Sunday, December 31, 2006

Why doesn't anyone listen to what I say?!

It's not just my children, it's my entire family. They don't listen. I'm not a difficult person to please. How hard can it be to buy a stinkin' ten dollar travel mug?

Did I get a travel mug? No! Did I ask for one? Yes. Over and over and over again, so they wouldn't forget. Did my husband keep me hanging on to the hope that I might be getting one at any moment. Yes! Did my children make me write down what I wanted? Yes. Did they completely ignore my request? Yes! Did my husband think, oh heck I'll just go get her one? No. Am I complaining about it every chance I get? Darn right! How can that many people not come through for me?! Ugh, I have to do everything myself! Geeeez!

Instead, I got a navigation system. At least I won't get lost on my way to Target to buy my own stash of travel mugs!

Oh, Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Our Christmas card, story, hoopla...


One year in Sunday school I made an advent wreath. It was constructed of a Styrofoam hoop, colorful felt, gold tinsel and birthday candles. My mother humored me and placed it in the center of our coffee table. Each week leading up to Christmas my mom would let me light one of the candles and then quickly blow it out, since its burn time was probably less than a minute. But, to me, blowing the candle out immediately after lighting it wasn’t really enough fanfare and didn’t do my beautiful piece of art any justice. After all I’d spent at least twenty minutes pouring glue on it.

One evening, after the celebratory lighting and snuffing of the advent candles, my mother shuffled my sister and me off to take a bath. As we were soaking and having fun my parents came in to say they were off to their bowling league. They gave us strict instructions to finish cleaning up and get straight to bed.

I’ll pause here in my story while you all contemplate that… and I will end your thoughts with, those were different times. I also didn’t have a car seat or a bike helmet.

When I knew the coast was clear and my parents were well on their way to the Bowladium I made my move. Naked as a Jaybird, I streaked back into the living room and gave my advent wreath one last lighting. I paused to reflect upon the beauty of the tinsel glittering from the tiny flames and then remembered I was cold and fled back to the warmth of the bathtub.

My sister and I splashed and made Santa beards with the bubbles until the odd smell of charcoal began to fill the bathroom. We sniffed, we pondered, we splashed some more and then we panicked. The Advent wreath!!! Great horrors! We slipped and slid across the tile floor and then dripping wet we sprinted across the avocado green shag carpet to see the center of the coffee table smoldering.

My precious advent wreath had completely disintegrated. We ran to the kitchen and grabbed the necessary tools; a metal spatula and a can of Pledge dusting spray. We took turns scraping the charred circle while the other would run around the living room spraying Pledge into the air in attempts to mask the smell of smoke and charred furniture. We did this until the can of Pledge was empty and we came to the realization that the coffee table was ruined, my Advent wreath was gone and we were cold, tired and naked.

I went to bed that night feeling miserable. I knew there would be a punishment. My imagination ran wild with the endless torture that my parents would surely bestow upon me. Slowly, I drifted off into a troubled sleep.

Later that night, I awoke to a warm hand touching my back and a kind voice saying my name. I sat up to see my mother’s lovely face. I immediately began to cry, I was so repentant and so guilt ridden. I don’t remember ever receiving any kind of punishment for that horrific crime; I just remember we never had another advent wreath in our house, ever. And that’s when we started having a babysitter on bowling league nights.


Breakin' it down for the Fam...

Ellen is 13. More than once this year we have bought the same shirt from a store. I’m not sure if that means I’m dressing like a teenager or that she’s dressing like a, uh, um, 25 year old. Yes, I was only 12 when I had her, isn’t that obvious? Anyway, my sweet little girl is catching up with me quickly in size and wisdom, not to mention sarcasm. She started taking a couple classes at Wildwood Christian School and has enjoyed the social aspects and the new challenges that being taught by someone other than her mom brings.

Seth is 10. His geography teacher wrote on his report card, “Seth contributes interesting comments to class discussions! He is well mannered and friendly with his fellow students.” I can only imagine what he contributes, but I know that he brings a daily dose of whacko to my world. One day during school he brought me to complete exasperation, as I laid my head down on the table he gently patted my head and sighed, “Don’t worry Mom, you won’t have to homeschool me forever.” Thank God for that and for Seth, who makes me think about things that hopefully will never have any relevance to my life.

Isaac just turned five, but if you ask him how old he is he’ll say seven or six or four. Any number but five and it’s not because he doesn’t know, it’s just to get you going. Which is all fun and games until the Pediatrician starts quizzing him and he decides to not only tell the Dr. he doesn’t know his ABC’s or how old he is, but that his little brother doesn’t know how to talk. We left that appointment with a lot of information for Parents as Teachers and were strongly suggested to have them visit us soon.

Levi is two. God help us.

Clay has again managed to coach every sport his children play. He can’t help but be involved and feels anguished if he ever misses a game or, heaven forbid, a practice. He took up hunting this year. He came home weary, cold and empty handed, but had a lot of fun holding his new gun while sitting on a tiny metal shelf nailed to a tree for the good part of a day.

We said goodbye to two loved ones this year. Clay’s mother, Susan Lovett, passed away in May. We hung many of her Christmas ornaments on our tree this year and it’s nice to have things to remember her sweet Southern style. The Lord finally gave peace to my Grandpa Herb a couple weeks ago. He was the best Santa I’ve ever known. My mind is crowded with found memories of him. We miss them both.

And then there’s me. I continue to search high and low for a place that we can call “ours”. It’s a bit like an addiction; I have to follow the path of every For Sale sign, surf the web and call about the price of land. Surely, someday soon we’ll find “IT”, and when that day comes I may need to join House Hunters Anonymous. I’m still sharing a bit of my world on my blog. We’ve raised a beautiful flock of chickens this year. We’ve had fun learning that chickens are not as dumb as we think and they poop more than I could ever explain.

That’s it from here. We hope you all have a wonderful Christmas. Our door is always open, unless it’s closed; because if it's open the chickens get in.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Blurting

Isn't that a great word? Blurt.

Ellen came in to the office and blurted, "Levi is in the pantry singing, stacking and stinking!"

Isaac blurted, "Mom, I want a big tractor for Christmas so I can take you to run all your re-runds. It will hold all the stuff and I'll drive you all over, you just have to sit in the back."

We saw the movie Happy Feet. No. That's all I've got to say. Well, and it was not all that happy or funny. So just No.

We made those 3-D snowflakes that Notes From the Trenches had on her sight. They were fun, easy and cheap, cheap, bok, bok....for those of you who live in St. Louis raise your hand if you do not get that Cheep Cheep Fun Fun liquor store chicken commercial, but say it in your head often enough to wonder if you should go buy some liquor there? The same with that mortgage guy that ends with "ninety-nine, ninety-nine". You know who I'm talkin' bout.

People are so weird. Sooo glad I'm not.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Blank Page

Can you all see me? No? Then you don't know that I'm standing in the middle of the kitchen with my eyes glazed over thinking about the endless amount of yuck I have to do. All of which I am profoundly gifted at shoving aside so I can take my sweet little munchkins to play at the YMCA for a bit. Oh, or blog about it.

I'm so thankful that I have children. Even though they are the cause of my cellulite and wrinkles and gray hair and the never ending pee puddles on the toilette seat and the source of strange sticky doorknobs and why I never see a day without the washer running and why I spend so much time asking, "Who did this?" and geezo, I better stop there before I change my mind about being thankful for them.

They also keep me from being a complete scrooge this time of year. Their glee and overflowing enthusiasm for all things Christmas keeps me on pace for the traditions that I worked so hard to set for them. Making cookies, buying gifts for those less fortunate, reading the Christmas story, playing Christmas music, decorating, crafting and spending an inordinate amount of time together. My children crave all of these not to mention buying each other a special gift and sneaking it home to wrap.

I've been trying to write our Christmas letter for awhile and I find myself staring at a blank screen with the little prompter thingy flashing, waiting patiently for me to type the first letter. I just can't think of anything nice to say and so, as all good girls do, I'm saying nothing. I finally decided that a card was good enough and was ready to print them when my husband said, "But, what about a story?" I retorted with, "What do you want me to tell people? This has been a year to remember. Clay's mother died, my grandfather died. Merry Christmas!" For some reason those two events coupled with a bunch of family bleckiness and the never ending housing question has sucked the funny right out of me.

I finally remembered an event from my childhood that involved an advent wreath and a can of Pledge. That's probably what I'll write about. I'll share it with you if I can stop circling the sides of my temples with my index finger and making some sort of whoo-hoo-coo-coo noise long enough to pull myself together.

Until then, I hope all of you that frequent this page are enjoying the Christmas season and if you need cookies, we have plenty.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Grandpa


Day is done,
gone the sun, from the lakes,
from the hills, from the sky...
All is well, safely rest,
God is nigh...

