running their red light. I crossed the intersection in slight shock of what had just happened.

If I had not checked my text message, I would have noticed the green light immediately and began crossing the intersection. The car speeding passed the red light would have hit my car at top speed and a bad accident would have ensued.

I paused and thanked God for not only protecting me, but sending me the Twitter and giving me the opportunity to stall a bit before traversing through the intersection.

I was saved by Twitter. Whew.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Not-So-Great-Start

I was stopping the car and shouting, "Stop it!!" at 8:05 a.m. I guess since I was up at 6:00 a.m. given the fact that I was able to wait two hours to yell, and not the typical 2 minutes is good, however, we had only been in the car for two minutes when the yelling began. My front tires were still in the driveway as I backed out the car.

"He said it AGAIN!!!" my littlest one shouted. The middle mister is smiling as if he had just be given the award for "pushing the correct button on his brother." "Carsy, Carsy, Carse Carse...I hate when he calls me that!!" The youngest is still shouting. "Now he is smiling at me!!!!" Still shouting. "I'm just singing" the middle retorts.

"Stop it!!" I shout. We are off to a great start. Of all the days.

I have to be in the office, a 25 minute drive from school, at 9 and school starts at 8:25. My husband had to drive to San Diego and left at 7:30 and he typically would have taken the boys to school for me.

At 7:45 I discovered my daughters PE uniform in a wet pile in the washing machine after she had already left for school.

On the way to school, my son sends some email replies for me from my phone and at noon I discover that he needs another course in spelling and now I look like an illiterate for all of the misspellings. There is no spell check on PDA's.

After I drop off two for school I have to drive to the high school to drop off the PE uniform which is still a bit damp from the short dryer visit. (Yea, I do that so she doesn't get an "F" for the day in PE. I may be crazy). I park in "staff" parking next to a cop car and pray that no one cares. I carry my five year old all the way into the administration building. The entire walk he make me promise that he doesn't have to say "hi" to anyone.(yes, I carry him to expedite the journey. I said that I may be crazy.)

I still have to drop off my 5 year old at my mother-in-laws house and then drive to work for a 9:00 appointment. The clock is teetering at 8:45.

I arrive to work 15 minutes late for my appointment. Not entirely a big deal. All parties understood.

Of all the days. I hope that my husband doesn't ever plan on leaving the house before 8:30 again. As if.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Dessert Orders


We are a family who partakes in dessert after dinner almost every night. It's my fault. I love dessert slightly more than dinner. I can count on one hand how many times I have not saved room in my belly for some sort of dessert. My favorite is ice cream.

Each of my four children have different dessert tastes. While my daughter is currently obsessed with Simply Dipped, ice cream on a cone that has been dipped in chocolate, my biggest mister has been addicted lately to a stiff bowl of rocky road ice cream topped with chocolate "shell" and whipped cream.

Who buys the three pack of cans of whipped cream from Costco? That would be me. Each can lasts approximately 2 weeks in this house.

My middle mister is partial to vanilla ice cream topped with whipped cream, and the youngest has a new affection for dusty donuts. This is the name given to the small, white, powdered donuts stuffed into a box with a clear window on top for easy donut viewing. In college I was partial to the small chocolate donuts and a chocolate milk chaser. I don't like powdered donuts much. The chocolate coating had a waxy texture and always left a smattering of greasy goo on the roof of my mouth. Hence the need for chocolate milk. Yummy goodness.

Tonight my youngest had some vanilla ice cream with three Mike and Ike candies shoved into the small white mound. Ewe. He partook in four bites of the sweet concoction then swore to return to the dusty donuts tomorrow. He's fickle and experimental.

I had my usual, chocolate chip ice cream with whipped cream, and my husband, like always, had a bowl of Kellogg's Raisin Bran. How fibrous cereal mixed with disgusting hard bits of dried grapes constitutes dessert is beyond me, but he claims that the added tablespoon of sugar he throws into the bowl deems his cereal dessert worthy. I happen to disagree, by a long shot.

May I take your order?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Just My Type

I recently took a personality test. Self actualization is interesting. I found myself in defense mode on some of the issues that were raised, and on the opposite end, nodding my head with great force in agreeing with the words that described what makes me tick.

One thing for sure, with my type of personality, is the fact that I need to be married to a "help mate." Thankfully my husband is a huge help and we do not have to rush out to marriage counseling in order to combat my frustration with a husband that likes to just play all day, avoiding responsibility.

Rationals, my husband, need a "play mate." Not that kind! Well actually, he probably wouldn't complain if I were donning skimpy outfits and laying on top of black velvet curtains in a photo studio. However, I can discern that my husbands likes to "go" and "do" and "play" when he isn't "helping." I can appreciate some fun although I usually would rather, "stay." I have become a home body as my children have gotten older.

According to the test results, I also love, not like, love lists. Who can't appreciate a great list with hundreds of boxes to check off? I prefer sticky notes all over the place to an actual gigantic list however. My daughter, I love that girl, loves lists too. Together, we can write lists all day long and then go about our merry ways, checking off boxes and crossing out words. Pure joy. Mother daughter joy.

