Friday, June 27, 2014

Stuff and Nonsense

There's a new post over on Telling It Like It Is, for those of you who like to really make the Internet work for you. Hehe. It's an "I Spy" funny that I hope you'll enjoy. It is an extremely accurate snapshot of our house these days.

In other news, Dada gets home from a week in London today, huzzah! He took Tiny Traveling Tino with him and got a few shots of Tino with the Tower Bridge in the background. Somewhere he also found a tiny soccer ball, so Tino has been having some World Cup fun, apparently!

Grandma Barb and Pap are coming today to join the kids for the VBS picnic and closing celebration. Things One and Three have had a very high-energy, fun, exciting week. Tonight will be face painting, inflatables, games, picnic food, probably a video of clips from throughout their week.

The theme was Wilderness Experience, so Moses has put in quite a few appearances. It was a hoot last night to watch him in full costume performing the alternating kicks that increase in speed for the Shalom song. I think everyone will be disappointed to have the week come to an end. The crafts have been very cute and the music is catchy. I might just have to listen to some of it today on my trip today. Or maybe I'll give it a one-night break...

I'll be having dinner with Thing Two and will take him for a quick stay at Grandmama and PaPa's tonight before we head home. He's survived his first whole week at camp without any family around. I can't wait to hear about all the water balloons he encountered or who went down the Slip N Slide face first or who fell out of the canoe or who lost their suit at the water park. He'll probably talk the whole way home.

Have a safe, wonderful weekend everyone!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Breakfast with Barabbas

For whatever reason, I am reading about the crucifixion this morning while I drink my coffee. Damon isn't up yet, Carrie's popped her head in on her way to the basement to be alone with her computer, and I am reading through Luke.

I read the part about Barabbas being a murderer and a leader of an insurrection and remembered a video clip I'd seen in church a few months ago. I have a feeling it was shown on or around Easter, which makes sense, but I wanted to see it again. I found it here on YouTube. It's by Judah Smith, whom I know nothing about. Put your distractions aside, make sure your sound is turned on, and listen with your heart. I think it's powerful. Let it be powerful.

It's easy to "play church games", as he says, at Christmas and Easter. Someone else coined "the poinsettia and lily club", which makes me giggle, but it's sad if you stop to think about it. Here we have this amazing Creator who is waiting for us to invite Him in so that we don't have to do this wild and crazy life alone, and we often don't bother to ask. We're tired and stressed out and turning to the wrong things to help get ourselves through. We're bitter and snippy and short, and we blame it on things like "not getting enough sleep","having too much to do" or "not having enough coffee", some of my special phrases to fall back on. Really, I'm just not full of Jesus. That's what it boils down to. I'm trying to do it, whatever the "it" is, myself.

So give up 8 minutes of your day to give the video a chance to soak into your heart. It's probably the total time of the commercial breaks in your must-see-TV. Let Jesus be Jesus on more than just Easter and Christmas. At the very least, realize that you're not supposed to be doing all this alone, and that He can do a better job at all of it than you can by yourself. And to quote someone else famous, "that's all I have to say about that."

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Things One and Three are enjoying VBS this week. I may have mentioned we've had the CD of the music for weeks now, and they all have their favorites. I can hardly get my bum into the driver's seat before they're starting with their "play number 6, please" and "do number one!"

Last night they made paper plate and streamer quail as their crafts. It probably sounds ridiculous, but they are actually adorable. There's a folded paper plate as the body with another piece of plate cut out as the neck and head. Perpendicular to the body is a drinking straw with streamers attached, and there's another straw poking out of the bottom to be the stand or the legs or whatever. So cute! You should have seen a room full of 75 or so fluttering streamered quail last night. It's been raining for days, off and on, so a LOT of high energy was squished into the big room at the church. Contagious.

And as far as I've seen from Facebook, Thing Two is having a good time at camp. I don't suppose the campers have any dry laundry left and that everything is smelling of worms, but that's why God made washing machines. I imagine they've been dodging storms like we have, and I haven't heard if they've all ended up in the dining hall basement yet, but it wouldn't surprise me any. Wouldn't be camp if you weren't down there, singing songs, waiting out the vengeful storm clouds.