Fading light,
dims the sight
and a star gems the sky
gleaming bright
from afar drawing nigh
falls the night,

Thanks and praise for our days
'neath the sun,
'neath the stars,
'neath the sky...
As we go, this we know...
God is nigh

Friday, December 08, 2006

Beta is Better

If you have a blogger sight, switch to Beta now! It's awesome! Look what I did with a few clicks!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

My Nativity

Joseph was decapitated early amoung the flurry of Christmas decorations. Mary sits in the stable gazing with wonder at the Christ child. A cow, a donkey and a boy with a sheep slung gracefully over his shoulders surround her. Three strange men are approaching the scene of the single mother from the East, they seem to be bearing little golden vessels holding precious items suitable only for royalty. One of the men sports a few glue droppings around his neck and my suspicions are that Joseph and he have much in common. Hopefully, with a little gorilla glue Joseph will be able to sit and support his wife just as soon as he's been released from the kitchen counter recovery area. Until then, I'm thankful that this child had a greater Father to watch over him.

The nativity scene was given to me 22 years ago by my Grandma Edna (the one we mistakenly named our rooster after, we still call him Edna. Sorry Grandma). I'm so amazed that despite a couple of decapitations it has survived. Every year when I pull it out I think of my Grammy. She passed away two months before my first child was born.

Right now my Grandpa Herb lies in a comma slipping slowly from this world. I know he will be so happy to have a healthy body and mind again. Mostly, I think he will be so relieved to see my grandma. I can imagine him lumbering over to her and being embraced into her large arms. I can hear my grandma cackle with laughter and lovingly call him Herbie.

Grandpa slowly lost his head to Alzheimers and has spent over 13 years waiting to be recovered; longing to sit by his wife. It's time to let him go, it's time for him to take his place by his Father. Merry Christmas Grammy and Grandpa, what a beautiful gift you both were to me.

Monday, December 04, 2006

You have blue eyes.

While snuggling in a nice warm bed this morning....

Me- You have blue-blue eyes.

Ike- So do you.

Me- Your eyes sparkle.

Ike- What are those scratchy things around your eyes?

Me- Those are wrinkles.

Ike- Oh, well I have this. (showing me a sleepy peeper)

Me- Yep, I'd rather have that than wrinkles.

Ike- Oh, your breath kinda stinks, pew!

Me- Sorry, morning breath.

Ike- You should go take a shower.

Me- (begining to think that I must be the most revolting person to wake up too)

Ike- Does my breath stink?

Me- Sniff, sniff. Nope.

Ike- That's because I keep my mouth closed. You should try to keep your mouth shut.

And I did.

Friday, December 01, 2006

I'll take a mug

April wants....

1. Well, yeah, a house.

2. All the computers fixed, so I don't have to enter things in one then download to put on another and whoops, forgot this one has no modem, so download again and, ahhhh hell just forget it!

3. All the outlets replaced, so when I vacuum I don't have to bend over twenty five bazillion times to replug the darn thing and by the time I get the hall way vacuumed I'm so ticked I just want to chuck the vacuum out the front door, rip up the carpet and kick all the outlets! Whew! Deep breath, just make the kids vacuum, then I don't have the stress of the freakin' outlets, deep breath. Serentity, outlets are not humans trying to make me crazy mad, serenity, and I'm calm.

4. Travel coffee mug, cuz mine was used as a projectile object outside and smashed to bits on the driveway. Actually this is a need, not a want. And no, I wasn't the one that threw it, although I can understand how you would make that mistake.
That's it. Really.

Now, I will tell everyone in my family that I want a travel mug, and that's all I'll get. I have a problem with just wanting one specific item. That's why I had three cameras and four mixers one time. But a cupboard full of travel mugs is not a bad thing. I'll probably loose some and the kids will probably break some and then I'll have one precious mug left that I will guard with my life.

You speak Toddlerese? No? No? Noooooo!!!!

Just in case any of you has a conversation with Levi anytime soon, here are some translations.

Wadum- water or any other drinkable liquid.

Waryagoin- Where are you going?

Whatchadoin- What are you doing?

Iohooo- I love you

Eeeee- Eat

I uh sum- I want some

Sep- Seth

I-kak- Isaac

Mom-Mom- Mom, Dad, Ellen, Grandma, Grandpa

Muh ooo- cow (not to be confused with..)

Muh ooon- moon

Gun- give me some gum

Walgeen- Wal-Mart

Mon- Come on

No- No

No,top,no- No, I'm going to start screaming if you don't give me what I want, right now!

Tuck- stuck

Hemmy- Mine

Stucky- yucky

Top! Top! Top!- Stop! That's mine! Give it back or I'm going to start screaming!


Actually, there are many variations on the words meaning stop, mine and no. I think most of you will be able to understand when he thinks he's been wronged. Well, you and your neighbors that are vacationing in Florida.

So there ya have it Toddlerese 101.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

A mop and a bucket

Well, Clay came home and sopped me up with a sponge and wrung me out at Bread Company. I ordered the butternut squash soup and then I spent the entire time I was eating it wishing I had ordered anything but. It was like a large bowl of baby food heated up with a bunch of brown sugar. Blehky.

Now let's see if I can give you something to smile about...

For Thanksgiving, I have to admit that I was very creative in the decorating department. I put a glass hurricane on a white salad plate, put about half a bag of coffee beans in the hurricane, stuck a candle in the beans, tied a bow around the outside of the hurricane and there you have a delicious smelling center piece.

Now, don't forget to blow out the candles when you're done with dinner or you might come back into the kitchen to see the coffee beans on fire and you might have to run the cute plate and blazing coffee beans to the sink and then the hurricane might burst into a few pieces.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Home is where, exactly?


Lord? Are you there? It's me, April.

I know I haven't been talking to you about the house thing lately, I sorta figured you were tired of my incessant whining. I envision you clenching the bars on the Pearly Gates and banging your heavenly head against it while screaming to Saint Peter, "Why?! Why won't she just do what I want her to do?!!!"

So, here's the thing God, I think I may not have been paying attention when you told me where you want me to be. Is it here? In Missouri? Because my heart just really isn't here, I'm pretty sure I left it a few hundred miles west. I'm trying, really, I am. I've been trying for eight years to make this place my homeland. I have moments when I start to feel all warm and cozy here and then the chills take over again.

I feel like we moved to Missouri to be spiteful. I think we thought there would be family here, there's not. I think we thought we would find that niche, we haven't. I still feel like I'm a visitor, an outsider, the person that doesn't really know how to act, what to say, where to be, what to do. I don't feel like that when I go back to Kansas.

When I'm in Kansas I immediately connect to people. I feel comfortable walking in my shoes. It's all so familiar, pleasant, comforting. I speak their language.

Lord, I long for community. I know we've shot ourselves in the foot many times by commuting to a church twenty miles away, home schooling our children, living in an interstate community where people drive to work miles away. Are you nodding your head in agreement, Lord? Are you telling me to wake up? Smell the chicken shi...uh, crap?

Is it me? Am I just not accepting what you have given me? How many times have I looked around and mumbled, "What the heck am I doing here?” I never did that in Kansas. How many times did we silently struggle with packing up and moving back? But, we stuck it out thinking You had brought us here. Were you saying go back? Was it so hard because You thought eventually we would open our eyes and see the blinking neon arrow pointing back home?

I don't feel like I'm living the life that you gave me. I'm in a foreign land. Is it too late to go back? Can I get a do-over?

Am I suffering from comparison? Is my sinful nature getting the best of me? Can you shut off my desire to be elsewhere? Can you take away my fantasy of finding a home that fulfills all my desires? Can you show me where the heck you want us to be?

Lord, I'm trying to put it all in your hands. I'm trying to see the bright side, which is difficult when I live in a big, long, dark, brown, turd that I can't call my own. Show me something Father, this time I'll try to listen with my eyes on you.

Your ever questioning servant,

April

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Pick up some take out!

I'm gonna write this real quick before all hell breaks loose in my kitchen, oh wait, that already happened.

So, I'm making the whole feast by my little old self and I'm dragging my butt getting it all done. Duh, I'm in here blogging instead of cooking. Last night I tried to make pie crust and it turned out all weird and gucky (yes, that's a word in my house). Usually, I can fix it, but nothing I did made it better, so I threw in the towel and let the kids play with it.

I think I cursed myself when I was in line at the grocery store yesterday. The clerk was saying how she can't make a pie, never has, is scared to attempt that blah, blah, blah. I was thinking it's not that big of a deal, the crust is only like three ingredients, you really can't mess it up, geesh, follow a recipe. Yeah, I've been trying to dislodge my foot from my oral cavity all morning.

I did buy a couple of frozen pie crust so I baked one for a pudding pie and made a pumpkin pie in the other. I set both the pie and the empty pie shell on the oven. You know what what I'm gonna say, don't you? Was your thought going in the direction of the two year old? He decided to eat the empty shell for breakfast and after I calmly threw away the rest of it and removed him from the scene he snuck back in to get a few finger swipes of the pumpkin pie. He really is the cutest devil I've ever known. I hope he lives long enough for me to retell this story to him as an adult. I'm thinking his life span is getting shorter by the minute. Actually, I think he's driving me to an early grave. He'll have to tell his kids how rotten he was to his mother and how she died so unexpectedly one Thanksgiving day.

Back to the kitchen I go. Happy Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

My fancy date

Practicing for our ice dancing routine

[Okay, I had to remove this picture for the sake of my friend Melanie, who thought my dress was see-through. It was not, just a weird reflection from the flash, but I'll save you all the shock of thinking your seeing too much of me.]


