Guess where we've been! Does the shape of the pool give you a hint?
What about the company we were keeping?
Or the eighty degree weather the week of Christmas?
Yep! We have been in Disney World with Ben's family. Several of them are still there, but we wanted to spend Christmas at home. While it was a wonderful vacation, it wasn't exactly....Christmasy. What with all the sweat and all.
But we did have lights.
And leaping fountains hitting Grace in the bottom.
A picture of my Christmas Tree, just because my Aunt Susie requested it. Please ignore my blinds as they had been recently mangled by daycare children. Also, ignore the movies in my entertainment center, because they provide endless entertainment for small children that like to re-arange them and face the movies out so that they can see the pretty pictures, which is a definite improvement upon their recent stacking of the movies into a tower roughly the size of...well, themselves...and then knocking them over with a resounding crash. Why am I telling you this? I have no idea. Anyway, I will shut up now and say what I should have said in the first place, which was: Behold! A Christmas tree.
Here I am again, back with excuses. I have had a sick daycare baby all week (Remember Mucous Boy? He's even mucousier.) and all he has wanted to do was sit in my lap and rock. And rock. And rock some more. And just when I think he is asleep and I can put him down? He wakes up and cries. And makes me rock. I'm feeling kind of sea-sick.
He is now on breathing treatments, and I swear he thinks I am poisoning him. Every time we get close to breathing treatment time, I break out in a cold sweat. The child goes BALISTIC. The first day, his mother told me that I had I had to put the breathing treatment thingy (this is actual medical terminology, y'all.) in his mouth, which would be fine if he did not see it coming and clamp his mouth shut as if he had jaws of iron. I pleaded and begged and got firm and then went back to pleading, and I FINALLY got his mouth open enough to get the thingy in there, only to have him clamp his mouth shut on THAT and make me beg to get it back out again. All the while, he is arching his back and screaming (I do not know how he was managing to scream without opening his mouth. The child is talented.) When I turned on the machine (that looks deceptively like an adorable koala bear) and steam started coming out of it, Owen took one horrified look at us and ran up the stairs, screaming "RUN! IT'S GONNA BLOW!" I'm not sure if he meant the machine or Mucous Boy.
When I was telling his father about all of this, I wondered aloud to him if maybe perhaps Mucous Boy had asthma, and he nodded. "Probably," he said. "He's just like me, so far. See, I only have one lung." And then, with no warning, he proceeded to pull his shirt up to his neck and show me a really huge scar on his side. I did not know quite what to say. But now I am wondering...what in the world is he talking about? I have never heard of someone having a lung removed because of asthma. One would think that would make breathing even more of an effort, would you not? I should have asked more questions, but I was so startled by his sudden turn for the naked on my porch in mid December that I could not form the words. I am not good at thinking on my feet when confronted by chest hair.
Oh! And after two days of complete hysteria? His mother tells me yesterday that it is actually fine to just hold the breathing treatment thingy up to the child's face. As long as he is breathing the medication in, it's fine. Poor baby. I've traumatized him for nothing. He will probably have an irrational fear of koala bears for the rest of his life.
And I will have an irrational fear of over-sharing men with one lung. Thankfully, neither koala bears or one-lunged men are in abundance here in Georgia.
Apparently, Thanksgiving, visiting relatives, a nasty cold followed by a stomach virus, and frantic Christmas decorating and shopping cause me to fall right off the face of the internet. Who would have thunk it? My google reader has a thousand un-read blog entries, and I have not blogged myself in so long that I can only assume that you all thought I was dead. If you even noticed, that is. But I like to imagine that you were all out of your minds with concern for my whereabouts, because that's just the kind of woman that I am. Feel free to tell me how much you missed me, and in between running back and fourth to the bathroom, I will feel free to feel all warm and fuzzy inside. It's a win-win situation.
But sadly, I'm not really back. Not with anything relevant to say, that is. Unless you count "OH MY GOSH DO YOU REALIZE HOW LITTLE TIME I HAVE LEFT TO GET READY FOR CHRISTMAS?" as relevant, and I do not. But at least, despite all of the holiday panic and rumbly, upset tummies my family has remained fairly agreeable. As Owen so tactfully pointed out the other night while eating a take-out hamburger, "This thing tastes like a dog peed on it! But...I'll eat it anyway."
Yesterday, there came a moment in time where Ben was off doing something somewhere in the house, Josie was taking a nap, Grace and Alex were outside playing and I was...um...well, let's just say that I was "indisposed". I thought that Owen was with Ben, so I was puzzled when I heard him frantically calling for me. I called back, but he did not hear me and only grew more upset. I rushed out and found him running down the stairs near tears, so I swept him up into my arms and hugged him. "Did you think we had all gone off and left you?" I asked him, smiling.
"No!" he replied, obviously relieved. "I just figured that the police had come and taken you all to jail!"
I don't know when it happened, exactly, but somewhere along the line I became like an annoying fly, buzzing away in the background. My children hear me (I think) but they don't have a clue what I am talking about.
For example, if I have to use the restroom or take a shower, I will announce it to the masses. (I even do this with adults now...everybody knows when I have to go potty.) "I'm going to the bathroom!" I will proclaim, loudly enough to be heard over the TV/Video Game/screaming toddlers. The children will nod. Sometimes, they will even look up and connect eyes with me, as if to assure me that they have it covered. "You can go to the bathroom," they seem to say, "and we, as a collective group of well-behaved children, will be just fine." I will leave the room confident they are completely aware of the situation and that there is at least a chance that peace will continue for the next five minutes.
Apparently, I am a very gullible woman.