Dada had fish and chips for dinner in London last night. His meetings aren't going quite as well as he'd like, but he's hanging in there. He got to see Big Ben and the Queen's guard and a 15-foot blue rooster. Yes, you read that right.

The garbage trucks are out and about now, so I suppose a small boy will be joining me shortly. He had a great appointment with Dr. Jon yesterday, who declared him to be looking great. He weighed in at 42 pounds 13 ounces and is 42 3/4 inches tall. And he has huge, stinky feet. And two days ago he ate an entire pack of sugarfree gum. But he's cute when he's sleeping, and when he's sucking his thumb and Dr. Jon reminds him, "germs!" and he pops that thumb back out to look suspiciously at it. He had me in tears during the appointment because of his back-and-forth with Dr. Jon. They're hysterically funny together. Especially when Dr. Jon is examining his abdoment and the kid is squirming and thrashing all over the table because he's so ticklish. I love that!

He got his one shot for measles-mumps-rubella-chicken pox and he didn't fuss at all. Nurse Tonya used Carrie's favorite tool, the pain blocker pad, which is a plastic piece that's flat and covered in little teeth. You press it onto your skin and it feels pokey, so you don't notice the needle going in also as your brain can only process so many things at once. It's a great trick. Tonya pushed that pad onto him, he yelped a second, she said, "tell me when you're ready", she stabbed that needle in, he said, "I'm weady" and she said, "I'm done!" It was great. He got a Daffy Duck bandaid, turned down a treat from Dr. Jon's personal chocolate stash (to MUCH amusement from the rest of the nurses) and declared, "I have a big wowwipop in da caw". Which he did. I'd bought him a huge one from the dollar store two days ago and we'd brought it with us in case of a shot.

Have a great over the hump day!

And those of you who haven't clicked that YouTube link because you wanted to read this whole post first, now you're done. Go click it. =)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014


We had a successful drop-off on Sunday. I piled the boys into the car and we were out the door around 10:15 in the morning, we didn't stop at all, we had a small mishap involving too much to drink and the fact that we didn't stop at all, and we made it to the outlets right around 1:15.

After a quick trip to Old Navy to buy a clearance pair of swim trunks (since this mom didn't have any extra skivvies in the car to go with a new pair of shorts and no extra time to hit more than one rack of clothes), we made it to Wendy's to meet up with Grandmama and Carrie.

After devouring our burgers and Frostys, we hit the road with a car full of kids and luggage, and made it north with enough time to stop and make the hardest of all earthly decisions: what in the world to choose from the amazing selection at Peggy Gray's Candies!?

After touching just about everything in the store (think Harry Potter in Honeydukes) and choosing two items, we finished the trip down the road and turned into camp. They've painted the playground to be incredibly colorful (it had been plain, wood-colored wood all this time), so it makes the train that much more exciting. The big swing looks like a rainbow, the sandbox roof is colorful, and the whole scene is bright and cheerful. Things One and Three made a beeline for it so I could do registration with Liam.

Right away, I was recognized (eep!) and hugged by Becky, a counselor who'd been there when I was a kid. Her son is also there this week doing his senior project. It was so encouraging and so from God to meet up unexpectedly with a warm, cheerful friend from many, many moons ago!

We got Liam settled with only a few "I'm going to miss you tears" shed. He was sitting on the wall in front of the dining hall, waiting to be led into dinner when we headed out. There were already damp kids (mostly boys) with squirt guns and water balloons dashing about when we left, and two pairs of boxer shorts had mysteriously made their way up the flagpole, much to Liam's delight. I think he's in for a fabulous week.

Things One and Three and I went to the White Turkey for dinner (well, I say dinner, but we actually had ice cream and fries. Don't tell my mother.) We hopped back into the car and headed the rest of the way home and pulled in at about 9:30.