The Tango


The Bruise....oooh lovely.

I tried for an hour to put my hair up and then decided to do the Marsha Brady look. I was going to post a bunch of pictures of the building, but Clay took them off my camera. It's not often that an architect gets to go to a big fancy event to celebrate his building. I was so proud of him.

Who's answering your door?

We're traveling to Louisiana and I'm in a hotel with high speed, so I can finally post some pictures and it won't take me all day.

This guy gave my kids quite a scare during their trick or treating adventures. I have to admit he was really funny, he spoke in a high Shaggy sorta voice.

Friday, November 17, 2006

I'm feelin' a lil' green

Whatcha think? Keep it? Change it? Too green? Hmmm, does it make my butt look fat? Cuz, that's really the clincher to anything. If it says big butt then it's gotta go.

Monday, November 13, 2006

How 'bout Baby Ruth?

My husband thinks I need to omit "The Big Long Turd" bit in my bio over there on the right. He said that if our landlord ever reads my blog that they might not think that was so funny and they might ask us to move. My reply...

What should I call it? The big long Baby Ruth?

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Y'all ready for this?

I thought I’d share a couple of my most embarrassing moments just to make you all feel better about yourselves. You know what? I could probably dedicate an entire blog to April’s humiliating situations. Sad, but true.

Okay, we’ll start off slow...

After a J.V. basketball game that I had been cheering for I went down to the girls locker room to find my friend Sonya who I swore went down to the locker room just seconds before. I was yelling in a very high sing-song voice, “Sonya?! Sonya!!! Where are yooooo-hooo?!” I turned into the locker area where all the benches were and there the entire visiting Varsity Basketball team was sitting staring at me. Their coach somberly said, “I don’t think Sonya is in here.”

And now for a really juicy one…

I was probably three weeks post partum from my second child. Suffice to say I was pretty chunky, I mean beefy chunks, big marbled dipped in batter and fry it up chunkeeee! So of course I wanted to go get a snow cone.

My husband and I drove to the snow cone joint and parked as close as we could, cuz it’s hard to walk too far when ya got some beefy chunks to hall. The sun had set and the only light illuminating the parking lot was the glow from the neon on the snow cone shack.

We unloaded our little ones and lumbered across the parking lot and up the wooden decking of the snow-cone shack. We stood in line behind three beautiful young girls dressed in short-shorts and tank tops. They were so young and so thin and I remember feeling so old and so fat. They got there snow cones and walked off into the night.

We stood by the shack to enjoy our sugary ice and let our daughter take heaping spoonfuls of the sweet goodness. Like any two year old she became instantaneously sticky. I had gulped my snow cone down and was feeling a bit, shall we say, uncomfortable so I volunteered to go back to the car and get some baby wipes to clean her up. This would also give me the opportunity to relieve some of the pent up “uncomfortableness” that was swirling in my intestines without any of the other customers waiting in line at the shack knowing, hearing or smelling a thing. So as I entered the darkness of the parking lot I let freedom ring. I was probably "back firing, big juicy sounding, fat old lady rip-roaring flatulence" for three or four steps before my eyes adjusted to the darkness and I turned my head to see sitting on a bench not 15 yards from my car those three beautiful teenage girls frozen in silence with their spoonfuls of snow cone lifted halfway to their mouths agape in disbelief. God have mercy!!! I opened the passenger door of our car and hid myself in the back seat shaking my head and thinking, “I have to walk back by them! God please kill me now, just let me die!!!!”

After a few minutes I gathered the strength and decided the best thing to do was pretend I didn’t know they were there. I made a bee line to my husband told him not to ask any questions, just get the car and meet me on the other side of the shack. I told him the whole story on the way home.

For the past ten years every time we go get a snow cone guess what story we tell?

"Hey honey remember the time you farted the length of a football field and scared those poor little girls half to death?" Yeah, we're not short on exaggerations.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

I'm in fabulous shape, thank-you!

I went to work out with my husband at the YMCA yesterday at 5:45am. I thought the place would be fairly empty and I wouldn't have to worry about people watching me.

However, as you can probably guess, all the really dedicated, hard-core, ripped bodies were there working themselves up to a nice glossy shine.

The only person I can really make fun of (because that makes me feel better about myself) is the guy leading the spinning class. I won't be joining that class purely out of fear that I would spin myself right off the bike and onto the scary instructor who would chew me up and spit me like I was a piece of gristle. There's also the fact that I don't want to stick my bodaciousness up in the air to remind all the spectators to put Jell-O on their shopping list.

Who are the people that get up before the sun to tone their bodies? "Not I", said the tall blond haired woman on the elliptical machine.

And that concludes my morning work out routine. So let's talk about my evening work out. It consisted of:

- informing my 4yo not to lock his little brother out of his room.
- listening to the 4yo cry because now he has locked himself out of his own room.
- consoling the 4yo that I can't unlock the door so he'll have to wait until his dad gets home to fix it...shhhhh it's okay, you'll be able to get in your room again, shhhhh.
- falling asleep at 7:00 pm while trying to watch the news.
- being jolted awake by a 4yo yelling "MOM!!! Levi is coloring on the carpet!"
- scrubbing permanent marker off the carpet (Goo-gone, I love you)
- deciding that breaking down the door is really the best solution because these boys have to go to bed or, or, or....stand back boys I'm breakin' it down!!!

So, yes I had a mini-kick boxing class and I won.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Serene Sunday

Heard at church-

"It smells like someone took a dump in the foyer."

"Good grief the entire church smells like poop."

"It still smells down here, did someone not take the diapers out?"


That's what my husband heard. What he didn't know was that his son was the culprit. Levi should win the prize for stinkin' up God's house in a very unholy way. So, I apologize to all my fellow brothers and sisters for the offensive smell that may have caused some of you to go out for a breath of fresh air this morning.



On the way home from church-

The little stinky monkey (or should I say giant stinky ape) had a major melt down. He cried for the good part of an hour. He was so worked up that he started the yasnuffing bit. You know, whaaaaaa, yasnuff-yasnuff, whaaaaa ya-ya-ya-yasnuff. He feel asleep and continued to do the yasnuff spasms for a good 30 minutes. Poor thing. It's so hard being two.

Friday, November 03, 2006

C is for Cookie and that's good enough for me.

Chickens
It was just a matter of time. I knew it would happen eventually. Chickens in the HOUSE!! On our way out this morning one of the kids, because I can so easily blame them and not myself, left the garage door open and the door to the house.

It's bad enough to walk in your garage and have a bunch of big birds staring at you from atop a bicycle rack. It's worse walking in your office and wondering why a chicken is standing in your chair looking at the computer screen.

In fact how do you know that a chicken isn't writing this? Someday I'll come home and they'll have us locked out and we'll have to live in the coop. They're kinda creepin' me out today. Bok, Bok.

Clarity
I have none, especially when I write. I wrote a terrible post over at Larger Families about, umm, uhhh, what was I saying?

Anyway, if I just had a British accent I would sound smart (Madonna). Here's my two cents worth on that whole thing. I know she's whacko, but for crying out loud she could bring the entire Afican nation home with her for all I care! The baby she adopted now has a chance to survive in this world. I guarantee if she was Sally Smith from Kansas nothing would have been said about that adoption. And that's why I like the color blue. I know, I'm coming through clear as a bell.

Conversations

A Proud Moment for Homemade Pasta Sauce

Ike- Mom? Dad? I have a question for you.

Us- Okay.

Ike- Remember when Mom made that disgusting sauce? I said to myself, "I gotta eat this, I gotta eat this", and I did!

Us- Is that your question?

Ike- Yeah, I ate that disgusting sauce!

Us- Okay! Way to go Ike!


Convorting

The govnah of Missouray was quite lovely. He shook my hand three times. He's short (but that's just from my point of view, which any person under six foot is considered short) and I think he may have been trying to compensate for his lack of height by wearing black cowboy boots. But, I thought that was cool, so yee-haw govnar Blunt.

Tonight I party like it's Oct. 31, 1517!
The day Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of the Wittenburg Castle church. I know! Crazy Presbyterian People that we are, this is a reason to get all nutty and gather together for drinks, food and , oh please!... Let there be dancing so I can try out some of my new robot moves. But, maybe I should save those to humiliate my children in front of their friends, I don't want other parents stealing my moves.

Tomorrow I go to the opening of the fine arts building. I'm wearing a sleevless dress and accessorizing with a dark purple bruise on my right bicep and a nice red scratch from some chicken wire on my hand. Oooh, April you classy lady!

Monday, October 30, 2006

What I do when I'm driving.

Do you ever pretend like your being interviewed? I do, all the time. When I was young I'd spend countless moments in front of the bathroom mirror doing an interview with myself and of course I'd break to commercials with whatever beauty product was within reach. Now I just mumble answers to the NPR host while I'm driving. Unfortunately, my daughter catches me mumbling, making ridiculous facial expressions or hand gestures and asks who I'm talking too. The really funny thing is that I remember my mom doing the exact same thing. I tell my daughter it's only a matter of time before she too will become a daily driving interview.