By the time I make it to the bathroom and lock the door, the Mama radar will have gone of in someone's head. It will occur to them that I am no longer in the room, and they will begin to panic. WHERE DID SHE GO? "I saw her move her mouth" they will think, "and some kind of noise came out of it, and then all of the sudden she was GONE!" Within seconds, they will have worked themselves into a frenzy that, in my house, can only result in two actions. The first possibility is that they will run screaming through the house, frantically calling my name and foaming at the mouth because, athough I am in the bathroom screaming my head off that I am...well, in the bathroom, they can't hear me because they are running screaming through the house. They will check every room in the house except my bathroom, and will conclude that I have disappeared off the face of the earth. Chaos will ensue. The second option is that they will note that I am not in the vicinity, and they will decide that this is a sign from above that they can begin trying to kill each other, because who can know how long this lack of maternal influence will last? They would be fools not to take advantage of the lack of supervision. Again, chaos will ensue.
When I emerge from the bathroom a mere few minutes later but with several more gray hairs, they will look at me in accusation. "Where were you?" They will demand, having seen me walk out of the bathroom. "Siberia" I will tell them. They will blink at me in bafflement.
Another example that proves my point is the "What are we having for dinner?" saga that is repeated daily in my house, over and over again. No matter how many times I tell them exactly what we are having, they will ask me again a million times until the food is actually in front of them, whereupon they will oftentimes frown at their plates and ask, "Do I have to eat this? You know that I don't like spaghetti." I will then tell them what I tell someone in my household EVERY SINGLE NIGHT "I am not a short-order cook. Sometimes I will make things that you don't like, but you are going to have to eat them anyway or be hungry. Hopefully tomorrow night there will be something that you like better." And EVERY SINGLE NIGHT I will be met with horrified eyes that cannot believe that I seriously will not run over and whip them up some chicken nuggets because clearly to not do so is tanamount to child abuse. "Imagine, expecting me to eat spaghetti!" they seem to think. "I wish she had stayed in Siberia!"
I have been wondering for quite some time now how it has come to this point. I have tried to think of something that I had said or done that had made my children tune me out so completely, and I was coming up empty until this weekend. On Sunday night, while visiting my brother, I had a major revelation. We were about to leave, and Owen had decided that he was starving to death and could not possibly stand to wait the twenty minutes that it would take us to get home to eat something, so he asked his cousin Faith (also four years old) for some yogurt. She happily ran into the kitchen and got him one (without asking her parents) and Owen came running over to me asking me to open it. I knew that my nieces eat the yogurt for breakfast, so I told Owen no, and that we would get something as soon as we got home. He looked at me, flabergasted that I would not allow him to eat when he was clearly wasting away before my eyes. "Yogert!" I said firmly, "Put the Owen back in the refrigerator now and lets go home!"
And that's when it hit me. After sixteen years of parenting, I have lost so many brain cells that I no longer make any sense. No wonder they don't listen to me. Would you pay attention to a woman that called you Yogurt? I have to say that I'm not sure that I would.
There is a certain freedom that comes with this knowledge, however. If they are not listening to me, then I can say pretty much anything that I want and it will be okay. I can tell the kids that I am making lizard brains for dinner and they will not even notice. Then, when I present them with spaghetti, I can say "Hey, at least it's not lizard brains!" and they will be too confused to argue. Why did I not think of this before?
Okay. Now that I have that all worked out, I've got to go pay a visit to Siberia. I hope the house is still standing when I get back.
Obama hates beets. I know this because AOL just told me.
This pleases me to no end because you know how, as Christians, we are supposed to pray for our leaders? Well, that was hard for me. I was making myself do it, but because I find him morally distateful, I didn't have any joy in doing it. But now? That I know that we share a passionate hatred of beets? We have a certain kinship. I feel a connection. So even though I still think that the American people made a very grievous error and perhaps lost their collective minds when they elected him, I can pray for him more easily. Because really, he CAN'T possibly be completely evil and hate beets at the same time, can he? It's so clear to me now...there MUST be good in him somewhere.
May his good judgement when it comes to vegetation bloom into good judement in all things. Amen.
In other news, Owen tells me that there is a giant blood-sucking squid attatched to my television. Since I am used to his special brand of randomness by now, I didn't even blink at this statement, but I wonder....does this have some spiritual significance, perhaps? Maybe he is seeing visions. If we were still attending that Pentecostal church, I bet they could tell me. I would rather think that there was some deep meaning to his ramblings than to think that he is just really, really weird, but I am bracing myself for the latter. Bless his heart. He freaks me out.
But he did just tell me that I am the best mama in the deep blue sea, so I guess I'll keep him anyway.
Edited to add~To all of you lovely ladies who have given me awards and tagged me...I am not ignoring you! I'm just trying to figure out how to post the awards on my blog, and I keep forgetting the tags until after I have posted, and then I tell myself I will definitely remember next time...
Until then, thank you so much for thinking of me! I'm sorry that I'm a lame blogging buddy.
My little daycare boy is...leaky. Mucousy. Wheezy. If he were not so adorable (and I were not getting paid) I would be backing away from him while brandishing a crucifix and wailing "UNCLEAN! UNCLEAN!". That is, if I owned a crucifix. Which I don't. But anyway. You get the picture.
The problem is, he is ALWAYS like this, and he has been here since August. I have mentioned the possibility of allergies to his mother, but she just looks at me and blinks. Maybe he has been this way so long that she can't comprehend a non-phlemy child? I can only assume that she is pondering what to do to stop the flow of...ick...but until then I'm swimming in Kleenex. I thought about teaching him to wipe his own nose, and then strapping a box of tissues to one side of him and a small trash can to the other, but he has only been walking for a few months and I figured that was asking a bit much. Plus he'd probably eat the tissues. Or take them all out of the box and decorate my couch. Either way I think I'm stuck chasing him around the house all day chanting "Ew...Ew...Ew", and that is time-consuming, not to mention hard on the vocal chords. Do you think I could collect disability if I lost my voice? Or my nose-wiping capabilities?
Childcare is fraught with danger, y'all. Remember that.
Anyway, the other day Alex was sitting on the floor playing with Mucous Boy, and he looked up at me and smiled. "I just love babies!" He said, and I agreed that babies were quite wonderful. Mucous Boy wheezed his approval. "When I grow up, I am going to pray that God gives me a baby like this." Alex continued. I paused a moment to wonder what qualities he admired so in this particular child. Was it the big brown eyes? The chubby cheeks? The adorable way that he babbles, sounding exactly as if he is speaking Mandarin Chinese with a southern accent? I did not have to wait long for my answer.