On the down side, my personality type tends to complain when things aren't going well. Okay, I can accept that. I'm working on it though. It seems that I am always working on something. Was that just a complaint?

For what it is worth, I now know myself a bit more than I did last week, but, I'm not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing. That shift just means that I have to add more to my "to-do" list in order to be socially acceptale and in the presence of others.

Sometimes it is just too much trouble to always be working on, or striving to be a better person. And, that of course is another complaint. This isn't going very well.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Not All and Barely Some


I am struggling with the fact that I am completely incapable of doing it all.

Although I need to clean the house other things take precedence. I am reminded of my filthy floors each time I step in a small spot of sticky residue from my big mister's orange juice making escapade left over from last Thursday however, carving out 4 hours to dust, mop vacuum, and scrub, gets shoved to the bottom of the list.

The mail is piled high, the blogging is happening later in the day, and any amount of "sitting to relax" is completely out of the question. I am currently looking at a pile of 19 magazines. Who has time for magazines? I got many of them at a discount but, really?

The days fly by and my "to do" list gets longer and longer. 2:45 will be here in an instant, pick up kids, then off to a party at Chuck E. Cheeses.

The deep sigh I heard from you in regards to the party at Chuck's place should be replaced with a "good for you!" I don't have to make dinner tonight, and for the price, of a Target gift card, my kids get fed dinner and dessert, the typical "witching hour" between 3 and 6 is going to be replaced with tokens, games and chocolate cake, and the very best part is the fact that I get to sit and socializing with adults for three hours.

Something has to go. I cannot do it all. I refuse to do it all. I refuse to wake up at 5:00 a.m. in order to accomplish it all, so I am choosing to be content with that which I can do.

I remain in God's Word, and give my to do list to Him. He doesn't mind waking at 5:00 a.m.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Ty Your Shoes



Yesterday marked the grand opening of our church's student center, Refinery. Our church has waited many a year for this day and it finally arrived just in time for my freshman to take advantage of all the accessories. Yeah!

I took the kids to all the festivities surrounding the grand opening affair and the highlight was watching our friend's son Kyle Loza, do jumps with his team of riders called Riders 4 Christ. The kids each got a signed poster from Kyle and my daughter got her shirt signed. It was very fun.



All the way home from the event the kids talked about Kyle. Since he is a tattoo artist also, he likes to get and give tattoos. Across his knuckles he has the words, "GODCHILD." My kids are obsessed with this and think that it is very cool. My middle mister asked me if I can get a Sharpie pen and write, "TYYOURSHOES across his knuckles." That is the nickname that one of our friends gave him since his real name is, "Ty." I told him I would but thankfully I think that he forgot about the request. He doesn't realize that he is unequipped in the knuckle space area either. He needs three additional knuckles.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Nature's Fury


He is obsessed. One day he just has to become a naturologist. There is not such thing as a naturologist but it sounds important and nature-ish.

My youngest cannot stop talking about the forces of nature. He constantly questions me about hurricanes, tornadoes, thunder storms, earthquakes, and volcanoes. All throughout his day he queries about where hurricanes are, if our coastal waters have volcanoes, when the next thunder storm is going to burst from our skies, and just which states are the ones that have tornadoes.

It all started in July when he experienced his first southern California earthquake. I may have reacted a bit too much and scared him. From then on he cannot stop thinking about different forces of nature, and lives in fear of being caught in any type of harsh force of nature.

Yesterday he wanted me to buy him a book called "Eruption" a story about volcanoes. We have read it twice in twelve hours. He just drew a beautiful picture of a red hot volcano with a guy on the side of it "studying" the lava. Actually the guy is sliding down the lava. He isn't getting burned because he is wearing shoes. Good idea, shoes.

Now he tells me he is going to be an artist. Who knows, maybe my nature guy will draw what he is studying. Maybe he will make happy faces on receipts at Costco, maybe he will lead worship at his church.

For now he is gathering every speck of information possible about volcanoes. I may end up knowing more than I ever needed to, or wanted to about volcanoes, but it beats knowing every type of construction vehicle known to man. That was last year's obsession.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Back to School


We all survived. Even my high school girl!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Get a Room

I have trouble understanding how people can fall asleep anywhere besides their bed, their couch, a hotel room, or a home they are visiting.

I recently took a small trip, an one hour plane ride, and was amazed at the fact that so many people were asleep on the plane. I understand flying to Australia and falling asleep at some point, but a one hour plane ride at 9:00 a.m. has me questioning whether or not those people have:
1. no other place to sleep
2. not slept in 48 hours
3. twelve small children that climb into bed with them on a regular basis
4. sleep apnea
5. insomnia that suddenly shuts off at 9:00 a.m.
6. to fake sleep so that strangers won't talk with them

The other day I was meeting someone for coffee at Starbucks. It was a Friday, at 2:30 in the afternoon. I sauntered outdoors in hopes of locating a table on the patio. As I exited the building I immediately noticed a thirty something man, sitting upright on the outdoor couch. His hair was shaped into a faux-hawk (fake mohawk) and he was wearing expensive sunglasses. He was dressed in a button down, long sleeved shirt and had on slacks and nice shoes. He appeared to be taking a short break from his work day.