So today, as I drove to the gawd awful Crestwood Mall, please remind me not to go there again, ever, I asked myself what my work history was. Get comfortable, it's a long interview.


On today's show I'm talking to April, the woman who interviews herself. Thanks for being here April. Why don't you tell us about all the weird and whacko jobs you've had?


Well April, I've done just about everything in order to pay the bills and get myself through school.

My first job was at the hospital as a candy striper. I think I was in 8th or 9th grade. I mostly helped wheel elderly patience down to the dining room. The worst task was cleaning a woman's dentures and the saddest was feeding Mr. Mackenzie. He was dying of cancer. He had five children, two sets of identical twins. I'll never forget that.

My senior year in high-school sucked so badly except for my job at The Family Bookstore. I walked in asked for a job and was hired on the spot. My boss was my old Sunday school teacher Kathryn Weidermeyer. The best part was getting to do all the window displays. I gift wrapped all the presents people would buy. I loved knowing what people were getting for their birthdays and Christmas.

I was the lifeguard at a Christian camp for two summers. I lived in a shed with a set of bunk beds, a desk and a dorm sized refrigerator that I had to put all my makeup in to keep it from melting. I snuck out of my shed one night with Rex, the local football hero and son of the high school principal and together we "broke" into the press box at the football field and turned on the PA system and sang Van Halen songs. And that my friends, is why my daughter will never go work at a camp. Good grief.

I've cleaned houses.
Painted a horse paddock with a paint mitten and a gazillion gallons of white enamel paint.
Pruned plants at a hydroponics tomato farm.

Assisted a woman who was recovering from a stroke organize her house. Her son was one of my classmates. I found a black and white proof from the newspaper office of myself during my high school cheerleading days while going through a stack of pictures for her. She had no idea why she had it. That wasn't weird or creepy at all. She let me have the photo.

I was the hostess at The Golden Corral for about three weeks before my boss called me at 6:00 in the freakin' morning to tell me she didn't need me to come in anymore. Yes, I was fired for not cleaning the bathrooms because they made me wear my Sunday best and I wasn't going to clean up urine in my dress clothes. Sorry. Oh, and I was the hostess at Country Kitchen for about the same amount of time before I quit.

I've done the waitress bit at a fine dining retirement village and at a run-down steak house.

I lived with an 85 year old man and cooked for him in exchange for room and board. He spent his days playing golf and his nights watching boxing.

I worked at a home for mentally handicapped adults. I loved and hated this job. I loved the clients and hated the facility.

I've had one factory job. E&E Specialties, they make boxes and plastic card displays. I made boxes in the hot summer. Every morning I'd wake up and spend a few minutes loosening up my sore hands and putting on band-aids from all the cardboard cuts.

Worked in an outlet mall for Van-Heusen.

I was a nanny for a little boy whose mother and father were both doctors, they were divorced but worked in the same practice and that wasn't the weird part, but that's a story for a different day.

I did pet sitting.
I did babysitting.
Cleaned a travel agency.
I did housekeeping for a hotel, for one day.

I worked at an animal hospital. I was the office manager that could also draw blood, give shots, get a fecal sample and hold a giant dog still while he gets his nails trimmed. I learned how to take x-rays, float a slide and find parasite eggs, drain a wound, flush ears, take out sutures and so much more. Later, I would be asked to come back and do the Doctor's SOAP notes or medical transcription for them.

I worked at Home Depot.

I was tortured at a preschool. The only image I can remember is little Kaliegh throwing up and the long dark green chunky mucus that came out of her nose that she sucked back in. Oh please, yah, uh, bleck, uck! The memory is too much for me, now I've got the heebie-jeebies!

Finally, I have worked for two churches doing their financial business. I still do this for my church.

I think I'm missing a few, but it's late and I'm tired so thanks for having me April.

Thanks for being here April, and you're not at all psychotic.

Let me check my calendar....

This is going to be a very unusual week and I will probably never see these series of events unfold in my lifetime ever again or at least in the span of five days.

This evening my husband and I were invited to attend a reception for the governor of Missouri at a friend's home. I know! That's what I said. It's a fund raiser. I keep reminding myself that we were in fact invited to show support not because I am the most famous blogging mommy on the web.

As you know this is Monday and I have mountains of laundry to chip away, I have meals to deliver to the poor teachers that have to suffer through another one of my concoctions (I'm thinking potato soup, because wouldn't that be good today?) and I have no professional looking outfit to wear to this reception. I'm nearly certain I won't go shopping because I do have the kids that need something of an education and since I decided I could do a better job at that than anyone else I think I should be proving it by actually teaching them than running around St. Louis trying to find an outfit that won't offend Governor Blunt. But then again, maybe I should just run out to Marshal’s and see what they have. I don't know.

Friday we are going to a Reformation Party. I know! That's what I said. I think there will be lots of drinking, eating, laughing and maybe some good impressions of medieval characters. So, this should prove to be fun and relaxing but again the clothing dilemma. It's too far off to think about so I'll deal with that later.


Saturday we are going to an opening of a performing arts building that my husband designed at a college in Illinois. I know! That's what I said. It's a black tie affair and I've had plenty of notice to get prepared. The dress, jewelry and scarf have been purchased. I need to get a manicure, find hosiery, debating on buying new shoes and probably get my hair done. It's reminiscent of going to the prom. Oh booger! I just thought about a handbag. Giddy-up Mary I hope I can get all of that stuff and still afford to feed everyone this week. Ack!

My mostly normal and boring life is getting such a glamorous jolt this week. I fear that when it's all over I'll feel a bit like a scullery maid.

Now, I'm off to change a diaper, change a load of laundry, scoop some chicken poop out of the garage and scrub the white sticky stuff dripped from one bathroom to the other off the carpet. I know! That's what I said!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Somethin's gotta give.

I've been saying it all week, something, anything has got to give and it seems it may be my brain. I'm at the point where I don't know if I'm coming or going or if I've already been there.

So far I've..

-delivered two meals to teachers that I wasn't supposed to deliver until next Monday. By the way I really suck at taking good meals to people. I just seem to fumble around and can't think of what to make and then I end up taking them the worst concoction of sorts. It's really best for everyone if they just come to my house and eat under normal circumstances and then they will have a better idea of what kind of cook I am.

-sat in a waiting room for two hours for a Dr. to tell me my son did not break his leg and why the heck was I there in the first place and duh-hur keep him off the gall bladder tramploline!

-passed up my exit on the highway not once, but twice because I was too busy having a conversation with myself about how I should really go back home and not take my son to the doctor, just give it time, but what if it's broken...and Gall Bladder I missed the exit, AGAIN!

-was one hour late taking my son to his class.

-was fifteen minutes late taking the kids to piano lessons.

-refused to take my daughter to soccer practice because if I had to get in the van and drive even one more minute I was going to shrivel up and die, so instead I flopped on my bed and ate some cookies and then I felt better.

-and the clencher this week... I yelled at two of my sons that if they couldn't get along and love each other then they needed to move out! Yep, that's all I could come up with. A big empty threat.

Just to end this post on a fun note and prove that I have no brain cells left this is the conversation Clay and I had this morning while observing the progess of the braces on our daugher's teeth.

Me- Her teeth are small.

Him- Yeah, they look like your teeth.

Me- I don't have small teeth!

Him- Yes, you do.

Me- You look at my teeth and you think they are small?

Him- Yes, when I saw your teeth I thought they were smaller than what should be expected.

Me- Take that back. Say I have big teeth!

Him- But, you have petite teeth. Peteeth. Get it? Peteeth.

Me- Yeah, I get it. I also get that you have horse teeth, you're a horse head!

Thank the Maker that you all can't see the faces and sound effects that we were making during this conversation....but our daughter sat and watched the whole thing. What must her impression of us be?

***
Clay's response after reading this post, "You're funny, you and your big horse teeth are funny." He has the sweetest way of complementing me.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Here I am, again.

At Bread Co.

I've been internet free for about a week now. I'm feeling a little better, but still have a twitch in my right eye whenever I enter my office to check my emails and realize I CAN"T! (insert lots and lots and lots of profanity here.)

Okay, back home again. Jiggety freakin' jig!!!

Btw, have you all read the Olivia books? I love, love, love them! I love the pig!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

No time to talk.

I have three minutes to write. Need to pick up daughter at soccer. All modems dead at house. No dial up. Going through withdrawl. Husband has to print out all correspondence. Sitting at Bread Co drinking second cup of coffee, starting to get a bit jittery. Would love to move in here so I could have constant stream of coffee, pastries and high speed freakin' internet. Too many teenagers work here. Some called me Ma-am. Hope you all are well. I'm feeling a little sweaty and wondering why I hear a buzzing noise...........

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Coach

The pawns are the players and the almond is the ball.


The coach excitedly studying his plays for the team.....that doesn't start until November.

He's got big hopes and even bigger plans. I hope the 10 year-old boys are as easy to coach as the chess pieces.