He leaned in toward the baby's head and listened. Mucous Boy took in a rattly breath and grinned. Alex smiled back. "I want God to give me a baby that purrs JUST LIKE THIS ONE!"
Great. Just what I always wanted. Purring grandchildren.
Do you think I could keep him from praying that prayer if I buy him an asthmatic cat?
I was going to go all political and serious on you today, this day before our country makes such a monumental decision. But then I found this article, and it said pretty much exactly what I wanted to say. So once again laziness trumps effort, and I am going to post an article writen by Jack Kelly. The title is "How Would Jesus Vote?", and I am in total agreement.
For most of America's history there's been a direct connection between patriotism and faith, probably because the US was founded as a Christian nation. We've always believed that God has watched over us, made us prosperous, and been on our side in the wars we've fought.
That connection began to unravel in the 1960's, but it's surprising the number of people who still believe that if seems to be good for the country, it must be right. This is true even among believers. According to recent Barna polls, 48% of those likely to vote in the coming election are born again Christians. That means they claim to have made a personal commitment to Jesus and believe they will go to heaven because they have confessed their sins and accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior. These same polls show that nearly half of them will vote for the candidate they think has the best plan for restoring America's reputation in the world and managing the economic battles that lie ahead, rather than the one who they think will best uphold the Biblical principles they believe.
So if only half the voters are believers, and half of them plan to use worldly standards in making their choice rather than Biblical ones, it follows that only 1 in every 4 voters will be exercising any spiritual discernment at all in casting their vote.
The other 3 are using standards like peace, financial security, tolerance, choice, and so on as their guidelines. They don't realize that only God can restore peace and security to their lives, and tolerance and choice are just nice sounding words that really stand for rebellion against Him. By not considering His standards in casting their vote, they're guaranteeing that He won't be helping them get what they want.
What's At Stake Here?
In the opinion of expert observers, this election could bring about fundamental change in America. Depending on the victor, we could see the last traces of the Judeo-Christian principles that have guided us in the past disappear. Restraints on behavior that God is clearly against could be removed, and prohibitions against behavior that God desires could be imposed . Parents may no longer have the ultimate say in raising or educating their children. The relationship between effort and reward could become unrecognizable. Those with the greatest ability could wind up supporting those with the greatest need. In the name of peace we could make self defense impossible. The list goes on.
If all this comes to pass, believers will be forgiven for their lack of discernment and whisked away in the rapture before things get too bad. After all, obedience to God's word isn't the basis for our inclusion in the Church, it's our belief that the Lord died to save us from our sins. But the unbelieving majority will come to understand the meaning of the Isaiah passage above more clearly than they ever dreamed possible. Everyone in the Great Tribulation will have it rough, but I think that those who rebel as blatantly as people are being called to do in this election will have it especially bad. After all, look at the blessings they've enjoyed by being part of a Christian nation, and the light they've been shown because of our religious heritage. The Lord called but they didn't answer. He spoke but they didn't listen. They will have done evil in his sight by choosing what displeases them, and He will destine them for the sword.
We know that all these things will eventually come to pass, that it's only a matter of time. There's no Scripture anywhere to persuade us otherwise. But it's quite possible that in this election America will choose a course of action that will accelerate our downfall. We will have forsaken the Lord and His Holy Mountain.
So this could very well be the last presidential election we'll ever vote in. It's time to realize that we really don't belong in any political party. No matter how we've thought of ourselves in the past, the reality is that as Christians we're monarchists and we await our coming King. Since our fondest desire is to please Him, we should vote the way we think He would want us to. And remember, we're not voting for someone, and we're not voting against something, we're voting in a way that pleases our Lord. So, how would Jesus vote? He would vote for life, He would vote to uphold His Father's Word, and He would make His vote count. Can we do anything less? Selah 11-01-08
Well, we survived Halloween. This is the crazy bunch that we took out last night in a quest for more candy than anyone has a right to eat. From left to right: Owen and my niece Faith (they are four days apart in age and they adore each other. I would totally take Faith to live at my house and raise them as twins, but my brother won't let me. He's always been mean like that.) Then there is Grace, whose very short costume would have required pants even if the temperatures did not, Alex looking like he is trying to catch flies with his mouth, and my other niece Rose, doing...I have no idea what. But she is cute doing it. And in the front is my little nephew who was the most adorable puppy ever even if he was grumpy from getting vaccinated yesterday. Here is a better picture of the grumpy puppy, just so that you can fully comprehend the adorableness. Don't you just want to chew on his cheeks?
No pictures were taken of the actual trick-or-treating because my camera died and I had to rely on my sister-in-law for pictures. For some reason, she did not want to chase my children from house to house snapping pictures of them for my blog. I think it was rather heartless of her, but whatever. It's not like she was tired from taking care of three children and my post-surgery brother or anything.
This is Grace after the candy was harvested, and she is appropriately slap-happy. Somewhere along the Halloween trail, she lost her bracelet, so this smile was wonderful to see after all of the lost-bracelet tears had been shed.
Alex is wondering why he has to be subjected to such foolishness.
And here again are Owen and Faith, after the costumes had been shed and Faith finished peeing on Josie's lap. We can only assume that the excitement was too overwhelming to make it to the bathroom, but I found it completely hilarious that she picked my oldest daughter to have an accident on. Josie is the biggest germiphobe that I know. All the way home from my brother's house, she kept chanting, "I am cold, wet, and unsanitary!" As usual, she would not let anyone get a picture of her, but just trust me...it was funny.
This was Halloween, three years ago. Take note of the beat-up couch and ugly drapes. Thankfully, we do not own either one anymore, nor do we live in the same house, so I'm all nostalgic now. Don't you love how thrilled Owen looks to be dressed as a mouse? Also, this was the last Halloween that Josie actually donned a costume and allowed me near her with a camera. She is going to kill me for posting this, which makes it all the more fun. Apparently, I'm a rebel at heart. Who knew?
