Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Tales from the Abyss

The girls were at my parents this week. So, I decided to tackle the terror of all terrors. The giant abyss where things go in, but never really end up completely in their rightful place. Their bedroom....

At first, I had no idea where to begin...
I decided to start with this:

I drug everything out of their closet that should have been in the lovely, LABELED storage containers that I've provided them with. I threw it all in the middle of the floor. I had been nagging them to help me with this all Christmas break. I think it was best they weren't there. I would have nagged them endlessly the entire time, and basically been a total shrew. Did I happen to mention I was PMSing when I began this endeavor (remember, nothing is sacred....I'll say it! You know I will!)

But, after much ranting and griping and gnashing of teeth, I accomplished this:

It made me all warm and gooey inside, I'm tellin; ya!
But then......I looked under their bed (the official place for baby dolls.) Again, labeled storage bins have been provided for their organizational pleasure! Instead of organization, I found this:

I was not happy at this point, Gentle Reader. Not at all. All of my warm gooey feelings had turned into boiling hot volcanoes in my brain that were sending smoke out of my ears. Eruption was imminent. (Actually, I may have erupted, but in nursing we have a rule: If it isn't documented it didn't happen.....I'm not documenting that eruption, that may have happened....Therefore it didn't!)

At last, after literally hours of cleaning, organizing, dusting, sweeping, emptying and reorganizing of drawers, and throwing away an entire black garbage sack of TRASH and one sack to go to charity, I accomplished this:
The proof is here, Dear Reader. It CAN be done. A room with too little space and too many toys can be organized. I left with all sorts of warm fuzzy feelings. It put me in my happy place.

At least until after Popcorn's birthday party Saturday, when it will have all erupted all over the place, and I will be trying to figure out where to put more toys!

But, let's not focus on that right now.....

Let's focus on Exhibit C instead.......

Yes... much better. I feel more at peace already.


Tuesday, December 30, 2008

An Important Public Service Announcement

Or at least it's an important Family Service Announcement. But, really, the ramifications of this occurrence cannot be fully determined at this time. The cloud of green haze that must surely be emanated from the source cannot be good for our precious earth. It is definitely not safe for human olfactory bulbs. What is this heinous substance that has caused me such concern that I would waste precious blog space to address it? What toxic waste could be invading my family's olfactory bulbs, where I'm sure it's causing some form of damage? It's simple really, it's....


Forgive me, please.....

This could be a sensitive subject to some of you, Dear Readers.....

Please, you must understand my viewpoint.....

The suffering I've endured for HOURS ON END!!!

So, it with great concern and LONG SUFFERING that I come to you with this....

Please, under no circumstances, should you EVER, feed this beautiful, precious, wonderful specimen of dogdom.........table scraps.

Many of you do it out of love and affection for such a wonderful example of man's best friend. I understand this, truly I do. But what many of you don't understand, because you've never had the misfortune of experiencing it, the true torture, nay, the health threat this exposes my family to.

The truly heinous, horrific, terrible, unspeakable odor that she emits after eating table food is something that no human should ever be exposed to. It smells like turkey....but it's turkey gone terribly wrong. Turkey that has passed through the digestive tract of my precious pooch, but comes out smelling so foul, that I fear we should call a hazmat team. Or the CDC, or the Center for the Endangerment of the Human Olfactory Bulb!

Okay, that last one may not truly exist. But it should, Gentle Reader....It should.

Studmuffin and I were trapped in the car with this malodorous odor for 3 1/2 hours yesterday. We had to vent the windows in order to prevent serious permanent damage to ourselves. Thankfully, my precious little ones were at their grandma's, so they did not have to be exposed to the toxic substance.

Again, Dear Reader, if you ever encounter this marvelous dog, no matter how tempted you may be, no matter how exemplary her manners appear to be, under no circumstances should you ever, EVER feed her table scraps!

Thank you for your attention to this serious matter.

This Public Service Announcement has been brought to you by The Center for the Endangerment of the Human Olfactory Bulb. Remember, you CAN make a difference. Choose to do what's right....Just say NO!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Morning

Have you ever seen such an underfed cat? He's actually lost 4 pounds since we moved. The Starlings were dive bombing him and not letting him eat. It took me awhile to figure it out, but we've fixed the problem. So, he should be back up to fighting weight again soon.

Popcorn woke up at 2:30 am Christmas morning. She came in to see if she could get up and play with Kelsey. She wasn't going to play with toys. Just Kelsey. Promise!!

The next morning she admitted she'd checked out her toys (really? I never would have guessed that one!) She ended up sleeping with me. I got up at 5:30 because I was so hot smacked between her and Studmuffin.

They both slept until almost 7am after that. I couldn't believe it. I never slept that late on Christmas morning until I was a teenager. I still struggle with instant gratification.

The girls both got baby dolls from Santa and porcelain tea sets from us. They had great fun having tea parties Christmas day.