Head On

For instant headache relief: apply your brother's underwear directly to your forehead.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Three Brothers

Finally! My husband took me to Three Brothers , a great little spot in Labadie MO. It was well worth it. I had the tilapia with pan roasted new potatoes and Clay had the pork tenderloin with smashed new potatoes they both came with grilled asparagus. We tried the jumbo shrimp in a creamy tarragon sauce, I wanted to pick up the plate and drink the rich sauce, but the shrimp was a bit over cooked. They serve warm sesame bread knots with olive oil and parmesan cheese to dip in, and who doesn't love warm bread? The red wine comes in a huge glass that if given the opportunity you could take a quick dip in.

They didn't have any house made desserts so we tried the tiramasu which was very rich. I love to be able to taste the strong espresso and still be able to distinguish the lady fingers and that was very apparent in this dessert.

The atmosphere is above charming. The dinnerware is chique. The drive out there is beautiful. A great date night for any couple. They have a bar area which you see in the picture that I linked, the linen covered tables are a few steps above the bar.

I was surprised to see such a nice crowd there. If you ever need to get out of the city and have a nice quiet meal this is the place to go.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Letter to Anonymous

Dear Anonymous,

I’m not sure exactly why you chose to comment on my sight, but I’ll liken you to a toddler in need of attention that I’m happy to supply with a little love, time and some of my energy.

I read your list of quotes from scientists, screen writers, public speakers and whoever else was in there. I haven’t had time to be edified by the stork link thingy….maybe later.

Since you didn’t have the courage to sign your post I’m not sure that you’ll take the time to come back and answer my question so I’ll just do that for you.

Question: Since I’m obviously contributing to the overpopulation of the world how do you propose that I alleviate this problem?

Answer: Return the grotesque offspring to whence they came. This may produce severe physical discomfort but now you will be taking up one fifth of the space.

Listen to my words now Anonymous…

I’m sorry that you haven’t considered what magnificent people that contribute to this beautiful world wouldn’t be here if birth control were mandated in our free country. Can you not think of someone special in your life that is the third, fourth or God help us seventh child to a family? I can only imagine why you feel the need to control humanity and view it as a disgusting beast that is plowing through the earth’s resources.

Your time would be better used composting, recycling metal and wearing hemp products than telling people to stop procreating.

In God’s grip,

April

Monday, October 09, 2006

I betcha...















never had a chicken flappin' around in your minivan trapped with your two little ones laughing their ever-lovin' heads off at the poor chicken panicking about where the heck the escape hatch is located!



*no chickens were harmed in the writing of this blog*

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Dancin' Queen

Do you want to know about the lady that caught me dancing in front of the little annoying video/music toy at Wal-Mart that moments later I verbally sold a Magna-Doodle too?

OR....

Do you want to hear the story about the teenage boy in my daughters school that caught me doing The Robot in my van while driving down Manchester?

When will I learn that I am not alone and in my own little "April" world when I go out in public?

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Trying to be more me.

Clay keeps telling me I don't act like myself over at Larger Families, so I tried harder this time. Go take a peek and yes I'm asking for comments cuz it's so dang quiet all the time over there. You would think with all the kids we've got it would be a bunch of chatter, but not so. I think we might be too timid.

Anyway, did any of you loath pregnancy as much as I? I just really did not enjoy it. I was sick, my pelvis hurt all the time, I was fat, I was grumpy, I had heartburn, all my joints ached, I had zits, my hair was all funky, there were never maternity clothes that fit me, I was just not happy.

I have friends that just loooooove being pregnant. I think they are weird. I was not given the ability to enjoy that (Seth is sitting by me and keeps saying, "The Karate Master inside your stomach") ....so yeah, I didn't enjoy the little Karate Master inside my stomach, but I did like them when they decided to come out.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

You all are very kind like the man at McDonald's

Okay, so lets do some name dropping....

Joanie- You are a breath of happy air. You sparkle and radiate like the sun. I'm so glad I know you personally and have the privilege to hear your laughter in person.

Jen H- You know, there are people you just like to sit and listen to. You are one of those people for me. I love the sound of your voice, the words you use and how you tell a story. I like the cackle in your laughter too, everyone needs a good cackle. Oh, and I like to listen to your hubby too, he's the fastest talkin' man in the West!

Melanie- You are one of the most thoughtful young women I've ever known. I admire how you think of others and do small and big things for them. I also would adopt your children if you and your sweet husband, whom I know should have been born my little brother, should come to an early demise.

Owlhaven- Do any of you read her? Her last 30 days were spent avoiding any meaningless consumerism, I love stuff like that. She's amazing. Go read, you'll get my drift.

Jenn- Anyone that lists Napoleon Dynamite as one of their favorite movies gets to move to the front of the class, go on move up, there you go. Look at her. Isn't she pretty?

Gretchen- I went over and looked at your beautiful knitting. slobber. I would love to have that sleeve on a sweater, my that is sooooo pretty!

Old Man at McDonald's- You made me and my boys laugh today. I thought for sure we had traveled back twenty years and were sitting in an old diner in my home town and you had known us all our lives. I hope others are as kind and happy when they see you coming. Your children and grandchildren are very blessed to have such a sweet old guy bragging about them.

Monday, October 02, 2006

What did I say?


So my husband asked me how many hits I got today and I said I dunno. Then I clicked over to my stats counter and saw this! Who are you people? 108 people came over took a look and ran for the door? What the heckle jo jeckel? Now, I'm not one to ask for comments and my life and sanity is not depending on how popular my blog is, but geez! At least say hi or tell me that you were here and now you're going somewhere bigger, better and far less annoying....or don't, either way.

It's raining April

My children met Brian Jacques .
My oldest son loves his books.

My husband ate one bite of pork steak Saturday.
We spent five hours in the ER to get that one bite dislodged from his esophagus.

I bought a new pair of jeans at American Eagle.
I've been thinking a lot about muffin tops every time I put them on.

My FIL drove from Louisiana for a mini visit.
He drove for two days and stayed for 18 hours, most of which my husband had meat stuck in his throat.

We had a surprise party for my daughter.
I was surprised at how much candy young girls can eat.

My daughter waited 13 years to get her ears pierced.
I think she would have waited longer, glamour isn't important to her.

My garden is getting sleepy.
I have many green tomatoes and lots of herbs to look at.

We have cut down lots of trees.
Free firewood for all that will haul it away.

I watched Napoleon Dynamite again.
I had a pair of Moonboots in high school, but I only wore them when it was snowing.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

The Chifferobe

Here it is. Has anyone seen anything like it? Know anything about it? Am I going to have to call the Keno twins?

Beds For Sale

For Sale: One unused crib, one unused top bunk, one unused full size bed.

What you can't see is their big sister sleeping on the floor next to the bottom bunk that they are all huddled in. We really only need one twin bed and a two bedroom house.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Follow the Leader

There you are sweety right beside your dad. When I saw this photo I was going to write something about how you all were walking away and leaving me, but that's not what you were doing, you were following. Follow your Father sweet girl, walk in His path. See what your daddy is doing? That's where you go. Look behind you. See those boys? Help them follow the same path.

***
A- Tomorrow our girl will be 13.
C- I know. I still remember the day she was born.
A- That was a very old person thing to say.

***

Today as we rode in the car....

Me- Ellen your friend is so pretty.
E- I know and she's very kind too.
Seth- I know a girl just like that.
Me- Oh, who?
Seth- She's sitting in the passenger seat. (Referring to his sister)

***
Happy Birthday Bellers! I love you. Your daddy loves you. Your brothers love and adore you. Your Heavenly Father loves you. We are all so very, very proud of the lady you have become.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Isn't She lovely?


I drive by this house every chance I get. I stopped and took photos one day because I thought I heard something like, "Take a picture it lasts longer!"


Dear Custom Homebuilder Person,

I have enclosed a picture of a classic colonial home. It's simple really, it's called a rectangle. See the odd number of windows? That's pleasing to a person and so it symmetry. No need to thank me. If you have any questions about what helps a house continue to be longed for, sought after, awe inspiring or just lovely you can contact me here at Ranchoramaville.

XOXO,
April

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Gangsta Thang




This is a chifferobe.

I bought one at a sale on Sunday. It was in the weirdest place. I found out the house, which was weird and huge, was once owned by a big Mafia dude that eventually became a senator with Harry S. Truman. Know who it was?

The house was a country/river hang out. It has underground tunnels leading to other buildings on the property. It was decked out in the most amazing stuff.

I can't find anything exactly like the dresser on the web. It actually has two mirrored wardrobes on each side and a mirrored hat box in the middle with the stack of drawers. It's very cool. On the back of one of the dove tailed drawers is a stamp Jan 1924.

The best thing? It smells musty. I ran out and bought some Beatrix Potter fleur drawer liners that smell like an old powdery grandma. So now I've got an old musty Mafia man's dresser being accosted by an old powdery lady. Seems appropriate.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

She was happy to go.


I told him we would have better luck getting her to school in a vehicle, but he wanted to try flying one more time. He's strangely coordinated for a tall skinny man. Just look at the grace, the poise.

Eggcellent



The first egg.




Friday, September 22, 2006

Are you serious?

I called about an old house for sale with two acres. The realtor prefaced our conversation by telling me it needs a lot of updating. Yes, I know, cut to the chase lady, how much?