Edited to add~ The more I look at this picture, the more it looks like Alex's arms are...weird. I have no idea what he was doing, but he does actually have forearms...and hands, even. This picture makes him look like he has flaming flippers coming out of his elbows. I have some mad photography skillz, y'all.
First, to answer the burning question from the comments to my last post: Why, if having two of my children in public school is causing me to have heart palpitations, do we have them there in the first place? Well, the short answer is that I had to go back to taking in daycare children. The high gas prices and the rising grocery bills were making things VERY difficult around here, and while I had complete confidence in my ability to homeschool multiple children while simutaneously taking care of several active toddlers (I am SO lying right now. Pardon me while I repent. Okay, I'm back.) I began to notice that the parents of those active toddlers? Did not seem to think that I could do the job. Every time I had an interview things would go great until I mentioned that I homeschooled, and then I would watch the light fade from their eyes and they would make a hasty retreat. So we prayed. And prayed some more. And then made the choice that for right now, until we can get past the financial situation that we were in, we would put Grace and Alex in school while they were still at the elementary level and there was less possibility of them being lured into a life of crime and cronic facebook addiction. I'm hoping to bring them back home again next year. If I survive this one.
And speaking of Grace and Alex's school, they had their annual fall festival Friday night and I was viciously attacked by a huge inflatable castle. It actually deflated twice, both times with my three youngest children inside, but the second time it deflated right on top of my head. Apparently, it kept coming unplugged, but I think that explanation is very fishy. Once is an accident, but twice? It just cannot be a coincidence. I think that someone was trying to do us in, or at the very least cause us to have an ongoing fear of inflatable bouncy things. And while the castle was making it rapid descent on top of my head and the heads of three of our precious offspring, do you think that my husband tried to help us? No. He just stood there and held the kids shoes. I was appalled at his lack of heroism. You would think that he was rendered helpless by laughter or something.
That's okay, though. I will get him back. The next time he lies down on the floor and the children attack him like they are crazed lions attacking a poor, defenseless caribou ( Do lions attack caribou? What exactly is a caribou? Did I just make that up? Sudenly, it sounds weird. Caribou! Probably, I'm spelling it wrong. Cariboo? Karibough?) I will not help him. I will let him lie there and be pummelled because they are convinced he is a jungle gym. And then maybe I will go get a deflated plastic swimming pool and throw it on his head. You know...just so he will be more sympathetic next time.
Oh dear. Revenge is wrong, isn't it? Sigh. Okay. Y'all just go read someone else's blog while I go repent. I'm getting really good at it.
When I mention to people that we homeschool Josie, I am usually met with wide eyes and a startled "OH!". This is usually followed by, "You are so brave! I could never do that! She's in HIGH SCHOOL!" I can only assume that these people have never heard of all of the curriculum choices out there for high-schoolers, or they would never be so amazed. This is me, after all. Homeschooling a high-schooler must be fairly simple, or I would be WAY more whiney.
By the time they are this far along, they are pretty much self-teaching. This is a typical day with Josie:
She rolls out of bed whenever she wakes up. (This part annoys her father to no end. We are working on it.) She wanders downstairs in search of breakfast, and I ask her, "Have you started your school work?"
She shakes her head no.
"Well...go do that." I tell her, and she wanders back upstairs with a bowl of cereal in her hand and a rather glazed look on her face.
Several hours go by.
She emerges from her room again and announces, "I read a chapter in my Literature and Economics books, and I got an eighty-seven in math and a ninety-five in Spanish." (She does part of her school work on the computer. The program even grades it for me. It's like I'm obsolete!)
Then she wanders off muttering something about designing a web page and writing some fan fiction.
"Okay!" I tell her. "Good job!"
And that's pretty much it. Occasionally, we have what I like to refer to as a "Math Emergency", in which case I send her to her father and they argue about it until they reach some conclusion that means her math gets done, and that's really all that matters to me. As long as she learns how to do it and I don't have to re-learn how to do it, I'm happy. So far, I have managed to keep my promise to myself to never do algebra or geometry again. It is a trauma that I do not care to re-live.
Contrast that day with a typical day with my two middle children, who are attending public school for the first time this year.
I get up at 6:30 and fix their lunches. They get up and eat breakfast, and then they brush their teeth and get dressed. This is followed by the morning panic of "Did you sign my agenda? What about my homework...did you see if I put it in my backpack? Help! I can't find my shoes! Oh, I need money for my field trip and then more money for lunch and candy for the fall festival that is next Friday and my library book and I think I have lost my jacket." Finally, I shove them out the door, only for them to return seven hours later with the afternoon panic of "I've got to write my spelling words three times each and read my book to you and do a math page and then tomorrow I have to remember to bring my song flute and our cookie dough fundraiser is almost over and we haven't sold nearly enough and then I have a book report due tomorrow that you have to help me with because I need to collect things related to the book to show the class when I make my presentation, and have I mentioned that they are selling yearbooks? I need money." Then we spend the rest of the evening drilling spelling words and trying to make a musical instrument out of common household items.
By the time we go to bed, I am exhausted.
When we homeschooled everyone, we got it done during the day and then the evenings were free. I am all about the free time. Now? I relax on weekends like regular people. Where is the fun in that?
I should make a t-shirt that reads: "Homeschooling: The Lazy Person's Alternative." I think it would bring scores of children home from public schools!
Probably not the image that we should project, but hey! It works for me.
Edited to add~ I feel compelled to say this...homeschooling is not completely a piece of cake. It's just that you can usually finish it and have actual time for your family at the end, whereas when the kiddos are in school there just never seems to be a moment left over, kwim? I don't even want to do extra-curriculars any more, because I can't figure out how to do that and still breath and go to the bathroom. Life was just...smoother when we homeschooled all of them. And there you have it. As with anything else, your mileage may vary.
