Thursday, December 20, 2007

Holiday Schmoliday

December 20th and 1 post to the blog thus far for the month. The holidays are busy, can you tell?

Being sick sucks. It sucks about as bad as trying to wear your favorite pair of jeans when you're bloated nearly 5 lbs and you have to pull your creeping underwear wedgie out of your hiney all day. OK, right now I'll take the wedgie because this sick stuff just sucks.

What do you call a pony with a sore throat?
A little hoarse.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Mad Mixer Love

Six years ago this month my wonderful husband bought me a Kitchenaid mixer for Christmas. I had been eyeing them for a few months and had a strong suspicion that I would be receiving one for a gift but the surprise would be what color I would find under the wrapping paper. Would I find a standard, "I match everything" white, or a classy, "I show every fingerprint and need to be windexed everyday" black, or would he decide to go totally funky on me and buy something like daisy yellow that would match absolutely nothing in our house? I was pleasantly surprised to see he bought the one I was secretly hoping for, the Imperial Black, a brushed finish that will match any kitchen we move ourselves into (and that has been many in the six years my Kitchenaid has been attached to me) but yet I don't have to windex it to keep it looking clean. I really like the new red Kitchenaids but at 6 years old, my mixer is a mere toddler in the Kitchenaid world. Maybe the red fad will stick around for quite a long time.

At first I would tell anyone how much I liked my Kitchenaid mixer if they asked, I even convinced my mom that she needed to ask for one for Christmas a couple of years later. They really are that much better than your standard hand mixer, you really must have one; I told her. But, as with anything you really love, the longer you have it, the more your love grows. I now realize I have Mad Mixer Love. In fact, I just told my husband the other day that its a good thing I found him first or I'd want to marry my mixer. We had a plumber at our house yesterday and he saw the Kitchenaid on the counter and asked if I liked it because his wife was wanting one for Christmas. Well, let me tell you how much I LOVE my Kitchenaid...I can start the mixer on a job and come back and he is still working; he didn't get sidetracked and find something different to do. Nope, he continues at the same speed I set him, no complaining, no whining, just standing there spinning round and round, his commitment never wavering even when something might be a little tough to work through, he keeps working just as hard and allows me to do other things in the kitchen that I need to get done. It's coming up to holiday baking season and I used to stand and knead bread for 20 minutes and overwork the muscles in my hands and arms but now I just have my Kitchenaid do it for me. So, I definitely recommend buying your wife a Kitchenaid, but be careful Mr. Plumber, she might just replace her love for you with Mad Mixer Love.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Chinese Christmas

Matthew, Emily and I took a trip to Target a couple of nights ago and among our purchases was a new star for the top of the Christmas tree. The kids have heard us complaining about all the problems with China's imports lately and our sarcastic comments that they secretly want to poison us. As we are heading for the checkout, Emmy reads the box of the star loudly "Made in CHINA?! Mom, we can't get this, it is made in China! But Mom, you said we aren't buying anything from China anymore." I then tried to explain to her that I made the comment in jest and completely banning Chinese products would be nearly impossible and also asked her to check the other items in the cart, knowing she would find more items made in China. "Made in Tee aa wan." "Oh- Taiwan, OK" (Command Strips) "And, Made in Cam bo lu di ooh whatever" "Cambodia" (jammies for a gift) Well shoot, my theory failed. Then Emily said "Well, China just makes the Christmas stuff." I think I will have to agree with her and then I start thinking about it more.

China must love Christmas. Their factories run full speed every year to stock our shelves with toys and decorations so we can flock to the stores and fill up our baskets with the light strands that don't work from last year. For real, can they make lights that last for more than one year? The most irritating thing is having half a strand of lights that work and the other half doesn't, you know what I'm talking about. How many years did you shove the non-working half in the back of the tree or inside a bush outside because you had already strung the first half before you plugged it in? Uh huh, I'm not alone. I'm done with that now; from now on any Made in China light strands that don't work the following year go in the I can go to the store and buy more Made in China lights.

Enjoy your China made Christmas and as Emily said loudly in Target the other night "Make sure little kids don't put China toys in their mouths!" Man, kids are great.

Disclaimer: I run on equal opportunity import/export ticket. This is not an attack on a particular country or their race, only an attack of poor workmanship.