$495,000.00


Stupid. Who is going to buy that? Am I the only person that thinks this is absurd to the nth degree? Am I living amongst a bunch of millionaires and not aware of it? When did living out in the woods where life is quiet, but so Gall Bladder inconvenient become a place only for the wealthy and, God help us, the hungry land developer?

I just don't get it. I must be the only one that doesn't get it. I'm irritated.

How hard do you think it would be for one woman to change the land values in one area? What would I have to do? Start a weird rumor....people that live out here start growing extra teeth. Something like that? No?

What if I showed up on the seller's doorstep with a pie? Would he lower the price? What if he saw my pretty chickens and cute children and beautiful house design and how well I can do a pirouette?

Would it be too bold to fling myself at his feet and weep like a helpless animal shot in the back and left to die, cold, hungry, bleeding from my wound, foaming at the mouth. Pleeth, Pleeeeeeth, thell me your land cheeeeeeeeap. Have merrrrthy. I don't. Have. Much uugh...time.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Sour

How am I supposed to put pictures on my computer without that little cord thingy? I found two for my old camera. Where the halibut is the new one? Errr.

At the Dr.'s office:

Receptionist- Can you fill this out fast, cuz you were supposed to be here 15 minutes ago.

Me- My appointment was at 10, it's 10.

Snotty Receptionist- You needed to be here 15 minutes early to fill out paper work.

Eye Glaring Me- (Consider leaving and saying I'll find another Doctor with a nice receptionist) Yes, I can fill it out fast (and write so sloppy that you can't read it and throw the clip board at your head) and FYI you should try mailing these forms to save time (can't believe I actually said FYI).

Snotty-Poop-Head Receptionist- Yes, some people ask us to mail them.

Haughty Attitude Me- Well, that would have been nice to have done for me.


Why is it nearly impossible to find friendly front office people?

*Oh, I forgot to tell you that I wrote about chaos over at LG.
Do any of you have any great ideas for our sight over there? Let me know.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

How sweet it is to....

-go into the little coffee shop just as they are closing and have them serve you a latte and absolutely refuse to be paid until next time you come in.

-have the dentist not find anything wrong with the tooth that you swear is hurting.

-find cute little folk lore chicken plates to put somewhere.

-come home to a clean kitchen compliments of your sweet kiddos.

-find eggs in the chicken coop everyday!

-have your children beg you to make scrambled eggs.

-see how excited your children get about looking for a double yolk.

-own chickens!

-listen to my almost two year old say words like; out, dawl-daw (all done), dang-doo (thank-you) and a whole host of other things that I can't even begin to decipher.

-have a fire pit outside with cute little tree stumps to sit on.

-breath the cool air.

-wear a jacket and a sweater.

-watch "Watership Down" with my boys and have them imitate the bird all day.....'Stupid bunnies you got not mates!'

-find $8.00 curtains at Target on the clearance rack to hang in the boys' room so I can take down the mini-blind aka "The Noose" that my baby tried to hang himself from.

-have a kind neighbor find my baby walking down the road and safely return him to his dumbfounded parents who swore he was playing safely with his siblings in the basement.

-to be able to run out and purchase baby-proof door knob covers.

-have God watching over me.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Health Nut

Who knows something about Agave Nectar? Want to share your knowledge? I've been using it since the whole sugar issue, but I can't find any real concrete information about it.

I'm going to start drinking green tea. Just as soon as I go to the store and get some and finish my 20 ounce cup of coffee.

I have set a new weight goal by December. I'm not going to share what it is, because right now I'm just doing a lot of thinking about it to get prepared for the work it will take to obtain the goal. And maybe it's not so much a weight goal as it is a healthy body goal.

Here are some of my plans.

-Start the morning with some form of protein
-drink green tea and more water along with my coffee
-stop drinking diet sodas
-eat whole foods, stop falling back on all the packaged goodness that man provides so easily
-exercise, I'm thinking about joining a Pilates club
-stop eating by 8:00 pm
-go to bed by 10:30 pm

Wanna join me? We can suffer together or be healthy together. I just don't want to waste anymore of my life being sluggish and wishing I woulda, coulda or shoulda done something besides complain about what I've done to myself.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

September Eleventh

I woke to NPR saying something about a small plane crashing into a building. I hit the snooze.

I walked my son into his kindergarten class and heard the women in the office talking about a passenger plane that flew into the World Trade Center and five people had been killed.

I drove to my daughter's school and listened on the radio to something bad that had happened in New York City. A plane. World Trade Center. Another plane. The Pentagon. What was going on?

I walked into my daugter's school and saw teachers huddled around a T.V in the office. They were very quiet. Stunned. Three planes. We watched the building collapse. Who did this? One teacher uttered quietly, "We're going to war."

I was scared. Were we next? My husband works downtown close to the government building. I needed my family to be together in one spot. I went back and took my son out of his class, I wasn't the only parent that decided this was the best thing to do and none of the teachers questioned me.

It was a very sad and scary day. I shielded my children from the news and didn't let them see the cover of Time magazine. I didn't want them to see the bodies falling out of the building, it was just too severe. Those were people dying. It wasn't a movie, it was real.

I gave birth to a baby three months later. Our country was at war and searching for justice. Other babies were being born to mother's grieving for their loved one.

Today those babies are nearing their fifth birthday. Our country is still searching for justice.

God bless all the children born to the families that lost a loved one that day. I hope they are safe, healthy and loved.

It's just as sad today as it was five years ago.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Heard around the House

A- Every time I come down here you have your head stuck in the ceiling.

E- I don't want to be nice to my brother....I just want to eat cookies.

I- (an opera sung by apparently several shampoo bottles that includes quite an impressive vibrato) I dive down. I sit up he-er-er-er-ere. You move over and then I go uh-uh-uh-uh up.

I- Mom, sharky needs a kiss. Don't worry he won't bite you he's too little to bite. He also needs some covers.

A- Who put the dirty knife in the cubboard under the bowls? And the open jar of jelly? And the butter? Oh, never mind I don't want to know.

C to A- Shut off the light.
A to C- How many times do I have to tell you not to tell me?
C to A- (quoting some western movie) How's this gonna work if you don't do what I tell you.
A to C- How bout this? How bout you nip it in the nipper and zip it in the zipper and then stick it in your sticker?
C to A- Ahhh, honey you say the sweetest things. Now, shut off the light.


Thursday, September 07, 2006

It's all a big fat blistery lie!

Today as I was sharing how attentive and loving I am to my children for the Larger Families blog, my baby was scaling the kitchen counter to drink the jelly out of the jelly jar and two of my other children were frying their brains on Playstation.

Just thought you all should know.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Sad and Bothered

I don't know, maybe three weeks ago I caught an Oprah episode about the "working poor" in our nation. People working full time making minimum wage or even up to $11/ hour and not being able to support their families. The saddest comment was from a middle aged man that choked through tears how disappointed he was that he wasn't able to support the woman that he loved making $9/hour.

Last night I watched POV on PBS. Again the same subject; people working full time and not able to make it in this country.

Churches are you helping people? Communities are you? Neighbors, friends, families are you watching out for your own?

This problem grips my heart. What are we going to do?

I don't know the answer.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Get it, got it, good.

Okay so just a re-cap of what's been going on out here in the woods and um trees.

-We've lost 6 chickens to whatever.

-We had Ed the tree guy come cut down some trees. That was some darn fascinating stuff to watch, seriously those guys swing from the branches like monkeys.

-We are finishing a long weird room in the basement and so help me God (really, God, please help me) it will be finished this week.

-I helped take my friend's daughter to college. I've never seen anything like it. Two parents, five siblings, two friends, myself and my daughter. That's how many people it takes to move one girl into a dorm. I also made this comment under my breath, 'sooooo glad not to be in college'.

-I bought my daughter some new shoes in my size. Speaking of shoe sizes I slipped my 10 year old son's shoes on my feet this week to wear outside...because I realized his feet are as big as mine. So, yes there are a lot of big feet in this house and my shoe inventory has just tripled.

And to end this post a couple loving comments that my sweetheart and I have shared with one another the past few days.

'Do you want me to smack jaw you?'
'Do you think "smack jaw" is an appropriate thing to say to me?'
'Do you WANT me to smack jaw you? I need to add that to my blog'

'Huney, huney, huney (add lots of poking, prodding, thumping, blah, blah, blah)'.
'How can something so pretty be so annoying?'

I'll just let you all guess who was the irritator and who was the irritatee in these dialogues.

**My personal response to this blog entry...ICK! Can you all tell I have no focus for blogging lately? I think I'm going to take a break this week, so love you all and I'll see you later. In the meantime go visit some of those blogs on the right, except the house links that I think I messed up....I know, I know I need a new look and a fresh coat of paint, but no time or energy to be renovating in blogdom today.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Boys

Things my boys have said to me lately:

- Mom your just getting skinnier by the minute, except back here....you need to loose a little back there.

-Mom those shoes are cute. I wish I had cute shoes like that.

-Mom! Levi knows how to get out of his crib!

-Mom, the vaccuum is broken and I don't know why.

-I didn't bash it into the wall.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

My Girl

The girl is on the cusp of being a teenager. She's not much of a girl anymore as she is quite a young lady. She's in that ditch of not old enough to give up her toys and play time but old enough to enjoy many adult pleasures such as shopping, decorating, drinking coffee and some romantic comedies.