Yesterday was the first evening of this week's VBS and the kids had a ball. There are about 75-80 of them and the energy was HIGH. The kids have already been enjoying the CD of the music for this week, and we listened to it once again while I took our buddies Nina and Jonathan home last night. It's going to be a great week!

And not just because Rita and I are going to Tekela tonight for dinner, kid-free. *whistling innocently*

But first, today holds an orthodontist appointment, a doctor's appointment, a library trip, and cleaning before VBS, so I better get cracking! Have a terrific day!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Twas the Night Before Christmas... Er, Camp

Boys are so different. It's almost 7 PM the night before Liam heads off to his first week of week-long summer camp, and he is one cool cucumber. He's packed. One small suitcase, one shower caddy, one overflowing fabric grocery bag containing sleeping bag. One calm spirit.

By now, many, many, MANY moons ago, I'd have had my suitcase packed and repacked three different times. And I still forgot to pack a bath towel. Eh, that's what beach towels are for. All-purpose. My new friend Erin forgot to pack pajamas. It didn't affect either of our weeks. You learn to adapt at camp.

Maybe that's why one of my favorite sayings from camp is, "suck it up! It's camp!"

It makes me incredibly sad that I won't be hearing it from Tammy this summer, but she's not going to be there, either, so it makes me feel a little bit less badly.

A tiny bit.


Nope, not really.

Anyway, how weird will it be to check in and then hike over to The Guys' Side and install a boy camper Over There!? My goodness! The times have changed. No longer am I sneaking over there with my BFF (who shall remain nameless, to protect the Guilty, of course) with pink toilet paper smuggled from home to decorate the boys' cabin. Why pink? One, it was extra humiliating for the boys, and two, that proved it was from home and we weren't wasting camp supplies. Even then we had consciences.

I'm all nostalgic. Seems to be happening a lot in the past few months. I'm not sure I should be old enough to be nostalgic!

Happy birthday to Uncle Jeff today, and happy first official day of summer, everyone. Please ignore any sniffles you hear as I speed across I-80 back home tomorrow.

Guess I'll just have to console myself with the White Turkey and Peggy Gray's.....................

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The word of the day

Some words and phrases endure the test of time. Just this morning, I learned that in Biblical times they used the phrase "from Abel to Zechariah" to sum up the deaths of the martyrs. One would think it was from A-Z, but it was actually because 2 Chronicles came at the end of the Hebrew writings and that's where Zechariah is murdered in the temple while Abel is the first innocent human death. My Bible notes that it was equivelant to our "from Genesis to Revelation"... interesting!

My brother is a victim of an enduring name. Long, long ago the little brother of his friend across the street couldn't say "Andrew" and coined "Hinrew." It stuck, and we've shortened it to "Hin". Even my kids call their uncle "Hinrew". In fact, my brother doesn't even answer me when I call him "Andy" because he doesn't think I could be talking about him. We've called him Hin for years!

A few springs ago, Liam coined "flowerful" to describe trees in bloom. We've used it ever since. Carrie once commented on "little beeps of hurt" when describing an owie. That's also endured.

I think Damon just coined a keeper this week. He got out of the tub and declared "my piddies are pickley." I asked if he meant "prickly" and he said, "no, PICKLEY." I think I like pickley way better than pruney.

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Carrie is with my parents this week while she attends day camp. She's doing a stop-motion photography class again. I can't wait to see what her Legos are doing in her movie.

The boys and I joined friends first thing yesterday morning and picked strawberries for an hour. We tried a new-to-us farm called Hoen's and came home with a flat of beautiful, flavorful berries for less than $16. I've got a tray of frozen berries and more to still process, if Damon will stop sneaking them and let me get through them before he eats them all.

We started Splash week at the Y yesterday, also, which means that for half an hour every day this week we'll all be in the pool. Liam is in a class while I'm in the water with Damon in a separate class. Perfect for a super hot, humid week!