Friday, November 16, 2007

The race is on

Something happens each morning around 8:00 and 2:55-3:00 each afternoon. That is prime driving time for the parents that pick up their children from school. I almost sense a mentality that once you put the vehicle in drive and start driving to school you enter a race. The kids have been in school for 13 weeks now and it is always the same vehicles entering and exiting the neighborhood, so it is inevitable that I have realized the green Ford Explorer in front of me going slow is headed to school, as is the dark green Suburban that will try and back out of the driveway in front of me each day as I head down the street. I know not to get behind the gold Sienna on the way home because he believes his Sienna truly is made of gold. He will slow down to 5mph to go over the speed humps. I want to give him a little Sienna love with a bumper bump to speed him up. I know we can safely take the speed bumps at 26 mph and if you glance back in the rear view mirror you may even see some cheek jiggle from the kids but they are unphased. We really should have numbers painted on our cars to relay our pole position in the race to school; maybe a good announcer on the radio to make it all more official and that much more fun. One day, Miss White Dodge Caravan decided to cut through the church parking lot to avoid the one and only stop light. Her place in line at school? A whopping 2 places before me; and we all leave the school at the same time. If I take my time driving as usual, I am usually followed so closely that my poor van has a wedgy all day. I’m used to living in towns with uptight, type A men wearing camouflaged uniforms who carry those personalities over to their driving. I’m fairly accustomed to aggressive drivers but this type of aggressive driving is new for me. This class usually has blonde hair and says Hey Y’all and gushes sweet nothings as the children hop in the vehicle and then the race is on again; because you know children can’t wait to get home and do homework.

The fish died.
He was a good fish; he never complained about being overfed by overzealous children, he accepted his fate of infrequent filter and water changes and seemed content with sharing his life with only a frog. He just swam and ate, until yesterday. We gave him a proper flush last night and then listened to all three children completely break down into tears. Emily was distraught and inconsolable. You are not supposed to flush a fish; that is cruel in the eyes of a child. A dead fish goes in the trash. We told her he was returning to the sea but she said “BUT HE’S DEAD!” Yea, well, ummmm…our trash doesn’t have healing powers, honey.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Around town

Once again my children have stunned me with their pattern of growth over the summer. Earlier this spring I updated their cold weather clothes and purposely bought them just a smidge too big so I could get a 'two for one special' on the longevity scale. Unfortunate thing, Georgia seems to put HGH in the water supply and they all grew an inch or more since we moved here. Or, maybe I just figured out why the milk is so much expensive down here. Whatever the cause, we had crop pants and three-quarter length sleeve shirts going on in the boys' bedroom one morning before school and I knew I couldn't subject them to the "your mom didn't check your clothing size this morning, huh? Poor dear." looks at school. So I headed off the clothing store of choice for growing boys- Old Navy. Cheap clearance racks and they last just as long as the kids fit in them. Made in China works great for how quick these kids grow, just don't eat the buttons.
While there I hear a nice beat bopping along on the loud speaker and then I actually said out loud "NO, it can't be." In GA, early in November I hear "White Christmas." That is about 8 degrees of messed up.

Today we asked the kids if they would like to draw names and buy gifts for each other. We told them to try and keep it a surprise to make it more fun. The first round ended quickly when Emily decided abruptly that she did not want "That Person" and refused to participate. She broke down and everyone told the surprise of who they had drawn. I explained to the kids that it would be more fun if they kept the surprise but they had "Let the cat out of the bag" and Jacob piped up and responded with "Well, can we put the cats back in the bag?" We all had a good laugh and repeated the name drawing process another two times and I think they may have actually kept it to themselves this time.
We took them to every parents dream location, Toys R Us, to make a list of the things they would like their Secret Santa to consider. While driving I saw a sign at a car wash- "48 HR Rain Guarantee" Let me quickly explain to you the situation here in the area- we are in a severe drought. It has rained 1.9" in the last 42 days and the previous months before that were well below average as well. The lake has dropped 6 feet in elevation since we moved here 6 months ago, Atlanta and many other towns are facing a water shortage and the grass has shriveled up to reveal desert looking sand below. I chuckled when I saw their 48 hr. rain guarantee, it is like buying into a perfectly stable stock market!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Deep Thoughts