However, I'm wondering when she will become more organized and yearn to care for her things.

This young lady wants to save everything. Wrappers, movie stubs, broken crayons, beads, broken jewlery, paper, paper, paper, paper, and envelopes from every letter and invitation she has ever received. She displays everything. She loves to wrap and tie things up. Yesterday, I found a shoe box wrapped in tissue paper then bound in packing tape. What was in this box that she spent so much time covering? An envelope, just a plain white envelope with an equal amount of packing tape sealing every inch of it. I'm sure it was for some big event that she was hatching up.

She spent the night at a friend's house so I went into her room and de-cluttered. I found all the missing chess pieces and all the missing hairbands. I flushed out her drawers and threw out a shameful amount of paper. God help her if a fire ever starts in her room.

This is how she has been her whole little life. I don't get it. I was the kid that lovingly cared for my things and preserved them long enough to give to my sweet daughter who in a minute destroyed the plastic horse, stuffed animals, porcelian doll etc... that I gave her thinking she would do the same. I spent hours in my room organizing my desk, using gingham printed paper to line my drawers and putting my clothes in order. My daughter has never felt the need to organize anything, ever.

I must say this has caused some strife in our relationship. I wonder if she'll treat her home the same way or if her children will be super organized and drive her crazy with how they want to keep their rooms put together. I don't know.

I do know that for all the mess she makes she does a lot of sweet things too. I don't know many girls that love their brothers as much as she does. She gets so upset if they don't want to play with her or be in the same room with her. She loves to write sweet notes to me and her siblings. She made a pot at camp for me and inside of it wrote; To Mom you're my inspiration. She has habits that cannot be broken like; everynight she finds her dad and I, wherever we may be, to hug, kiss and say goodnight and a prayer has to be said before every single meal. Traditions are never overlooked like picking the meals out for your birthday, getting new PJs for Christmas or going to the park after getting ice cream. She is consistent with these things.

I'm prepping myself to let a tiny bit of her go this year. She'll start attending classes at a school and spend less time at home. My mind is full of questions like:
-Is she prepared to take on the extra work from this school?
-Have I taught her well enough?
-Is she going to be influenced too much by some of the other kids?
-Are we doing the right thing by sending her?
I just don't know and then again I do. I know she is a sweet girl and that she is going to do fine. Right?

She's my only girl, my little girl, my big girl, my young lady, my daughter. I only get one chance to raise her. Sometimes I'd like to have a do-over so I could enjoy her more.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Just Blah on Blahgging

Yes I'm still here. Thanks for missing me. I've written a couple long posts about my anniversary and another one about my daughter and for some reason I just don't want to post them. So blah. I've been reading a couple books "Blink" and "The Lord's Service" and I've been getting reacquainted with my real life and wondering....

-Where has all the time gone?

-When did my little girl turn into a half grown woman?

-Why do I homeschool? Could I just hire someone to do this for me?

-When am I going to stop daydreaming about things like gardens and small towns and cute houses that aren't anywhere to be found and farms and animals and just be content with where I am?

-Where am I? Where am I supposed to be? What am I....just kiddin.

-Why does sugar have to make me feel so yucky when I love it so?

-Why are gas prices so high and when are people going to stop driving stupid-big vehicles?

-Why do I want a Chevy Suburban?

-Why is it so hard for me to stick to exercising?

-Why did I wait 31 years to get my first pedicure?

-Why can't I solve my friend's problems? Why don't I know all the answers to her questions? How can I help her if she can't help herself?

-Why do people like carpet and linoleum?

-Is my basement ever going to stop stinking like whatever it's stinking like?

-Are my chickens ever going to stop pooping and start laying eggs?

-Is this post ever going to end?


On a sad note: Six of our chicken have gone to meat their eater. There is feathery evidence that something cruel happened in the back yard and on top of the coop. They will be missed as soon as we figure out which ones they were.

Friday, August 11, 2006

QT means Quit Tripping

Here are the facts;

I am the most coordinated clumsy person I know.

I took ballet, tap and jazz lessons from the time I was three years old until I was a sophomore in college. Incorporate cheerleading, drill team, swimming and a lot of years of gymnastics and I’d say that I can point my toes with grace. I just can’t walk through life very gracefully.

I fall down stairs and even more often fall up the stairs. There is never a day that my legs are not sporting a bruise. I catch my hips on corners, I stub my toes on a flat surface and I trip over anything and everything. Those yellow triangular signs that people put down after they have mopped that show CAUTION WET FLOOR with the person hanging in mid air before landing smack on their backside…..that’s me. I can’t walk down a hill without doing some arm flailing and yelling Whoa! Whoaaaa! You get the picture? Graceful, yet not so much.

So, here’s the face plant story. Let me preface this with when people ask me what’s my most embarrassing moment that this probably won’t be it, because I have dozens of these stories. I have so many of these incidents that they have faded in my memory and just become everyday common occurrences.

I was in a hurry to get out the door to take the kids to the pool. I decided to just wear my swimming suit and not bother with a cover up. I felt that the van gave me enough coverage and my swimsuit is a halter top and skirt, basically just shorter than what I would wear as clothes. Yes, I swim in clothes. If someone would make a t-shirt and capris in swimable fabrics I would wear them.

In my rush I realized I would have to stop at Quick Trip and get gas. Have I ever told you we have the nations busiest QT? I’m pretty sure this is a true statement. So, I pull up during the lawn boy break. Every pump was full with a truck load of men waiting for Joe to get their drinks and go on to the next field to mow. I made a circle looking for the most discreet pump. I settled with one next to an older woman, surely she wouldn’t mind viewing me in all my swim bodaciousness.

I’m feeling okay, I can do this. I got out of the van and quickly got the gas going. I stepped over the hose and was ready to hide in the van until the pump was finished. This is when I realized my foot was caught on the hose. I hopped forward still stuck, hopped again still stuck, hopped again and this time the hose brought my leg back and my body went up in the air and I landed flat on my belly. I had the driver’s door open and my daughter saw me yelling Oh! Oh! NO! then she saw my head swish by the door. I got up as fast as I could, did the look around to see if anyone saw me and then lowered my head in shame. Why me? I get enough attention being six feet tall with freaky blond hair, I don’t need to draw anymore attention and yet I manage to. There is just never a place to hide when I need one. I’m sure QT has the whole thing on tape if you all would like to see proof that I am indeed a certified klutz.

Is this where the story ends? No, of course not. I sent Ellen in to get two small fountain drinks. I gave her three bucks and some change. She came back with two .59 cent drinks and no money. Where’s the change? I dunno. How much did it cost? I dunno, I just gave him the money and the change. Did you pay attention to what you were giving him? No. Two small drinks do not cost that much. Oh. Now we have to go in and get my money back. Why? Because that’s all the money I have! Oh. Would you want to get it back if it was your money? Yes. Let’s go. Sorry Mom. I know, let’s go. (I’m not even going to go into the whole homeschooled kid thing and how I must not be teaching them very well and are they going to turn out to be complete idiots and be living with me forever thing…no, I’ll leave that to my own silent torment.)

So, into QT I go in all my swimsuit-bodacious-face-plant-beauty to ask for my two dollars back. God help me. “Hello I’m the huge lady that just did a belly flop on the pavement out there….”

Humiliation. Humbleness. Lesson for the day learned.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

April? Is that you?

Bleck! I've been trying to get us all ready for school. Ick! I cleaned the basement and convinced my husband that we needed to fix up a room down there. Ack! So lots of stuff to remind you to remind me to tell you about. Kay?

1. The face plant I did at QT. Unhuh, tis a good story you must know.
2. Pictures from Kansas.
3. Stories and pictures from our unvacation that turned into a pretty good vacation.
4. The dead mouse that dropped from the ceiling...that's pretty much the story. eegh!
5. My fabulous post at Larger Families....snag, gotcha..now go read it.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

If we make it another day....

If everything were a car....

Ike- I'm going to get that really fast car.

Me- What will you do when you get that really fast car?

Ike- Well, you and Daddy will drive it because I can't drive. But, I'll clean it up with some water cuz, I like to clean the car with water. I like to clean up, not in the house but, with water on the car.


If everyone was a user....

Me- Am I (not politically correct word that means severely learning disabled)?

Clay- No, you're just a casual user. Maybe not even casual.

Me- I am (NPC word that means severely learning disabled).

Clay- nods head sympathetically in agreement



If you had three wishes....

Ellen- First I'd wish for a water park in my yard.

Me- What if you move?

Ellen- It magically moves with you.

Me- That's scary.

Ellen- My second wish would be for fairies to be real. I'd wish for eight fairies and eight sparrowmen.

Me- What are sparrowmen?

Ellen- Boy fairies.

Me- Oh. Thinking my daughter has read too many fairy fantasy books.

Ellen- My third wish would be for dragons to be real, just nice dragons that live in caves.

Me- Thinking we need to go to the library and check out some historical biographies for this girl.

Seth- Okay my turn. First I would wish for a money making machine that you feed a stick into and then out pops like a hundred, no a million coins. Second....

Ike- My first wish would be...

Seth- I'm still wishing!

