Tuesday, March 30, 2010

More Comment Weirdness...

What is it with Blogger and Comments lately?

I use comment moderation.  Maybe I don't really need it, but I like it.  And that way I'm sure to notice when I get a comment. 

Earlier this month I had a "ghost comment".  My dashboard would say I had a comment waiting for moderation, but then nothing was there.  Well that was messing with my mind!

Eventually it disappeared.  Hallelujah.

But now I have the opposite.  My dashboard will say "3 Comments" but, there will be four!  And the last one refuses to publish.  I've tried.  And tried.

Then it hit me.  It isn't a new comment.  It's from last October.  And it published, then.  But it's popping it's head up, trying to get published again.

Go figure.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Words of Wisdom... From the Trenches

I was just reading 6YearMed - a young pediatrician's blog - and she was talking about the advice people give at showers.  You know, lovely practical advice about taking care of yourself, and cherishing the moments, etc.

But real moms give real practical advice, yah?  Like...



Thoughts?  What is your wisdom from the trenches?

Simple Woman #55

For today...  March 29, 2010

Outside my window...  clouds and rain, rain, rain.  And Kerry, weed-whacking.  Now?  Really?

I am thinking...  I really need a spring picture of the house, because it's definitely not snowy, but I'm not ready for the summer picture to go back up!  That tree in the front left is a pink dogwood that will be beautiful in a few weeks.

I am thankful for...  I love singing in the chorale, and preparing and performing Messiah, but I'm also glad we're done.  (See post below.)

I am praying for...  my dad to sing with us next time around... we really need another tenor ;D

I am wearing...  you would be shocked to know that I wore a skirt, three days in a row.  Well, it's dress code, for the chorale, and when church came around Sunday morning I just figured I was on a roll.  I think the boys were shocked.  More about that later.

Back to my jeans, today though.

I am creating...  I'm getting the itch to start another quilt, but working on plans for it...

I am going...  to get the laundry all caught up, after a busy weekend.  Ugh!

I am hoping...  to find my sense of humor.  It goes missing (or malfunctions?) when I get tired.

I am hearing...  the washer spinning, rain dripping, and the weed-whacker.  Which is just strange.

I am remembering...  Kerry, you promised me you would shave before Easter.  I haven't forgotten.  :D

From the learning rooms...  one more week until we take our Spring Break.  Not that I'm counting...

But for now, several experiments to do with crystals are underway, Gunnar is beginning multiplication (x2, x10, and x7), Tate lives for history, and Wyatt thinks I'm exacting some kind of cruel and unusual torture by forcing him to respond to (written) questions with complete sentences.  We're reading about the Industrial Revolution, the Luddites, and Child Labor... which will probably prompt some interesting discussions about chore expectations around the house.  I predict more than a slight discrepancy in perception from the adults and the kids involved in the equation.  Yah.

From the kitchen...  nothing!  We're invited to friends' for dinner.  We had them over once before and had a nice time, despite the apparent way Gunnar described them.

Around the house...  I have two chairs I want to get rid of.  If you're local and interested... they're swivel rockers with a swirly beige/gold and purple leaf pattern.  Nothing wrong with them, we just have too much stuff.

On my mind... the mundane, my friends, the very mundane.

Noticing that... the big, fat, bumble-bees are out and busy.

Pondering these words...  When Handel's Messiah premiered in London he was complimented by an aristocrat for having entertained the audience.  He is said to have replied,
"My lord, I should be sorry to say that I only entertained.  I wished to make them better."
One of my favorite things...  changing seasons.

A few plans for the rest of the week...  soccer, soccer, and more soccer.  *sigh*  Dinner with friends, piano lesson, AWANA.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing...

Coming soon, to a yard near you... the season of Mud.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Is "Black" Really So Difficult to Understand?

You wouldn't think so, would you?

In our community choir we have a dress code.  It's much more relaxed than a truly formal group, which would be tuxedos for the guys, and a uniform black dress for the gals.  We just go black.  And modest.  Because, really, the idea is that it's not about me.  We're a group.  Nobody's appearance should be a distraction.  So we all look pretty much the same, without requiring anyone to buy anything expensive.  For heaven's sake, you could probably get your whole outfit at Goodwill.  (Well, except for the shoes and the hosiery.  Ew.)