It is forty-eight degrees here this morning, and my little daycare boy will not keep his clothes on. When it was August and so hot that I threatened to die on a daily basis, he remained clothed. Something is definitely odd about this child. No wonder my children love him so.
(While I typed the above sentences, Owen stood beside me and told me a riveting story about how he had some talking marshmallows that kept escaping from their cages. If my posts ever appear choppy and weirdly worded, it is his fault. Remind me to ask him later if he ate the marshmallows after they escaped, because I don't want to find them stuck in my tennis shoes like last time.)
Anyway, it is cold and it is Monday and I did not sleep more than maybe three minutes total last night and my husband just called and informed me that he is hanging from a window many stories up in the air in downtown Atlanta at this very moment doing something for his job (he is a sheetmetal worker) that I do not understand. All I heard was the phrase "hanging from a window" and now I am all freaked out. Why couldn't he have been an accountant like I told him to? No one ever listens to me, and look where it gets them. My wisdom is wasted.
In other scary news, Halloween costumes have been purchased at our house, and we are going to have a cheerleader, a racecar driver, and Thomas the Train roaming the streets come October 31st. Hmmm. That wasn't very scary, was it? That's actually on purpose, because I really don't want to celebrate the more upsetting side of the holiday. I choose instead to focus on the candy. That's what it's all about anyway. I should just dress them up as giant Hershey Kisses every year and be done with it.
Oh, for goodness sake. I give up. Not that this entry had any kind of a theme or anything, and it doesn't appear that I'm going anywhere with my random sleep-deprived babbling, but Owen is back now to tell me that the Great Marshmallow Revolt of 2008 is taking place in my kitchen and I need to join him in his quest to protect our home. He has taken two marshmallows and broken them in half, sticking the sticky sides to his head in an apparent attempt to illustrate the horror of the attack. I tried telling him to be a man and protect us from the onslaught, but he just looked at me like I had lost my mind. I suppose I must go to battle.
Is snack time like this at your house, or is just us?
Yesterday the daycare children (of which I presently only have two) came in with ziplock bags of cocoa puffs for breakfast. Owen took one look and decided that he, too, would like to partake of such a delectible meal, and who am I to argue with peer presure? Since I own both ziplock bags AND cocoa puffs, I quickly made him up a bag and mentally high-fived myself for getting out of having to actually cook anything. I didn't even have to use dishes! Or utensils! My joy, it was overflowing.
As soon as I handed him the bag, he plopped himself down on the floor facing my kitchen. Immediately, the daycare children sat down beside him, and they all three commenced crunching their cereal while staring at some point on my kitchen wall to the left of my dishwasher but slightly avove the doorknob of the pantry. I looked too, but didn't see anything but the wall. So I sat down beside them and stared for a minute, wondering what in the world we were looking at. Finally, I asked them.
"Mom," Owen replied, looking at me as if I were a very slow creature that he felt obligated to tolerate, "We're watching a movie. This is our popcorn."
They proceeded to sit that way for FIFTEEN MINUTES, y'all. Fifteen minutes while I signed on and put up my Wordless Wednesday picture (and shockingly, you were all correct about the dry-erase marker culprit. However did you know?) and my living room was totally quiet except for the crunching of cocoa puffs and the sipping of sippy cups. I was flabergasted. But the experience left me with one persistent thought, one nagging idea that just won't let go of me no matter how much I try to ignore it. I don't think I'm strong enough to withstand the pressure.
I am beginning to wonder if Owen has lost touch with reality.
The other day he came out of the bathroom looking concerned. Knowing that there are many alarming things that could happen when a four-year-old is alone in a bathroom, I asked him what was wrong. And this is what he told me:
"See, there was this bug in there. A really BIG bug. And it crawled all over the floor, and then up the sink, and then it TURNED ON THE WATER! But it just turned on the hot water, and I knew that it would burn my hands so I had to turn some cold water on, too. Then the bug was mad. I finally just left it in there because it was freaking me out."
"Well...yes. That would freak me out, too." I assured him, "But...Owen...was there REALLY a bug? Because we kill bugs in this house. That's why God made shoes."
"Yes! But it was REALLY BIG! You can't kill it with a shoe. You would have to kill it with a truck."
Thinking at this point that one of those horrid flying roach bugs had gotten into my house again, (if you have never seen them, they could seriously carry away a small child. Ben once stood on one for a full minute, and when he moved his foot, it casually walked away without even a dent.) I ran to the bathroom armed with one of Ben's steel-toed boots. I slowly opened the door, intent on erradicating my house of this horror, and saw...nothing. Knowing that this is my little half-bath with very few places that a roach of that caliber could hide, I was beginning to think that I was being played. I stuck my head out of the door.
"Owen...are you POSSITIVE that you saw a big bug in here? Was it maybe your imagination? Because, sweetie...if there really is a giant roach bug in here, you can forget dinner because I will set up camp in this bathroom until I squash that sucker flat, and you know how crazy Mama gets over these things. So please tell me the truth, because pb&j might not have to happen if you are just delusional."
(Notice how I have just overlooked the fact that the child told me that a bug turned on the hot water? That part did not even register with me until later. I heard the words BIG BUG and everything else just went right over my head.)
"Well...maybe it wan't that big. Maybe it was just like an ant. Or a bee. Or a fly! I hate flies. Or maybe I was just thinking about a fly, because of that bug you ate the other day. Or maybe it was a giant baby! There's a giant baby that follows me around and tries to eat me....."
At that point, I escaped to the place in my head where I go when my children babble incoherently. But first, I had one brief moment of clarity.
Owen is probably going to be a writer. Or an artist. Or some other such thing that requires endless imagination. And I will be one very proud Mama.
This morning while I (say it with me, people) was waiting on the porch for my daycare kids, I was once again attacked by a flying creature. Seriously, from now on I am waiting inside. The outside is dead to me. I mean it this time.