Ellen- Wait! I want to change my third wish.

Seth- You can't I'm wishing.

Ike- I'd wish for a stick that you put into a big machine....

Seth- Errrr! I'm still going stop talking!

Ike- and you put it in and it goes arrrrrrrrrrrgh and then.....

Seth- Iiiiiiiiiisaaaaaac, stop talking!

Ike- out comes lots and lots and lots of money!

Seth- Yea, I just said that.

Ike- No, mine goes arrrrrrrrrrrrgh.

Ellen- I'm changing my last wish to be; I wish for 3 more wishes.

Me- Wishing I wouldn't have started this ridiculous conversation in the first place.







Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Let me peek at your linens.

“Wrong, wrong, wrong will never be right, right, right!”- Ann Platz Social Graces

Table Manners

Recommendations for Table Linens:

1 Large, Formal Damask Tablecloth (check, but I no longer care for the color)
12 Formal Damask Napkins (nope, I’ve got checkered, linen, cotton, no damask)
1 Liner for Above Tablecloth (I don’t even know what that is?)
1 Casual Tablecloth (check, in yellow, stripes, blue, brown, linen, plaid…guesses I’m good on the casual front)
8 Casual Napkins (check, but can paper be casual?)
1 set of 8 Placemats and 8 Napkins Dressy (ummmm, can denim be dressy? What if I put studs on them?)
1 set of 8 Placemats and 8 Napkins Casual (check and again with the denim but this time no studs.)

Okay, so those are the table linens you all should have if you’re going to be Socially Graceful.

Now, can anyone tell me the two positions that your fork and knife should be in when you are eating and you put them down to signal if your are still eating or you have finished your meal? Do you know? Tell me the name of the position and how you place the fork and knife and you will be the Social Butterfly of the day.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

V is for Victory and Vacation

Thank God for his small and mighty servants. So far we have gone to Happy Joes Pizza Parlor (oooooh), Hannephins, which is a local grease trap but full of history, for breakfast (ahhhh), Purina Farms (ooooh) and today we are going to Grafton Illinois for a couple days to enjoy more scorching heat and some water sports. I know your asking how do we do it? How do we come up with these unique and adventurous ideas.....someday I'll share all my wisdom with you








Friday, July 28, 2006

Dream Kitchen

This morning I woke up thinking about kitchens. I think a good cook can function in any kitchen. Having the right tools helps, but I think if you've got the skills, then you could make a casserole on an open flame in the pouring rain.

Okay so here is what I want to know:

What kitchen configuration works for you? Not what your living with, but what you perceive to be the best kitchen ever!

The U- I have this now, it does not work, too many tight corners for me. Not enough room for another person to help. However the tight triangle between the sink, stove and fridge is nice.

The L- I like this one, but sometimes the triangle gets too big and I really don't like corner cabinets or wasted space w/ lazy susans.

The Galley- I like this one too, but again sometimes it can feel like your a ball bearing in a pinball machine, I like that it can be the connecting point at both ends to two rooms and no corner cabinets, but it doesn't lend room for an island of any sort.

Those are the styles I'm most familiar with, am I missing one?

Now how do you like your triangle?
Where do you put the fridge in relation to the pantry?
Is your dishwasher on the right or left of you sink?
Island with stove, sink, or nothing? Or no island.
Gas or electric stove? (let's see who the real cooks are, heh, heh)
Wood, ceramic or other on the floor?

Let's hear it. I know I'm not the only person with strong opinions in the kitchen.

The V word

We were going to go to Iowa, but I didn't want to sit in the car that long.

We were going to go to Mark Twain Lake, but camping is not an option.

Our vacation this year, like we really ever take an annual vacation, (drum roll please) is going to be in St. Louis!

We've decided to try to do all the things we haven't done with the kids and some that we just love to do but Daddy is usually at work when we do them. I know we are just a wild, adventurous family. Who could possibly come up with these exciting ideas?

One stipulation: We have to actually do the vacation, No excuses, get out the door, have fun, no chores, no complaining, just relax (that's what I keep telling myself). I'll let you know how it goes.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Filthy Dirty!

Because Sometimes I need an Adverb

Clay makes fun of a couple sayings I have:
"Filthy Dirty" and "Freezing Cold"
because most things are not just dirty and I'm never just cold. I'm thinking this blog is looking filthy dirty, and needs some cleaning. I've got pictures in my sidebar that don't exist and links that go to an error, what the gall bladder is it all for? Gall bladder is going to be my new complaint or lack for luster words, like it? Try it. What the gall bladder are you talking about?! Get the gall bladder out of my way! Gall bladder kids knock it off! Puh, I'm just a simple minded person, gall bladder.


Breakfast Chatter

Ike- I wish we had a swimming pool. I wish everybody had one.

Me- Well, if everybody had a pool then there wouldn't be anything special about getting to swim. So if you asked a friend to come over to swim they would say, Nah I got a pool, and that wouldn't be much fun now would it?

Ike- Well, our pool would be more fun if it could sing.

Me- Yes a singing pool would be fun.

Seth- (in his best opera voice) Come swim in me, come swim in meee, I'm the fun singing pool, come swim in meeeeeeee.



I've said it before, I don't deserve a cell phone.

Levi snagged my phone out of my purse and was wacking it on the ground in the store, but it was keeping him in one spot and occupied. I made the best parenting decision to let him enjoy his little destructo moment and then I walked out of the store without the gall bladder phone! Clay is picking it up on his way home.

Social Graces

I bought this book- Social Graces- Manners, conversation, and Charm for Today by Ann Platz & Susan Wales
it says things like this:

It was easier to do a friendly thing than it was to stay and be thanked for it.- Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

It is wise to apply the oil of refined politeness to the mechanism of friendship- Colette

Much of good manners is about knowing when to pretend that what's happening isn't happening- Mrs. Falk Feeley

The last one cracks me up because how many times have I ignored the speck of food lodged in a tooth or the booger in a nose or the crumb on a chin or the running massacre or the slip of flatulence.....I'm speaking of these things happening to me, not me observing them, I'm not so sure that it's polite for people to let me walk about unaware of my filthy dirtiness. Oh, how difficult it is to tell someone that they have a white head the size of a lima bean forming by their nostril, no that's not good manners let's just ignore the elephant in the room.

Now for the Plug

My new post is up at Larger Families. This week we're writing on pregnancy, birth, miscarriage ect... I wrote a bit on my miscarriage. I have what seems like a book in the works to post on it here, maybe.

Monday, July 24, 2006

I like that idea!

I like the idea of..

Camping, but I don't want to sleep in a tent or be away from air conditioning, running water and a kitchen.

Baseball, but I don't want to sit through an entire game or pretend that I'm interested in the game at all. This goes for basketball, soccer and any other game involving a sphere.

Exercising, but I don't want to get hot, sweaty or feel any pain.

Rising with the sun, but I really want to sleep in and enjoy the peaceful serenity of those couple of hours after Clay leaves for work that the bed is mine allllll mine.

Family vacation, but I don't want to go anywhere that causes me to be trapped in the car for more than four or five hours so that beach vacation would be a bit like using a hole punch to pierce my eyelids and cleanse the wounds with vinegar.

So what big idea do you like, but not really?

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

I know you're out there

chirp chirp chirp That's the crickets or locusts or grasshoppers; whatever the bug that makes a darn lot of noise at night these days. It is just waaaaay to quiet around here, I mean the house not the blog, I have a stat counter you know, I can see you, well not you, but I see you. So thanks for looking now start to talking, especially this week people geesh, I obviously do not have enough people over three feet tall to yell, I mean, talk to.

Well, I'm headed west again partner. Just Levi and me. So let's all bow our heads and say a corporate prayer shall we?

Dear Heavenly Father,
I know we've been down this road before, in fact it was just two weeks ago, but leaving my children to be raised by puppets at a fine arts camp would be an experiment I don't think I should participate in. So I better go fetch them.

Please God, let Levi sleep for at least half the ride so his misery will only last three hours.

God please let Eastern Missouri and Eastern Kansas have enough crackery bagged food items to keep Levi full and happy.

God please help me not to pull my bicep, tricep, neck or pec muscles while stretching back to feed, wipe, soothe, fetch, swat or whatever for my darling baby.

God please let my van act like she is less than a decade old and we are just on a few errands about town, yes that's what I'll tell her. Oh, sorry Father that is a bit of a fib, but you know how she needs to be gently persuaded ever since I made her go down the driveway in the snow and launch herself into the creek like she was the Duke's General Lee. Remember, I cried your name and not 'Yeee Haw' so she knew I wasn't playing around. I told her I thought she'd like to meet the guys at the shop; they give a nice undercarriage tuck. She just hasn't been the same since. Have mercy on her Father.

God please help me to remember to plug in my cellphone and turn it on. You know how low I scored on the Nerd Test and thus you know my knowledge of electronic devices and my motivation to want knowledge about said devices. I need you to pass wisdom of wireless proportions to me.

God please let there be real cream for my coffee at every truck stop.

God please let Levi hold off on his human excrement until we arrive.

What's that you say God? I should consider just harnessing his car seat to the luggage rack?

Thank you Father for hearing my prayer.

Amen