The dress code for the men is: black dress shirt, black dress pants, black socks, and black dress shoes.  Although, if you had a really nice pair of all-black tennis shoes, I doubt anyone would bat an eye.

For the women: black dress or skirt - below the knee or longer, black top (if you're wearing a skirt), dark black hose and black dress shoes.  No distracting jewelry.  (Small rings, or stud earrings are okay.)

Does that seem pretty straight-forward?

I thought so.

But, alas, apparently several others didn't.  I was new at Christmas, and not confident enough to say anything when the young woman who stood next to me showed up in a cocktail dress, no stockings, and light gray python shoes

No, I am not kidding.

I wish I was.

But this time around I teamed up with the only woman on the chorale board (because the men are, frankly, terrified to approach a female about her clothes) and confronted  the ones that showed up not dressed to code.  Because the first night we had four gals who just didn't get it.  Now, granted, one was very young and came in a black dress and black shoes... with black bobby socks.  Cute, but no.

Another was also young, and wearing enormous brown clod-hoppers.  And a skirt about four sizes too big that she thought she could hide them under.  Except that it dragged on the ground like a bridal train and the risk factor for tripping was just ridiculous.

Two others came in black skirts/dresses with bare legs.  No.  Just no.

You should've seen their faces when I presented them with a bag of (used) black nylons the board member had dug out of her own stash.  Let's just say that I'm not going to win any popularity contests.  But for cryin' out loud, if you don't want to wear someone else's pantyhose, you should've brought your own!

One girl gave me a haughty look and said, "But I stand in the back!"

To which I replied, "But I don't care."

She peered into the bag.  "Do I really have to?

"Yes, you do."  Unless you'd rather sit in the audience.

The board member and I had a good laugh about it later.

I told her if she was out of pantyhose, I'd bring a can of black spray paint the next night.

Shoes.  Legs.  Whatever.   

If they aren't black, you aren't singing.

Just Sayin'

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Lenten Messiah

(I know, these photos are from Christmas...)

We gathered in October to begin rehearsing the Christmas Messiah - which was glorious.  Then took a brief break through January, and reconvened in early February to learn the less-well-known Lenten portions of Handel's work.

The same doubts go through my head each week.  Is it worth it to drive all the way out to the church every Monday night?  I'm usually gone from about 5:45 until... late.  And I'm a home-body.  I'd love to curl up in a chair in the living room with a candle burning and a good book to read.  Especially on these short days, when it's dark out by 5:30!

But every time it happens.  I get out there and I love it.  The music, the people, and the way the people love the music.  Because we're just ordinary people.  (Okay, some of us are more ordinary than others.  Some of them have real talent!)  But, as Gerald - our conductor and a pastor - says, "Why do you think God gave you breath?  To sing His praises!  Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!"  Psalm 150:6

So we do.  Sometimes with better results than others, but always with a good will.  I mean, it's God's Word.  I want to do my best, so as not to detract from the message.

As at Christmas, we had an orchestra playing with us, and they were fabulous.  A music reviewer could say it better, but they add flavor that is missing with just piano/organ.  And oh boy did they bring the Hallelujah to life.  We did not do Handel's Hallelujah, having just done it at Christmas, but used Beethoven's, from The Mount of Olives.  (You can hear it here.)  Gives me shivers.  Good shivers.

I feel I've been launched into Holy Week, with a passion!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Blitzing Boys

Oh be still my organizing, tidying heart.  The boys got up early and...

cleaned the family room.

All on their own, without being asked.  And that was before Kerry offered them money to find the watch he's lost.

I've been letting the house go just a wee little bit.  Between being sick, leaving for a weekend, soccer starting, and two Messiah performances coming up this weekend,  I have just deferred a lot of things.  Like changing all the flannel sheets back to regular sheets, dust-mopping under the beds (and, well, everywhere else upstairs), scrubbing the kitchen floor, and The Family Room.  The dreaded Family Room.

Honestly, the family room had taken on a life of its own, it was so bad.  Piles of books, several blankets just thrown somewhere, two or three of Kerry's jackets, endless Legos, more books, and somewhere - I'm sure, because it's been missing since Sunday - Gunnar's beloved Silly Putty.  It was BAD.  I hadn't even taken pictures, and the ones from a previous blitz have nothing on this mess.

I don't even go in there.  And the bathroom off the family room?  Haven't been in there for days.  Maybe weeks.  But that's okay, because we can do a Friday Blitz and conquer it all, right?