Last night after my Y class, I had the boys hop on their bikes and they rode around the parking lot adjacent to our neighborhood. Liam moaned and groaned the whole way there, then did awesome in the actual parking lot. We only had one spill (Damon, accelerating too quickly down the slight downgrade into the lot) but there wasn't any blood and he got back on, rode, and then made it the whole way home without mishap. Once we got home, they had popsicles, I dropped a plastic container of lemonade all over the kitchen floor, and everyone went to bed.

Today brings a karate lesson for Liam, a walk with Zita (Rita) for Damon and I, more Splash lessons, and a trim for Liam's fuzzy haircut that's no longer fuzzy. Oh, and the rest of this:

Swiffer kitchen floor
Run dishwasher
Bathe boys
Mail camp paperwork
Email Girl Scouts about registration
Mow the cilantro back down
Register for summer Y classes
Scrub downstairs toilet (already soaking, yay!)
Find Damon's reading log and record books
Chess with Liam, finish game we started 2 days ago

And Liam has laundry to put away and a sink to scrub. I should probably brush the dog so she doesn't melt. She can't wait to get back inside where it's air conditioned.

Please remember to pray for all the families affected by the downpours and tornadoes across the country. Those twin twisters in Nebraska looked terrifying. I can't even imagine. I'm sure we'll be hearing in the next few days how to help- Red Cross, perhaps. Check in with your churches.

Have a wonderful week and be careful in the heat!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Why must Wednesdays masquerade as Mondays?

So here we are, officially day 3 of summer vacation. Let me give you a brief glimpse of what I can see from my spot at the kitchen table.

Damon is facing backwards onto the back of our rocking armchair. He's spying on a bunny in the front yard who is happily nibbling away at the grass Carrie mowed last night.  I'm hoping Damon doesn't rock himself right out the window. He's also keeping an eye out for the garbage and recycling trucks patrolling the neighborhood. He looks like he wants to be sleeping by the way he's rocking, but I don't know what time he got up this morning.....

Liam is poking his way through his cinnamon toast crunch. He claims he has no idea what time they got up because he didn't look at the clock. He could very possibly be at the table all morning as he's playing with the plastic gemstone ring he picked out at Carrie's orthodontist appointment. It's flaming pink.

Carrie appeared briefly to announce that, "Triskal peed on the floor" and "itreallysmellsBAD", then had her rice crispies and skittered back down to the basement. Pretty sure she's got her computer down there and that she's trying to escape the smell. Naturally we've had the first real rain for awhile, and everything is damp, and the wind is blowing straight in the front windows across the wet spot and into the rest of the house. Blech.

What's that saying about life is what happens when you're making other plans? That's been us so far, haha.

Monday morning at 9 we were supposed to meet up with friends to go strawberry picking. Our fearless leader called as we were minutes away (because I'd actually already driven past it and didn't see the sign) to say that she WAS there already and there was nobody else. She found a worker and inquired where everyone was and was informed, "oh, the strawberries aren't ready yet." Yeah? Woulda been nice to have that information on your website. "Sorry." Bah.

So we went to a playground, since it was 9 AM and we were up, breakfasted, and dressed. Then we hit the 577 Foundation where we checked out their biodome and book room and outdoor musical instruments, etc. Definitely taking PaPa the next time he comes to visit.

Yesterday brought karate for the big kids while Damon and I hit the credit union (well, tranferred money not broke into) and the nursery to replenish our sunflower and thistle seed supply, Carrie's orthodontist appointment in which they placed spacers between her teeth to make room for the impending braces, and then a library trip all before lunch.

This morning brought dog pee in the living room. I can't wait to see what happens next.

I know we're cleaning this pigsty today since the floor looks like someone spread confetti made out of tissues, dead leaves, school papers, colored pencils, library books, a marble, and a plastic Easter egg. And that's just in the 3 foot radius that I'll encounter once I step down off my chair.

Tonight we'll be heading out with our favorite realtor to view two houses. Before you start panicking, we're just looking. These places we'll see tonight have land, which Dada says  "they're not making any more of", so we like to look into possibilites for the future. I do find it incredibly funny that we just heard a wonderful, sensible, thoughtful talk about money by Rick Warren this past weekend, including how you should make it work for you instead of the other way around and how money is a test to see if you'll be faithful in small things......... and then we go house hunting, which is practically the most expensive thing you could do. Ha!