"Does Anybody Hear Her" by Casting Crowns

I've heard this song many times on the radio as a drive my countless shuttle missions around town and every time it stops me in mid-thought. Only a few songs can capture my attention for the entire song and really 'speak' to me and this one does. I think our society as a whole brushes off teens, young girls especially, once they have taken a wrong path and rarely offers them the love of a second chance. This is even true with their own parents and family members, who may have contributed to the overall situation in the first place. It breaks my heart to know there are so many children and teens out there in broken homes. It is inevitable that the circle may be impossible to end; a child that grows up without being surrounded by love will never learn how to surround those around them with love when they are grown.

The second part of the video that speaks volumes to me is the "lofty glances from lofty people." Our churches are filled with lost and lonely people and they seek the one place that should be free from judgement but yet it is still one place that holds some of the most judgemental people I have ever met. This makes me incredibly sad. Jesus, the most holy person to walk the Earth lived and walked among with the poor, sick, outcasts, and all of those with bad habits. Religious leaders of that time called him "friend of the sinners", considered a derogatory term but Jesus considered it evidence of his love. If we can love and help those lost and lonely people, despite their scarlet letters, bad habits, financial status, etc. we can show that our love comes from a much more powerful source and can endure anything. If we can love others the way Jesus loves us hopefully we can continue the circle.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Granola Anyone?

So my husband says I’m really a crunchy person at heart. I haven’t figured out if I should take this as a compliment or not. I see other crunchies at the store and think maybe some take it a bit too far but then look in my own cart to see partial crunchy-granola products causing me to pause and realize the Ho-Ho/ Twinkie buying crowd probably think the exact same thing about me. Then when I hand them my reusable shopping bags at the check-out I might as well blink a neon light above the check-out stand “GRANOLA on Checkout 5.” This is ultimately the case at the commissary. The first time I took my Green Bags to the commissary I almost snickered in line; I just couldn’t wait to see the baggers reaction to their usual “paper or plastic?” Today I was in the amusement park style line and heard the check-out employees say “Green Bags! Green Bags!” to warn each other. I need to head over to Publix and buy a couple more so I can torture them with 6 instead of 4 next time.

Since moving here (where the peeps seem to be more Earth friendly) we have started recycling, bought and use reusable shopping bags, started buying more products that are better for our bodies, and my kids take waste free lunches to school. Before long, items may need a sticker that reads ‘cage free’ or ‘free roam’ to go into my grocery cart. At that time you know I have reached ultimate crunchy status and everyone in my house is groaning when they look for a snack due to the lack of sugar in the food I buy.

Ahoy Ye Matey!

The kids were pirates again this year. I figured the people in this neighborhood needed a chance to see 3 matching pirates and the kids didn't complain (suprisingly!) so I went with it. I don't think I'll get away with three years in a row though. These are the pumpkins we carved this year, we carved the face at home and Matthew carved the bat at school with Dad.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Notes from the weekend

We revisited the pants issue with Jacob again this weekend. Since our last episode they have stayed securely in the bottom drawer of his dresser and he has enjoyed wearing shorts. It's only been chilly enough (by South standards) to wear pants a couple of days and I'm sure he wasn't the only child at school that received the looks of "your mother didn't check the weather report, huh? Poor baby." Oh, I did check the weather and my other two children wore pants; Thanks, and have a great day.

It's OK though, he was in his face contorting, arm flapping, bird flying world and oblivious to anything else. He wasn't holding jeans off his nether region and all was right with the world...until Saturday morning. We had Emmy's soccer game and it was chilly and I knew eventually he would need to make the switch and it had to be now. I made him put on the jeans and we all endured the temper tantrum that followed. I joke about it, but I do feel for him. He has a tactile sensitivity that the rest of us don't but I also know as his mother that we go through this with every season change and after one day he will be over it and everything will be fine. I pushed him through it and refused to let him wear shorts. He was mad for about 45 minutes and then forgot he had jeans on. About 2 hours later he said "Mom, a good thing happened today." I looked at him and said "Oh really, what is that?" He told me "I got used to wearing jeans!" Hmmm...Imagine that.