But they got up and cleaned it!  And they did a good job!  It's actually TIDY in there and I'm not going to get a nervous breakdown just looking in the door!

Books are shelved, Legos are sorted and in tubs, blankets are folded, garbage is picked up, DVDs are in a box, jackets are... well... somewhere,  toys are in the toybox, garbage in the garbage can, and the Silly Putty has been found.  I'm impressed.

Granted... they had a motive.  Screen-time.  There's a game they want to play when they're done with their school-work today.


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Weenie Dave Ache Asian

I had an epiphany.

I was on a women's retreat with some fun ladies from church, the theme (if there was one - this was not a highly structured affair) being Weenie Dave Ache Asian...  we need a vacation.

Our hostess pulled out a game - Mad Gabs - that had given them the inspiration for the name.  Have you seen this?  The whole game is cards, with words printed on them, and you have to guess what they say.

Um... it's not immediately obvious.

For instance,  Wide Hidden Chews Haze Hoe

Go ahead.  Say it out loud.  Faster.  Run your words together.


Why didn't you say so?

We ran through a few.

Hen Deep Hen Danced Hay

Up Racked Hick Gulch Oak

Elects Hand Earthly Crate

Oak And A Duh

I was getting them.  I was enjoying them.  Then it hit me.

Welcome to Tate's World.

His hearing isn't great.  He's got a bad ear and a deaf ear.  He misses things, especially if he can't see the speaker's face.  He misses sounds.  And his mind fills in the gaps and puts the sounds he hears into words.  But they don't always make sense.

Sometimes it's close, and he doesn't know he's mis-heard so he just goes with it, and then nothing after that makes sense.  And we have to back up, and figure out what he heard, and what was actually said, and then go forward again.

What really amazes me is how often he gets it RIGHT.

How often he figures out that Hen Deep Hen Danced Hay is a national holiday, with fireworks.

That Up Racked Hick Gulch Oak is funny... if you're not the 'victim'.

That Elects Hand Earthly Crate conquered the Gordian Knot.

And that Oak And A Duh is that national anthem we kept hearing when we watched the Whole Imp Pig Aims.

Because, really, the kid is brilliant.  And he has a great sense of humor.  We can all laugh kindly together with him when he gets it wrong.  Because it happens.

Because Evan Leaf Otter is not a native American name for God.

I Will Make It My Ambition To...

... with my hands.

How many times?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Happy to be Spreading Good News

Check out our friends in Zambia, to see their great news!

Here's a hint...

Monday, March 22, 2010

Simple Woman #53

For Today... March 22, 2010

Outside my window...  sunshine, big gray clouds, and boys running laps.

I am thinking...   I had a fun weekend with some women from my church, but I am TIRED!

I am praying for...  friends in Zambia, hoping to finally finalize the adoption of their daughter in the next day or so.

I am going...  hoping to go to rehearsal tonight.  Skipped last week, not feeling well, and still coughing a lot.

I am reading...  through the piles of "to-do's" on my desk.  Ugh!

I am hoping...  to be able to sing tonight, without coughing, and to cross a few more items off the Mother Load list today.

I am hearing...  a few birds, boys, and some blissful silence.

I am remembering...  umm, there must be something there.  No, nothing really.

From the learning rooms...  we've checked off grammar, spelling, our missionary story, other language work, and math.  Yet to come - revolution in Haiti, folk tales of Haiti, and a science experiment to do with charcoal briquets and Mrs. Smith's bluing.

From the kitchen...  have not even though about dinner yet.

Around the house...  well, I was gone for the weekend, and it's not total chaos.   But there's some cleaning and tidying to be done...

On my mind...  molasses.  No, I'm not thinking about molasses, it feels like my mind is molasses today.  Just not quite with it.

Noticing that...  43 is not the new 25.  Rats.

Pondering these words...  Young at heart.  Slightly older in other places.

One of my favorite things...  my own bed.

A few plans for the rest of the week...  oh don't get me started.  But there are six soccer practices involved.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing...

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Never a Normal Dull Moment

That's my boys...

... from average to bizarro...

... in 2.5 seconds.


Sometimes things sound much worse than they actually are.  For instance,

Nearly all of Gunnar's teeth have been knocked out by his brothers.