There I was, standing in my bare feet and wondering how exactly I had forgotten to eat breakfast, because honestly y'all, I don't forget to eat. Eating ranks right up there on my list of favorite things to do, right under reading but slightly above watching HGTV. So I was mystified by this, and apparently I had my mouth open in wonderment or some other such appropriate emotion, when an insect flew RIGHT IN MY MOUTH. I started choking and sputtering, and tears were streaming down my face either in desperation because I was choking on a bug or horror that I was choking on a bug, I can't be sure which.
This, of course, is when my daycare family rounded the corner and proceeded up the path to my door. They were greeted by my tear-stained face and frantic coughing fit, and I'm surprised that the mother didn't take her children and run because by all appearances I was dying. Would you leave your children with a dying woman? I am not entirely sure about her maternal instinct right about now. And then, internet...and THEN, when I calmed down enough to explain my plight to the woman, do you think that she offered me any sympathy whatsoever? Do you think that she gave me her shoulder to cry on while I regained my composure and accepted the fact that I had just EATEN AN INSECT FOR BREAKFAST??? No. Do you know what she did?
She laughed at me.
And not just a little laugh, either. She was doubled over on my front porch, in complete hysteria. I am grievously offended.
This is the woman that showed up at my house the other day in her bare feet because she had left her house and driven all the way to mine, and did not notice until she got out of the car that she wasn't wearing any shoes. It was raining, people. How in the world did she not notice that she was shoeless while she was loading up two toddlers into her car, much less while she was driving? And did I laugh at her? Well, yes, but only after she left. The point is, I was nice and did not tell her that I thought that she was kind of dingy, and only laughed behind her back when I called my sister-in-law to tell her about it. Why could she not give me that same dignity? I fear I am scarred for life.
But as for the insects of the world, I'm never trusting them again. If, in the future, I do venture outside my front door, I will keep my mouth firmly closed. I will not even TALK outside again, and I may not even breath. Which I guess will limit my outside time somewhat anyway. But at least I will be safe from suicidal bugs.
More birthday pictures, because I have a kidney stone and don't want to bore you with news of how I want to rip my kidney out of my body and throw it into the nearest landfill. So instead, take note of my poor photography skills! See how the streamer is attacking Grace's head? And how I have cut off all of Alex's body except for his arm and now in the future we will only know what his arm looked like? The talent, it just oozes from my pores.
Here is Owen, showing you that he has broken his front tooth. Isn't it lovely? And then, as soon as this picture was taken, he fell over backwards as if in a dead faint. No one knows why.
And look! Grace and her headless cousin! At least I can blame this picture on Josie.
Last but not least, here is Ben's contribution. He wanted to get all creative and artsy. "LOOK!" he insisted, "It's all old-looking and stuff!" And that would be true, except that Grace and "Bruce" are playing with a Nintendo DS, and somehow I don't think that those were around when the world was young. Sigh.
Oh well. I hope you are all impressed with the mad skillz we've got going on over here. I'm off to await my kidney transplant.
Quick...my computer's gone crazy and the interenet connection keeps leaving me. But, I had to post photographic proof that I actually have an older daughter, because she usually runs away from my camera screaming. This is Josie holding my nephew, "Nemo". It was my older nephew's birthday party, and as you can also see from the picture, law enforcement was on the scene. Of course. Because what nine-year-old's party would be complete without that? Since I am frantically typing to avoid disconnection, I will let my sister-in-law explain it here. http://www.knowledgehouseacademy.com/2008/10/it-was-dragon-birthday-party.html
Edited to add...If you feel so inclined to comment on Nikowa's blog, please do not mention in the comments that I am her sister-in-law. I mean, it's not like she doesn't know, or anything, but there are relatives who read her blog that I really would prefer were not reading mine. 'Cause I'm all shy like that.
1. Grace did not win her election for Student Council Vice-President. Our neighbor won, because he rapped his speech. I am proud of him for his creativity, but I'm glad that Grace didn't think of trying it...especially since I had to write her speech. (I tried letting her do it, but this is what she came up with: "Vote for me. If you want to, I mean. I'm sure that everyone else is great, too, so if you would rather vote for them it won't hurt my feelings." Obviously, assistance was needed.) She'll have to find someone cooler next year, because my rapping skillz are severely limited. Yo.
2. Remember when I mentioned in passing recently that I needed to tell you about my great sock buying adventure? Well, it wasn't actually an adventure, but there was sock browsing and purchasing, and great fun was had by all. We spent about thirty minutes staring at a wall of socks, trying to find some that would not become all holey after two weeks of wear, and trying to decide if all of the female's in my house should just buy one kind of sock and share, or if we should all have our separate socks even though we all wear the same size and I cannot be trusted to remember that Josie has the ankle socks with the grey toe and Grace has the ankle socks with the pink toe. How confusing is that? I hate socks.
Anyway, while we were in the middle of this riveting activity, our old Sunday School teacher came up behind me and apparently wanted to be all friendly and have a conversation and such, and do you know what I did? I proceeded to tell him all about our sock buying quandry, as if he cared. The poor man now knows all about the holes in our socks and why this is driving me crazy, and the fact that I hate matching socks and would really rather clean the toilets than do so. I'm thinking that he is very glad now that he is not our present Sunday School teacher.
Clearly, I am socially challenged.
I'm thinking that I should limit all of my human contact to what can be accomplished through the computer. At least then, someone can stop reading when I start babbling on about the merits of colored socks versus the practicality of just buying all white ones and throwing them all into a collective sock container and having the family forage for something to cover their feet.
Kind of like you all just probably did. Stop reading, I mean. Not stop looking for socks. Okay, maybe the written word is not working out for me so much anymore, either.
3. Owen came up to me yesterday and climbed into my lap. "Mama," he began, "I think we need some babies."
I fumbled around trying to think of a way to tell him that was just not happening , but how do you say that to a four-year-old? Finally, I said, "No, Owen...I think you're going to be my last baby."
"I don't know, Mama" he told me, patting my stomach. "You look like you might have a few in there that need to come out!"