At first glance I thought that his head, tilted back toward the sun, was his attempt to catch some sun rays before returning to his position on the sales floor, however, his wide open mouth and bellowing snores indicated that he was napping. His snoring was so loud that people were looking at him, embarrassed for him and his position.

His pack of cigarettes were close by along with his lighter, and an empty coffee cup sat near him as well. Evidently the caffeine had absolutely no affect on his sleep deprivation or couldn't compete with his previous night of after work happy hour turned "Where am I an how did I end up here and who is Lee Ann?"

As much as I need a nap and would love to be able to take advantage of a siesta each day, it never happens. Only on very rare occasions when I am sick or pregnant, can I even take a nap in my own bed, and even then, I need ear plugs and a table fan blasting cool air for the "white noise" aspect and hot air deterrent.

I guess I will just have to continue to wonder how it is that some folks can fall asleep anywhere and continue to rely heavily on my mid day coffee consumption to keep my brain on alert.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Big Dipper


I have an affinity to onion dip and Ruffles potato chips. I love the ease of popping open a tub of sour cream and mixing in a package of dry onion soup mix and concocting one of God's great gifts to the snack world.

If I had my druthers I would make dip for dinner and sit with the bowl in front of me digging through the bag of Ruffles potato chips for all of the chips that are folded in half. The ease of dipping a folded chip far surpasses the flat chip that barely fits into my mouth. If no folded chips are available I like to pile up three smaller chip into a chip sandwich and scoop up a mound of onion dip. A sandwich of chips doesn't fall into a heap of cracks and crumbs like the single chip often does.

The other night I was privy to finding a chair at a table brimming with snacks. I scooted my chair right next to a bowl of onion dip and Ruffles chips. I wasn't terribly hungry but couldn't pass up this golden opportunity. My last chip and dip indulgence was probably the fourth of July and no one should have to wait that long between chip and dip sessions.

After about my seventeenth dip I felt uneasy. My stomach was in knots and felt angry. I took a break from my dipping and seated myself away from the taunting bowl of dip.

Three days later I am still suffering from my hot date with Onion Dip and Ruffles. I definitely had too much of a good thing. I am not completely swearing off onion dip and Ruffles potato chips, but for now, if Mr. Onion Dip or his friend Potato Chip guy text me, asking if I am available for a date, I may dismiss the text entirely. For now, we cannot see each other. We need some time apart. Last time we were together I was hurt. That hurt still needs healing. Perhaps next month we can begin dating again, but for now, it is still too soon.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Invited


We took some friends up on their offer to join them for an overnight stay at their beach house. They had rented a four bedroom house on the beach, 25 minutes from home, and it was too enormous for their family of four. Some friends of theirs had the bottom house and another group of friends had the place next door. My kids were all giddy with excitement.

We left Saturday night and stayed all day Sunday. There were about 25 kids in attendance, visiting, and sleeping over, ranging in ages from 3 to 17. Pure heaven. I don't think I saw my own children for more than 20 minutes since they were off and running from the moment they woke up.

The adults sat on the beach while the kids rode bikes to the pier, heckled the seagulls, climbed on rocks, rode ocean waves with boogie boards, and played various games in the sand.

On Sunday morning I rose early to go to visit one of our regional campuses. When I returned, the beach community was packed with people. Packed. Finding a parking spot, at noon, on Sunday was going to ensue a three mile walk. I should have just left the car at church and walked to the beach.

As I drove near the beach house I meandered up and down side streets filled with a constant flow of bikers, walkers, joggers, skate boarders, and kids on scooters. I felt as though everyone lounging on their outdoor patios were laughing at me and my attempts to locate a parking spot, at the beach, on a holiday weekend. I even heard the cars parked in prime locations chuckle at me and my humongous, navy blue Suburban, cruising along the streets.

I needed a parking space close enough to accompany a woman in sandals, a skirt, carrying a heavy lap top computer in her shoulder bag, a purse filled with three dollars in quarters to feed the parking meters, ten bean and cheese burritos, 15 hard shell tacos, and a bag filled with 20 packages of hot sauce. Proximity was a key issue.

I finally located a spot two streets from where we were staying. Beautiful. I reached into my purse to plop some quarters into the expired meter and realized that my husband had taken my stash of quarters to feed the meters for his car and the car which belonged to the people with whom we were staying.

Dodging other cars looking for a parking spot, beach cruiser bikes, tattooed twenty year old men hooting at half-naked girls, surfers carrying boards and stripped of their wet suits, and children coated in thick layers of sand, I jog/walked back to the beach house, dumped my goods and rushed back to feed the meter, grumbling as I went.

In hindsight I could have sold my parking spot for a large sum of money, and then drove to the nearest coffee shop for a latte and alone time.

Hindsight never helps in the heat of the moment, but quarters do.