If you're picturing a sad, battered, toothless child you can stand down.  In reality, Gunnar still has most of his teeth, but nearly all the ones that have come out, have needed help.  You see, Gunnar just can't bring himself to actually pull out his teeth.  He lets them wiggle until the new teeth have come in behind them, pushing them out of the way, and the old teeth are dangling so precariously I think I've seen them waving in a gentle breeze.

Of course, the last one he swallowed.  But most of the time, he comes to me with a hand behind his back, a mischievous look on his face, and a story like this one:

Mom, I have some good news and some bad news.  The bad news is, the boys are wrestlin' on the trampoline.  The good news is... (a triumphant smile) Wyatt knocked out my tooth!

It's times like these I just shake my head.

Well, maybe this "brotherly love" is saving me dental bills :D

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

It's Just That Kind of Day

Home's Cool

I often wonder at the strength and courage my father had in taking me out of the traditional school situation and providing me with these extraordinary learning experiences.  I am certain he established the positive direction of my life that otherwise, given my native hyperactivity, could have been confused and catastrophic.  I trace who I am and the direction of my development to those years of growing up in our house on the dunes, propelled especially by an internal spark tenderly kept alive and glowing by my father.

From the biography of Ansel Adams (New York Graphic Society, 1985)

He Said It

More Vocabulary

Wyatt and Tate are having a hard time not talking too much about the LOTR in front of Gunnar, who hasn't read the book yet.  I keep telling them not to spoil it for him. 

Gunnar is a good reader, and he could probably make himself read through all of those books, but he wouldn't enjoy it yet.  Wyatt took up that theme and began to list some of the places in the book with less action.  "Oh, that chapter on the Council of Elrond went on and on forever, and then....."

Tate, not wanting Gunnar to be discouraged, interrupted.

Wyatt, stop being so foreboding!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Coasties, Olympics, $9000, and Pepper Spray

I'm finally starting to feel better, and realized I'd meant to post about our field trip and had forgotten, in my foggy state of mind.

The way the costs of higher education are going, well... I've signed the boys up for not one, but TWO military field-trips this spring.  Just reminding them of other options ;D  Of course, the one of my three that is most likely to want to join the military will never be able to get in, due to his hearing loss, but he can enjoy the field trips anyway.

We joined our local homeschool group to tour the nearby Coast Guard station.  It was a hoppin' place, due to the Olympics having just wrapped up.  Our Coasties were working with their Canadian counterparts to step up the security up in Vancouver and had all just returned earlier that day.  Apparently nothing too dramatic happened... that they would tell us about.  There were lots more boats and staff around than usual for our little outpost.

But what a nice bunch of guys!  They took the kids all through the station, answered endless questions, and let the kids crawl all over the boats - even starting up the motors on one boat (3x300hp mercs) and letting the kids work the lights and sirens, with only an oh-so-casual, "Oh, by the way, don't touch the throttle."  Really?  You trust us all that much?

And get this...

I forgot to bring a camera, so this isn't one of the exact boats we saw.  This is a 25 footer, and our station had 33 footers, but they look about the same.  So the kids climbed in to look around, plunked their hineys into the seats, and then gave me a funny look and said, "Mom, these seats are like car seats!"  Meaning, the child-seats they have long-since outgrown.
Well, yeah, honey.  You need a five-point restraint system, and a lot of cushy support when you're going to be going 60mph over bumpy waves and you just may do an about-face and go the exact opposite direction... in two seconds.  Yeah.  Those seats cost nine thousand dollars.  And mind you, I'm not complaining about that, just admitting my amazement.

I think the boys' most memorable moment was the whole discussion about weapons and pepper spray.  We heard a LOT about the pepper spray, because they all had to get sprayed once in basic training and apparently that was an excruciatingly memorable moment.

It made such an impression that days later Wyatt asked me about a totally unrelated career (I've forgotten what) and if he chose that career would he have to be sprayed with pepper spray.  Because that was a deal breaker

Fun times.

Simple Woman #52

For Today...   March 15, 2010

Outside my window...  sunny but cold, snow in the hills, birds chirping, boys running laps.

I am thinking...  I am still adjusting to the time change.  Morning seems to come earlier....

I am thankful for...  Kerry is out at the church doing some paid work (!) and it's not raining.

I am praying for...  us all to get over this nasty cold.

I am wearing...  jeans. sweater. thick socks. boring.

I am going...  to stay home and rest as much as possible until I stop coughing.