Sunday Night Dinner:
Emmy- Knock Knock
Jacob- Who's There
Emmy- Interrupting Cow
Jacob- Interrupting Co..

Roars of Laughter. This has become the joke of the house and we've heard it no less than 30 times since dinner last night.

The timer

We bought a standard tick tock kitchen timer to help with issues such as teeth brushing, homework, time out, etc. The kids have decided it is much more fun to wind it up and hide it somewhere to try and scare whoever is around when it goes off, notably Mom and Dad. One night we heard the "tick-tock" in our bedroom and found it hidden behind our TV. Last night we heard it in the living room after the kids were put to bed so we deliberately turned it to 0 and set it off which was followed by 3 uncontrollable giggles from the hallway. Today I dropped the kids off at school and came back to update my blog, only to be interrupted by the familiar ring of the timer. The sneaky monkeys set the timer before they left for school as a trap for me. I sense a case of school-age revenge coming on.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Heart Happy

This happened a year ago, but I must share it because it made my heart happy, as I think it would make the heart of most women happy.

My daughter, Emmy, has played soccer for 3 seasons now. At first she was a bit uncoordinated and we giggled slightly on the sidelines when we watched her play. She was cute and she tried as hard as she could but her feet and brain just didn't communicate all the time. Then something happened in the second season; it was like a big light switch turned on in the soccer department of her brain and it all clicked and synchronized. Besides getting very winded and not liking to play when its cold (and TN had some very cold soccer seasons!!) she started playing very, very well.

Last season we had all three children in soccer so on a Saturday we would spend 3-5 hours at the soccer park, depending on if the games were timed together or spread out. One particular day Emmy had her game to play (1 hour, no substitutes) and then Jacob had his shortly thereafter. Jacob's team didn't have enough players and the coaches were desperate for more players so they wouldn't have to forfeit the game. Emily was standing there with us so Jeramie offered her up to play for the all-boys team (after asking her if she would). The coach agreed and then the boys all looked at her with those "she's not playing with us, is she?" looks. Now, Emily is tall and was the same height as the boys 2 years older than her so they didn't actually know that she wasn't their age or the looks probably would have been much, much worse. We told Emily to not be intimidated to play with an entire field of boys, just to "get in there" and go after the ball. While we were pumping her up, we overheard the boys asking Jacob "so, is your sister any good?"

The game starts and Emily played with 2 teams of boys and was not intimidated at all. She played better than most of the boys out there who were 2 years older than she was. By the end the boys were cheering for her, as were all of their parents. My heart was so big and proud I just wanted to cry by the end of the game. The next week when we came to Jacob's game the first thing his teammates said to him was "Is your sister going to play with us again this week?" I couldn't stop smiling.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The fun, yet expensive camping trip

I’ve been planning for the family to take a camping trip for a couple of months. The kids have cheered, the hub has groaned at every mention. We’ve done it in the past (think long past) but he says that was because it was cheap entertainment. Well, it wasn’t cheap entertainment this time. We decided to get the kids sleeping bags this time, they enjoyed those and it proved to be a very good investment because they were warm the first night. I bought a screen tent to put over the picnic table which I now highly recommend because we ate “bee free” and I heard a few less “the bugs are buggin’” from my children. Then of course you figure in all the food, equipment and last minute supplies you realize you need and it all adds up. But, when you pack up the van and take off everyone is ready to have a wonderful time and none of that matters. Hub and I set up the tent and the screen tent, try to start a fire with very wet wood (didn’t work well) and then I go through all the supplies he unpacked from the van. I found the sleeping bags but not the blankets for our bed. Hmmm…after looking a bit frantically I realize I left all the blankets to our bed sitting in the hallway at home. Hubs decided that navigating unknown county roads at 9pm without a detailed map would not be a good idea (something about his aviation background) and we called upon the towels to pull double duty as blankets. The low reached 55 degrees that night making it a L.O.N.G, cold night. Every time the deer hunter neighbor of ours woke me up I had wished I would have taken a sleeping pill to put me out of my cold misery. At last the sun arose and we got in the van and cranked the heat. After breakfast we all packed in the van and drove 20 miles to the nearest town to find a Wal-Mart and bought 2 more sleeping bags. That turned out to be a very good thing because the next night the low reached 43 degrees!