If there was ever incentive for weight loss, your child thinking that you are about to give birth to a litter of babies is probably it. And now that I have reminded myself of this conversation by blogging about it, I'm going to get off of this computer and do some jumping jacks to work off the four cookies I just accidently ate. Ya'll pray I don't rupture anything.
This was written by Sandra Levitt, the wife of Zola Levitt. This is such a beautiful teaching to know....
"Shalom From Sandra
A favorite gift to a newly engaged couple is the booklet, Christian Love Story, the story of a Jewish man proposing to his beloved. I am a hopeless romantic. I love a good love story. And what better love story than that of Yeshua, our Jewish bridegroom and us, His chosen. Remember, Yeshua is Jewish, so it makes sense that His proposal to us would follow the custom of his day—the centuries-old tradition practiced by Jewish couples all over the world.
Typically, the two people involved were in their teens. Shorter lifespans and the agrarian society meant when you were old enough to work, you did. Leisure time was rare. Zola used to say, “There were children and married people. We invented teenagers standing around with nothing to do.”
Zola would start this teaching, “When the young man saw the girl he wanted, or the girl his father said he wanted….” He always got a laugh from the audience.Anyway, when the young man found his intended, he would go to her house, taking a contract, wine, and money. After knocking on her door, he’d enter and display his gifts. The contract spelled out each marriage partner’s responsibility exactly. The wine sealed the contract. When the young man put the cup of wine in front of the young woman, she had about 10 seconds to decide if she wanted to spend the rest of her life with this man.
To be fair, he was probably already known in the community. She even may have flirted with him at the well or in the fields. But, arranged marriages were also common.The money was the “bride price.” Sons were prized for fieldwork, but when it came time to marry, daughters benefited their parents.The young man would present a large sum, usually his life savings. He wanted this girl. She would count the money, read the contract,and either pick up the wine or leave the table. By picking up the wine, she said “yes” and the bridegroom would say, “I go to prepare a place for you” (John 14:2-4).
The young woman would cover her face with a veil, symbolizing her consecration and her separation from the available young women.A veil, not an engagement ring, told other men she was spoken for. Off the young man went to his father’s house to prepare a room for his bride-to-be. It took about a year to prepare a room properly. Only the young man’s father could declare the room finished, lest the anxious young man build a jiffy lean-to and rush back to get the girl.
The engagement period tested their resolve to be true to each other. They had no idea when the wedding would be. Yeshua says in Mark 13:32, “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the son, but only the Father.” While the bride waited, she gathered her trousseau and kept her oil lamp filled, ready in case her bridegroom came for her at night, which was often the case. Walking down the uneven stone streets of Israel at night is difficult without a light, even today.
Matthew 25:1-13 speaks about being ready for the bridegroom’s arrival in the night. Not a night should pass when we don’t expect our bridegroom to appear.Just before he arrived, the bridegroom would call out or sound a trumpet so as not to catch her with cold cream on her face. Then off they’d go to the bridegroom’s father’s house for the bridal night and banquet. They’d enter the bridal chamber, and when the marriage was consummated, the friend of the bridegroom announced it.
John 3:29 says, “He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice.” The bride and groom emerged from the bridal chamber seven days later as husband and wife.
The banquet gave time for rejoicing that the bride and groom were now one, before they set off for their own place.Our Jewish bridegroom, Yeshua, enacted this same tradition for us: He came from His Father’s house (Heaven), brought the contract (the New Testament), presented the wine (blood), and paid the “bride price” for us (His life, the highest price ever paid for a bride). He has gone to prepare a place and will come back for us (John 14:3).We are sanctified, set apart by the veil of Believers. He will call us up with a shout and trumpet (Rapture) and after seven days/years we will have the marriage supper with our Lord. We will live with Him forever.
I've been tagged by Jennifer at http://mom2mycutekids.blogspot.com/, and since I've not yet typed up a riveting account of my weekend (I went to the store! And bought socks!), I figured that I would do this today.
Here are the rules. Link to the person who tagged you. Mention the rules on your blog. Tell about six quirks of yours. Tag six fellow bloggers to do the same. Leave a comment to let them know.
Okey dokey. Just six. Hmmm.
1. I am a crazed baby name addict. Even though I can no longer have children, I still buy baby name books and haunt baby name websites. In May, when the Social Security Administration puts out the top baby names of the previous year, I print up the entire list of the top 1000 names (for boys AND girls). Then I devour it for a couple of hours until it bothers me immensely that they don't group the names by spelling, because honestly...what if someone named their child Aidan thinking that it was not that popular, and then found out when it was too late that if you combine all of the myriad Aidan spellings, the name is actually number one? Who is looking out for those people? Does no one care? So, in a fit of helpiness for all of those people that might be confused by all of the 189 spellings of Kaitlyn and who might, out of desperation, decide to name their child Nevaeh (Heaven spelled backwards)...only to find out later that Nevaeh is very popular also, I sit down and make up a list combining all of the spellings into one list. And now, all of those people that name their children Nevaeh can be warned of it's popularity in advance, and not be blindsided by those people that love the sound of Nevaeh but cannot spell Heaven or are perhaps dyslexic, so they name their child Neveah instead. Do you not agree with me that the world needs my insight? So I make up the list, with the intention of using it to help mankind, but end up with it sitting on my desk because I don't know anyone who actually cares. I do this every year. So in May? When I don't blog for eons and you think I'm possibly dead? Do not worry your pretty little heads. I'm just obsessing over whether Mia and Mya are technically the same name, or if the people that named their babies Unique were offered psychiatric help. I'll be back when the obsession passes.
2. I hate making phone calls. If someone calls me, that is fine. I can cope with that. But really, making phone calls is fraught with uncertainty. What if you call someone and they are eating? Or sleeping? Or composing a symphony? Or using the bathroom? What then, internet? They might be disturbed, and I hate disturbing people worse than I hate lima beans, and that is a lot.