I am reading...  Heavenly Hospitality, by Ann Janssen.

I am hoping...  Tate is the "last man standing" - the only one in the family not coughing and sniffing.  Hoping that he dodges the bullet.

I am hearing...  boys now finished with laps and playing Take Off down in the dining room.

I am remembering...  fun time this weekend with our LOTR marathon.

From the learning rooms...  dividing fractions, the rise of Napoleon Bonaparte, nominative pronouns, trichotomy, drinkable iron (an experiment with various fruit juices - yum!), and dozens and half-dozens.

From the kitchen...  shepherd's pie for dinner tonight.

Around the house...  mostly tidy, except the family room which looks like the aftermath of an earthquake.

On my mind...  Easter is coming soon :o)

Noticing that...  I've been hearing lots of frogs at night.

One of my favorite things...  Cadbury Mini-eggs.  Why, oh why, don't they sell those things all year?

A few plans for the rest of the week...  soccer practice has begun for Wyatt.  Ugh.  Temps are in the 40's and 50's, and rain is forecast.  I'm sure I'll be hearing from the other boys' coaches soon...

Here is a picture thought I am sharing...

I've had these unusual daisy-like flowers growing by the front porch previously.
I wonder if they'll come back?
And does anyone know what it is?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Lord of the Rings Marathon

We did it!  

I should have pictures, and I don't.  But since we spent nearly the entire day sitting in a dark room, they wouldn't be very interesting anyway.  (We watched the movies up at Grampa and Gramma Grasshoppers - on their big HDTV.

Sometimes I'm concerned that the kids get their expectations really, really high and are going to be disappointed.   Not so, with LOTR.  They were in boy heaven.  Of course, red vines, chex mix, and Cadbury chocolate eggs  - all in one day - contributed to their joy.  With the books fresh in their minds, we didn't have to stop and explain anything (hallelujah!), not that we would've had time to, anyway.  With the captions on, Tate was able to "get" everything, and I know I picked up some details I had missed in previous viewings.

Oh my goodness, though.  When I said it was an "endurance event" I wasn't kidding!  We have the extended version.  We started watching right at 9am and took little breaks between each disk (two per movie) and meal breaks between movies.  And by the time we finished and got home and to bed it was after 11pm.

And being the geniuses that we are, we picked the weekend we change to Daylight Savings Time, and so lost an extra hour in the night.  Smart.

Yes, the movies are violent.  And yes, some of the characters are gruesome and frightening.  And yes, I let my 11 and 13 year old boys watch.  Because... they have read the books, we've talked a lot about it, and because I believe there's enough good to more than balance out the bad

There is an abundance of websites that explain how Tolkien's Christian worldview comes through in the stories, and probably say it far better than I could.  I won't attempt that here, but I'll mention a couple of things I appreciate.

Good is good.  Yes, some of the good guys are tempted by the power of the ring, but it's pretty clear who the good guys are, and who the bad guys are.  There's none of the moral conflict, so common in "heroes" of many movies.  (Picking randomly... Titanic - you're asked to cheer for a deceitful and immoral relationship, Oceans 11 - we're cheering for a group of thieves?, Pirates of the Caribbean - Jack Sparrow, a lying, thieving, murdering pirate is "cool"?)  In LOTR, I like the heroes.  Aragorn does not wish to lead, to become king, yet he does because it is right.  Galadriel does not accept the ring from Frodo. Knowing that his success will result in diminishing her own power, she says, "I will become less."  The members of The Fellowship put aside their differences to work together for a common purpose, frequently putting their own lives at risk to save others.

Evil is evil.  The bad guys are bad.  Lust for power corrupts and deceives.  Saruman becomes ensnared first by dabbling where he shouldn't, and then completely by his lust for power.

There are lots of things the boys and I have been talking about lately from the stories... self-sacrifice, compassion, loyalty, stewardship (lots to talk about, with Denethor vs. Faramir), perseverance, and friendship.

Not that any of you have been critical, but that's why I let my (fairly young) boys watch something that is unquestionably very violent and gruesome.

P.S.  And, yes, if you notice the time  of posting, I am not at church.  I'm at home.  Sick.  Aaaack.

Friday, March 12, 2010

New Flash...

Wyatt just finished The Return of the King this very morning.  Nothing like coming right down to the wire, yah?   To be fair, I had given him a page number (after the scene at Mt. Doom and the last battle at the Black Gate) and told him if he got that far he could watch with us and finish the book after the movies, but he did it :D

Off to the store we go, for snacks and treats.  We're having a party tomorrow!