We did have a lot of fun though. For a mere $20 we rented a boat for the entire day/night and the kids went on several gator searching trips. Emily saw many alligators and Jacob argued every time that they were "just" logs. Matthew had a grand time pushing Dad back out into the lake 3 times when he wanted to be pulled in to shore instead. We toured the old grist mill where they still grind corn for cornmeal and occasionally wheat and finished the evening with a big fire and smores. They are already asking when we can go camping again.

But, the most expensive part of the trip…about 30 minutes after getting home I realized I had lost my diamond necklace sometime during the weekend. Yea, that sucks.

Disconnected (Posted from Panera)

For 4 days now I have been disconnected from the world. Comcast has decided that our household doesn’t have anything worthwhile to contribute to the World Wide Wait so they cut us off on Sunday night. The service technician came out on Tuesday but said the problem was “so bad” that he couldn’t fix it and the maintenance technicians would need to come out. The next day the powers that be decided it would be a good day to rain—we haven’t had rain in a month, biggest drought in years but my internet is broke so let’s rain NOW! *Sigh* So, we are entering day 4 of being disconnected and I will have to find another meal to eat at Panera Bread to get my email fix again today. This will get expensive soon.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Halloween is getting close

Watch Out!

Looking for a funny?

The Sunday comic page has found a new home and new use in our house. Somehow I don’t think this was the original meaning of “reading material” in the bathroom although I might get to clean the mirror less this way. Let me tell you why you now must stand taller than 5’5” to see yourself in the hall bathroom mirror. Our oldest son thinks he is the next Jim Carrey (OK, maybe I will eat my words some day) and contorts his face into images you can only imagine. He has a grand time watching himself and is completely oblivious to the 3928179239 times we tell him to brush his teeth and get out of the bathroom. If he isn’t trying to pop his eyeballs out he is watching his arms flail and hiney sway as described in my post below. So I came up with the idea of covering the mirror to cut down on his temptation. It has semi-worked. He doesn’t show everyone the lining of his nose anymore but he also doesn’t spend any less time in the bathroom. I now find him leaned over the sink, toothbrush hanging out of his mouth, giggling at comics. He has a motorized toothbrush so I guess if it’s in his mouth it has to be accomplishing more than the face contortions do. But, we still holler 394875929 times to get his teeth brushed and get out of the bathroom.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Falling back

Finally it feels like fall here in Georgia. We woke up to a brisk 53°, the kids ran around here for the third morning in a row wondering if I'd somehow shut off the sun's rays to this part of the Earth and we even watched a woman walking in the neighborhood with a coat and stocking cap on. I literally had to chuckle at that; it was 60° by that time and the people this far south think we might actually see some frost soon. The projected low for tonight is 45°, I wonder if we will see bed sheets covering the flower beds tomorrow morning on the way to church. I should watch the news tonight, they might tell me to keep an eye on my pets and ederly. Try out MO and IA folks, they walk when it's freezing...literally.

Emmy had a soccer game this morning and they finally got in the groove and spanked the other team. Emmy played well and got a goal of her own; I think the soccer Em of last year finally showed up. We spent the afternoon enjoying fall activities. We made our own caramel apples and the kids reminisced the entire time about the times we made the apples in TN with our wonderful friends. After that we moved on to homemade pizza and we enjoyed a blanket picnic in the living room while watching a movie.

Our moments with chaos today:
*Jacob freaking out after putting on a pair of jeans. These are the same exact jeans he wore all last spring. We tried every brand and the boy can only wear 10S, Levi Loose Straight. (I buy my underwear a K Mart) But now they are too baggy in the groin region and we watched and snickered as he ran around the house in his own world grabbing his crotch while attempting to hold the jeans off the nether region. Reasoning didn't work; he wore shorts to the soccer game and then complained he was cold.
*All the kids were told to brush their teeth before bed. Instead, Jacob was waving his arms and shaking the glutes like a drunk 21 year old girl at a club. Yea, great visual.
*Before bed Matthew was building with Lincoln Logs, Jeramie and Emmy were taking turns setting up dominoes and I look over and see Jacob on his back with both legs straight in the air doing the synchronized swim routine, except out of water. I just had to watch; maybe he'll be a choreographer some day.