3. If I am reading a book, and the plot gets really intense, and I think I might pass out from all the anxiety and nervousness...I just skip to the end and make sure that it all turns out okay. Once I know that, I can continue the book in peace. I do not understand people that do not do this. Why waste minutes of your life worrying when the end of the book is right there? Do you just LIKE giving yourself high blood-pressure?
4. Household items, including furniture and curtains, need to match or at least be harmonious when grouped together. If they clash or do not somehow balance, I get all twitchy. You know that insanity they keep spouting on HGTV about how your dining room chairs don't have to match? Are they trying to kill me? (Now, you would think that after saying this, that my house would look like something out of a magazine, but you would be mistaken. There's a lot of twitchiness going on around here.)
5. I still cut the crusts off of my sandwiches. Because I am actually four years old.
6. Bugs and spiders completely freak me out. Also mice. And hummingbirds. Oh, and possibly bats, but I've never actually seen one in real life. The IDEA of bats is definitely upsetting, though. Then there are centipedes. Really, the entire worm-like family is terrifying. And don't even get me started on opossums because, really, what is the point? Everybody is afraid of opossums. And giraffes. ::::::Shudder:::::
I have to stop now. It's far too nerve-wracking.
Okay. I'm going to cheat and not tag anyone, because I am feeling all rebellious today. If you feel the need to bare your quirkiness for all the world to see, consider yourselves tagged. However, I am making an exception for my little sister because I want to see if any of the craziness is hereditary or if I can blame it all on global warming.
The temperatures have dipped below eighty here in Georgia, and my husband and children have lost their minds.
Last night, when it was still a good seventy degrees, they were cuddling up in comforters with their lips turning blue. They even had the audacity to ask me to turn off the air conditioning, as if that is something that you do here in the south before Halloween. Can you imagine? Turn off the air conditioning...oh, how that makes me laugh! Silly people. I could still break into a sweat in seventy degree weather if I did anything strenuous. Not that I was planning to or anything, but the potential is always there. We have to be prepared for anything after all, and sweating is evil. Just ask my sister-in-law, whose air conditioning has been broken for several weeks. Don't you think that if she could avoid sweating, she would? Does it not follow that we should avoid all pretense of sweating in honor of her suffering? I just knew that you would agree with me.
In other news, my sons have bunk beds now. We traded beds with my nephew, because he had bunk beds and didn't need them, and my boys were sleeping on a captain's bed with a trundle that, when opened, took up most of the bedroom. So we traded, and now they are thrilled beyond words. The only problem is that they have a ceiling fan in their room and now I am horribly afraid that one of them is going to climb onto the top bunk and get his head chopped off. Ben assures me that this is impossible, and he knows this because "Myth Busters" did a show about that once. ("Myth Busters" is one step below the Bible as an authority in my house. Don't you wish you lived here?) But I am still worried. Thankfully, they are far too frozen to have the ceiling fan on right now, so maybe I won't have to fear much for their heads until spring. I'm going to have to figure something out by then, though. The Easter pictures would just look weird if half of my children were headless.
Hmm. What else was I going to tell you? Josie and Grace spent all night last night working on campaign posters because Grace is running for Student Council Vice-President. We have to come up with a speech for her to give on Friday, and I am stumped. What exactly does one say in a speech when you are in forth grade and running for an office and you actually have no idea what that office entails? Are campaign promises appropriate, and if so, which ones? I somehow think that promising to end world hunger and lower gas prices won't work in this particular situation. Perhaps she could promise more than ten minutes to eat lunch and lower ice-cream prices? And what about her opponents? I suppose I should prepare her that they will probably try to dig up any skeletons that she has in her closet. Goodness knows, at nine she has had more than enough time for scandalous activities. There was that time when she was seven and I walked in to find her meticulously feeding pieces of construction paper to the paper shredder. She said that they were just old pictures of houses and flowers, but that's what they all say. Who knows what to believe anymore?
My youngest son has always called his...um...private parts... by an interesting name. As soon as he could talk, he referred to it as his "pirate", because he could not say "private" and we are SO not politically correct enough to teach him what it is actually called. Actually, this has saved us from numerous embarassing situations, such as when he was two and we were in the grocery store, and he went on a long tangent about how his pirate was itchy and had a rash, and the other shoppers just thought that he was discussing an unfortunate imaginary friend.
Anyway, the reason that I am telling you this is that a couple of days ago Ben ran over Owen's stuffed Superman doll with the lawnmower. (Don't look at me like that. It will make sense in a minute.) He didn't mean to run over it, but the children had left it in the yard and he didn't see it until it was too late. Owen, far from being traumatized, was fascinated by the carnage. He ran around for ages yesterday afternoon searching for the amputated body parts, calling out joyfully "Look, Mama! Here's his head! And his feet are all the way over by the mailbox!" I just nodded at the appropriate moments, not really paying attention because one of our cats was trying to climb up on top of my head, when he called out for all to hear, "MAMA! LOOK AT THIS LITTLE PIECE I JUST FOUND! IT MUST BE HIS PIRATE!"
My neighbor looked up from his yard work. Our eyes met, and I laughed a shrill, embarassed laugh. "Yes, Owen!" I called, "His pirate! Superman's little pirate buddy! How wonderful that you found him!" And then I called him in quickly before he could finish insisting "No, Mama! I mean it's his PIRATE, like on his BODY....." and I shut the door as fast as I could. I may have even burried my head in my hands and mumbled "Oh my word I am SO EMBARASSED!", but I can't be positive.
Why did no one warn me that parenthood was so fraught with mortification? If I had known, I would at least have practiced blushing.
To any of you who are confused: This is a new blog that looks the same as my other new blog, but it is different because my other new blog got somehow deleted and no one knows why. If you followed that sentence, then you should also know that the only explanation I can come up with is that gnomes invaded my house while I slept and decided to play really mean tricks on me. Either that, or Owen did it while typing his "letter" yesterday. You decide which explantion makes more sense. (I'm sticking with the gnome theory, myself.)