And, in case you're wondering, Gunnar is having a special day - an overnight, even! - with his  favorite aunt.  Thanks Aunty Tam-tam!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Two for Three

The bills are paid and the check book is caught up.  I used to reconcile it faithfully every month, when the bank statement came, but lately I've let things slip.  I've been keeping track mentally.  Yeah.  That'll work.  I'd be too embarrassed to tell you how long it's been since I actually wrote everything down in one place, but I will say that I've not only relived the holidays I also noticed how much fast food was consumed while I was with Tate in the hospital.  So it's been an all-day project.

The good news it, the worst of The Mother Load is off my shoulders.

The bad news is, while I was knocking those two items off my to-do list, I added 14 more.

You just can't get rid of The Mother Load.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Mother Load

Things are beginning to snowball on me and I'm setting my expectations far too high for what I can actually accomplish on tomorrow's PTO day.  Especially since I'm not exactly well.  I'm trying to be thankful that it's not like B.T.  (before tonsillectomy) - when I would feel like the dreaded black vana had taken up residence in my throat.

As it is, well... let's just say it hurts, (along with my head and ears), and leave it at that.

I'm not up for a blitz, though the house could use one, but I'll be thrilled if I can accomplish three things -
*  paying the bills
*  balancing the checkbook, and
*  tidying my office.
Because these things cause me untold guilt when they are left undone.  Ridiculous.  But there it is.

The Mother Load.

The unpleasant jobs.   I would rather clean the toilets than balance the checkbook.  The receipts and bank statements are piled next to my desk, and I think they're breeding when my back is turned, because the pile keeps getting bigger.  And giving me sinister looks.  *sigh*

And those aren't the only unpleasant jobs awaiting me.  We had to change our insurance plan a few months ago.  Um, downsizing, you know.  Kerry handled that, thankfully.  And the agent-of-evil from Regence assured him that they would cover his colonoscopies.  Except, thank you very much agent-of-evil, they don't.  No, not so much.

"Oh, we meant we'd cover routine colonoscopies, not ones you actually need to treat obscure disorders with names that sound like super-cali-fragi-listic-hyper-polyposis."  So I get to bicker with the insurance company, the hospital, the doctor, and all the other people who want a wheel-barrow full of money.

And on top of that we are 4 for 5 with being sick.  So I'm a broken record, lately.

Find a tissue.
I know we're out. 
Use toilet paper.  Trust me, it's the same thing.
Blow your nose.
That's disgusting.  I said, blow your nose.
Wash your hands.
With soap. 
Because what you just did is rinsing.
Cover your mouth.
And wash your hands again.
With soap.

So you can see why I get paid the big bucks around here.  *eyes roll*

Monday, March 8, 2010

Simple Woman #51

For today...  March 8, 2010

Outside my window...  looks like we'll get some sun today, but more rain is on the way.  Birds, birds, birds... they wake us up with the daylight.  Drives Kerry nuts (especially in the summer, when it's light at about 4:30!) but I like it.

I am thinking...  I don't know.  The way things are going, keeping a sense of humor is my lifeline to sanity.

I am praying for... Kerry.  Yes, for work, but right now for his health.  He's sick with bronchitis - an annual (or semi-annual?) event.  His immunities aren't exactly great.

I am wearing...   *sigh*   A grass skirt, two coconut halves, my plastic be-jeweled princess tiara, and Jimmy ChoosAs if!  It's a toss up as to what would kill me first - hypothermia, humiliation, or the injuries I would sustain just trying to walk over to the mirror... where I would die laughing.

I am creating... snark.  With a side of sarcasm.  And that's about all.

I am going... to try to fill another laundry basket with stuff to get rid of.

i am reading...  I've been picking up the LOTR books when the boys set them down and reading through, refreshing my memory before Saturday's movie marathon.  Tate read through all four books (including The Hobbit) in less than four weeks.  Way to go, Tater-bug!

I am hoping... that Wyatt will be joining us.  He hates being pressured, wants to read "at my own pace".  And I don't want to pressure him.  He's really close though, just started the third book last night, and I want to encourage him.

Meanwhile, Gunnar knows that LOTR is a bit beyond him so he's decided to read through the Narnia books on his own.  Woo-hoo!