I have to say that I've really been enjoying the birds this spring, perhaps more than any spring previous. This winter was so dreadful, blah blah blah, *insert tirade here*, that the colors and happy chirps are so very welcome. I like to hear the goldfinches and their squeaky-hinge calls and the more clockwork noises of the starlings (even though they're funny looking and I'm not particularly fond of them) and the incessant chatter of the sparrows. We've had white crowned sparrows show up this spring, which were new to us, but I haven't seen them in the last two weeks. I've heard the pair of cardinals who hang out in our neighborhood, and saw Mama cardinal a few days ago, and the kids have been laughing at the stupid mourning doves and robins strolling down the driveways instead of flying. I had a dove run up the driveway in front of our car and dash into the bushes and THEN explode upwards in a flurry of feathers after we'd already passed him. We've seen lots of soaring-around birds, but haven't found any being-still-so-you-can't-see-me watching birds for days. Today they'd be skulking around in damp, frizzed out feathers. I wonder if humidity affects feathers the way it does hair. I look like Merida from Brave.

My coffee mug is down to the dregs, which means, as Carrie giggles to me, "my coconut is empty." If you have no idea what that means, get a copy of "Father Goose" from your library and enjoy classic Cary Grant and Leslie Caron. One of my all time favorites.

PS Got a letter from Uncle Rob at boot camp- all's well and he's hanging in there! He's wishing for care packages of homemade chocolate ice cream and would be willing to do pushups until his arms fell off for it.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

T-minus 3 days and counting

Today is the last Wednesday of school for the year. Tomorrow is Damon's birthday. Friday is the end of the world as we know it. Just kidding.

Today is Carrie's teacher's retirement party, so she needed cookies for that. Tomorrow is Liam's play that the second grade puts on for the kindergarteners, so he needed a broom for that. Tomorrow is Damon's birthday, so we'll need a cake for that. Tomorrow is their stripe test in karate, and I'm not sure if they need anything for that. Ha!

Damon is still in his pajamas, and so am I. It's 10:30 AM. On his last day of being 3. So far he's been inside and outside, though I'm not sure about upside down. He's been running around upstairs with his corn chex ("yellow squares" if you're speaking Three), fighting epic battles between his early birthday present of Darth Vader ("Dot Vader" if you're still speaking Three) and "Cotton Eye Joe" which is actually the child-safe bottle of Claritin, and getting attacked by the baby gate. Never a dull moment.

Yesterday Carrie was informed by the orthodontist that she'll be starting her braces this summer. Before our OBX trip, actually. That way she'll be used to them by the time school starts, and if all goes well, she'll get them off when she's 13. I can just hear Maudie, "well, myyyyy gosh." My thoughts exactly. She's going to be a cute little bug, for sure!

I've just been informed that, "ta da! Dot Vader is doing the hela poop!" Lest anyone be alarmed, that means Darth Vader is using a colorful bracelet as a hula hoop. Along with one half of one plastic Easter egg and one bug magnifying glass.

And let me just tell you about Aldi. I may have mentioned previously that Damon has been known on occasion to take his harmonica and play songs for the old folks shopping at Aldi. Yesterday, Dot Vader accompanied us, so there wasn't much happening... other  than Dot Vader accosting other people's shopping carts. Fortunately, Aldi shoppers tend to be open to creativity in small people and bantered back about bad guys, etc. Our previous trip involved the Damonater absconding with a box, proceeding to sit in it and "row" himself along the floor. Scrape scrape scrape, "Mama, wait for meeeeeee! MAAAAAMAAAA, I'm coming!" behind me. A particular old lady giggled at him and remarked, "give a boy a ball, or a box, and they're satisfied all day. It's not like that with girls."

She hasn't met my girl.

Anyway, I probably better get busy on all the things I should be accomplishing with only one child home. My days are numbered. Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek.