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


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


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.