I am hearing... much quiet.  Everyone is reading :o)

I am remembering... one Sunday morning when Wyatt was little.  You know how Sunday mornings are with little kids...  Mom gets up, showers, dresses, gets the kids up, gets them breakfast, gets them dressed, and basically runs around like a chicken with her head cut off.  While Dad rolls out of bed, has a cup of coffee, feeds himself, pulls on some clothes, and wonders why Mom is all stressed.  Add to this, I was eight and a half months along with Tate, there were skunks living under our (old) house whose sole purpose in life was to aggravate my pregnancy-heightened sense of smell, and as Kerry rattled around looking for clothes, a donkey walked into the front yard.

Why I'm remembering this now I have no idea.

From the learning rooms...  China and opium, algebraic equations, root words, and drinkable iron.  Probably more, but I've forgotten.

Around the house...  be proud; the Valentine things are put away.

On my mind...  soccer practice starts this week.  The weather forecast is low 40's and rain.  Fun!

Noticing that... taco salad always makes me thirsty.  Very thirsty.

Pondering these words...  Non posse, non peccare.  Not able to not sin.  As in, born in sin.  Born sinful. 

One of my favorite things... fresh sheets, especially line-dried.  Well, line-dried anything.  Even towels.  Of course they're rough, but hey - you can dry and exfoliate at the same time!  Because we're all about being efficient.

A few plans for the rest of the week...  MIT, Messiah rehearsal, piano lesson, AWANA, PTO day, soccer practice, LOTR marathon.

Good grief.  Look at all those acronyms.  You'd think I joined the military.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing...  

This isn't a new photo, as we've had NO snow this winter.
I think Wyatt took it last year.
Does snow bend?
Why, yes - yes it does.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


We made it to church today.  Well, three out of five.  Kerry stayed home, hacking up a lung (like a hairball, but grosser), and Gunnar stayed home too - claiming he was sick, but I think mostly in sympathy.  Although he still stayed home even when I said he couldn't have any screen time, so maybe he is feeling kind of rough.  Because - you know - I'm a mom that notices every little detail.

So we made it to church, but missed last night's special program - Church History Night at The Barn.  And not just at a barn, mind you, at The Barn, because - you know - it's in The County where everything starts with The.  I wanted to go, but the barn, the church, and tomorrow night's rehearsal are all more than a half-hour away, so something had to give.  I don't like to spend a lot of time driving. 

We really wanted to go last night.  We've only attended this church for about two years, and have grown to love the people... the way they hold firmly to the truth and to each other, the way they do Christmas programs, and the way they practice the art of the potluck.  Seriously, these people are professionals.  I've seen women coming in with not just one, but three and four covered dishes.  You don't want to miss it.  And stories!

We probably missed more than we know last night, but I console myself with this:  At the last potluck - which was just an ordinary potluck, not an official church history night - I learned all about the Half-Baked Lord's Supper (involving a large, and rather gummy loaf of sourdough from a grocery store bakery, and resulting in a lot of rather un-spiritual sounding finger licking), and the infamous Baby Baptism Blow-Out.  Just a little public service announcement:  always keep a spare outfit in the car.  Until they're teenagers.  Seriously.  Also, precious white baptismal outfits and mustard poo are an unforgettable combination.

We'd already become official members, but when you find out things like that... well, you really belong.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

On the Line

It's not the 20th yet, but I think spring is here.

Oh Happy Day... the first day of laundry on the line!

Friday, March 5, 2010

I'm Just Sayin'

Thank You...

Thank you all...

I guess things are working, but a "ghost comment" remains.

My dashboard will say I have 3 comments, but only show me 2.

I guess I can just live with it.  Adjust my expectations.

Dashboard:  "1 comment"

Me:  "I have a comment!  Woo-hoo!"  (Because, really, I am easily flattered.)
               I click on "1 comment"

Comment Moderation:  "Fooled ya!"

Like so many things in my life... working, but just a half bubble off level.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


I've always used comment moderation, but it seems to be acting strangely.  If you're checking in with me, please leave a comment on this post so I can see if I can figure out what's going on.  I'm not fishing for compliments... just a "hello" serves the purpose :D

And if you've left me a comment recently and I haven't posted it... don't take it personally :D

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

About Baby Food

Gunnar got home from AWANA, had a drink of water, and went into the bathroom to do some business.  Seemed like he was in there awhile, so I went in to check.  He had a funny, distracted look on his face and wanted me to get some paper.  (Not toilet paper... he had that.)

Apparently he'd been sitting there on the throne composing a poem that he was anxious to get onto paper before he forgot.  Then he suggested I publish it on my blog.  Which, being the high-brow type that I am, I might have done, but for the fact that his own blog has been sadly neglected.

Sometimes his deep thoughts amaze me, and other times...

Well, who knew he would be thinking about baby food?  And why?

You can read it here, if you're so inclined.  As I finished typing it for him, we proof-read it together.  He smiled with satisfaction and said, "I like rhymey poetry."

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Testosterzone #14... or so

Cleaning up from breakfast this morning, I noticed a funky smell in the kitchen and asked Wyatt to come take out the trash.  He looked with disdain at the things I was mixing in the crockpot and gave a suspicious sniff, as if molasses, beans, and bacon could be causing the problem.

No, I assured him, meat scraps in the garbage were undoubtedly the source.

Still unconvinced, he lifted the bag out slowly, set it on the floor, bent over,  put his head right down in the trash can and sucked in a deep breath.

This was followed by surprised (!) exclamations of disgust and much other dramatic self-expression.

Because, you know, when you're a 13 year old boy you just can't take Mom's word for it, now can you?

Monday, March 1, 2010

LOTR Movie Marathon

Our movie marathon might be delayed a little longer...

Leah guessed rightly that it's not the oldest who is leading the charge, here.  Tate is nearly finished with The Return of the King.  He began reading The Hobbit on February 5, and is pushing to finish all four books by this Friday so he can say he's read them in a month.  And those are long books!

Wyatt read The Hobbit when Tate finished with it, but then gave up and said he'd read the trilogy for next year.  That's fine.  No pressure, no problem.  However...

Tate is not a boy who conceals his emotions, and as he's been reading through and obviously enjoying the books it has been a torment to Wyatt to hear him reacting to the story and coming to me with questions that Wyatt isn't allowed to hear.  So Wyatt's having another whack at it.

All the boys are good readers, and if Wyatt will just stick with it he could finish the books in two or three weeks.  If he'll stick with it...

The thing about Wyatt is that he really needs an enormous amount of physical activity or he just comes out of his skin.  Well, they're all 100% boy, and they all need it... but Wyatt needs more.  Trust me.  So sitting and reading is much lower on his priority list than climbing trees, bouncing on the trampoline, or bouncing off the walls, for that matter.  We'll see how he does, but I'm cheering for him... for both of them!   :D

Simple Woman #50

FOR TODAY     March 1, 2010

Outside my window... gray skies, but no rain (yet) today.  Boys on the trampoline :D

I am thinking... about friendships.

I am thankful for...  having my family nearby.

I am praying for...  friends in Georgia, work for Kerry.

I am wearing... blue jeans (the nice ones), blue sweater, thick socks, keeping warm.

I am going...  to balance my checkbook.  This.  Week.  Really.

i am reading... Stowaway, with the boys.

I am hoping... Kerry gets the boys to bed at a good time tonight.  Because being the responsible mom that I always am, I let them stay up until 11pm last night watching the Olympic recap and closing ceremony at Grampa and Gramma Grasshopper's.

I am hearing...Wyatt practicing for his piano lesson tomorrow and Gunnar in the bathroom.

I am remembering... taking piano lessons myself.

From the kitchen...  Kerry is "on" for dinner tonight as I will be out.

Around the house... still putting Valentine things away.  I'm very unmotivated right now.  At least it's clean, thanks to last Thursday's Blitz.

On my mind...  the box of papers-to-be-sorted on my table.  *sigh*

Noticing that... OH!  I never revealed who is almost done with the LOTR books.  Next post...

Pondering these words...

The only correct self-image comes from viewing God, not ourselves, and it isn't flattering - but it changes lives and turns us from self to Him.
           - The Seduction of Christianity

One of my favorite things... chocolate and peanut butter.  Okay, I can count.  But together they form something greater than the parts.  Yes?

A few plans for the rest of the week... rehearsal tonight, piano lesson tomorrow, AWANA Wednesday, and a field trip Friday to the Coast Guard station - the boys should love that!

Here is a picture thought I am sharing...

No!  I didn't take it!
It's off the coast of Belize, and I found it on NG's website ages ago.