We had a great day as a family Christmas day, just the 7 of us. (7, you say? Yes, including the dogs and cat!!!) Bookworm got me the new Operation game (perfect for a nurse), so we played that. Bookworm got Life, so we played that. Studmuffin gave me a game called Pictureka. That was fun too. Popcorn got a game called Pass the Pigs. We spent the day playing. I didn't do a lick of house work. Unless you count 3 loads of laundry and cooking 3 meals housework. But, Studmuffin helped clean up after each meal, so it didn't feel much like work.

Hope everyone had great Christmases! I'll try to get better about posting more frequently now that the holidays are nearly over. The girls are at my parents until New Year's Eve. I have to work tomorrow, but today I'm going to tackle the abyss called their room. I tried to get them to go through everything with me before Christmas. They kept putting me off, so now they've forfeited all rights. If it's gone when they get back (they know I'm cleaning it), too bad!!!! At least that's what I'm saying now. We'll see how my story changes when I see their sweet little faces begging for something I've packed away!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Cookie Christmas Tradition Continues

Every year my girls and I bake scads of Christmas cookies. This year we baked 12 dozen or so. That's right...12 dozen. You see, we have 7 neighbors. Each neighbor needs at least a dozen cookies, or I feel stingy. The recipe makes approximately 5-6 dozen. Therefore, we double the recipe...hence 12 dozen cookies. To roll. To cut. To bake. AND DECORATE!!!

This year we used cream cheese frosting. I typically stick to butter cream but it always gets soft, and the frosting doesn't hold it's shape so well. And you know, it takes little girls awhile to get the perfect look to their cookies. The cream cheese was good, but I LOVE butter. I think next year we'll return to old faithful.
Bookworm discovered the joy of pipetting frosting this year. I have to admit, I have to fight the urge to run and hide sometimes when we're decorating. They are messy. And it is sticky. And I have to struggle with my patience. But it's worth it! Did I mention I was out of red food coloring? AND our local Walmart was out of food coloring. Can you believe that? We had to settle for yellow, blue, and green. Luckily, I had red food writing pens.

We delivered our cookies door to door. It was cold, and it was windy. You know, delivering cookies in La Vernia, TX was not nearly as cold! I think we maybe wore light jackets. This year they each wore heavy coats, hats, and gloves. And wished they had scarves on too.
We got home and enjoyed hot cocoa.....and, of course.................COOKIES!!!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Puppy

So, we got our puppy Saturday night.
Did you notice the switch from "Studmuffin's puppy" to "Our puppy?" I took one look at Holly (her full name is Holly the Christmas Puppy, but that's just too much of a mouthful for such a little thing) and fell in love. So, now she's "our puppy" except when she piddles on the floor, then she's Studmuffin's dog. Or when it's f-f-f-fuh-reezing cold outside, then she's Studmuffin's dog. Or when she's yelping and whining ALL NIGHT LONG, then she's Studmuffin's dog.

But, when she needs a cute new collar that's pink with bows on it, then she's our dog. Or, she needs a sweater, because baby it's cold outside, then she's our puppy. Although she's spending an alarming amount of time in the house, this puppy is an outside dog. Yes, she is....Seriously....That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

Just. Like. Kelsey.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Read this Blog

Go over and visit Sandy at God Speaks Today (click) . She has a great post about embracing our identity in Christ. I think I will start working on these scriptures with my girls now, so hopefully they will be assured of their identity in Christ, not the world! Go visit Sandy, and prepare to be blessed!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Did you know I used to be a track star?

I was. Or at least, in my mind I was. Okay, not even in my own mind, but I did run track.

I was pretty good at it too. As long as it was a short distance. And it wasn't too hot out. Or too cold. Or raining............Remember my earlier reference to brattiness? Well, I was a total brat about this too. My coach went through a phase where he was sure I should run the 440, or the hurdles. I hated both of those. (I'm embarrassed to admit this, but his determination that I would do these 2 events led me to not sign up for track the next season. Just being honest here. Told you I was/am a brat.)

The 440? Too long. It made me tired and required too much effort....Like effort to the degree of puking after each race. Didn't fit with my way of thinking at all. Remember me saying I like things to come easily to me? This did not fit that bill at all.

The hurdles? Too scary. I'm 5'7 with long legs. I liked to run (short distances)....Hurdles seemed like the natural progression, I'm sure. In this case, I tried....Really I did. I would run as hard as I could up to the hurdle....then come to a screeching halt, or run around it. This was, fortunately in practice, so he never made me do these at an actual meet. What was so embarrassing was there was this girl who was 5 inches shorter than me, and she ran them no problem. Still, I couldn't conquer the fear of the hurdle. I'd seen way too many girls with half the skin shredded off of their legs from missing/getting a foot caught in the hurdle. That was just way too risky for me.

Now, what I loved to run was the 100 yard dash and the 220. Right up my ally. Full speed ahead. No self control (aka pacing yourself) just flat out run it and you're done. Then, I could sit and chat with my friends during the rest of the meet....You can see the appeal these races held for me.

Are you wondering what inspired this post? I know you are...

I had to buy my girls some sweat pants today. You know it's really important that those things fit. And girls sweat pants do not have a draw string in them. What's up with that? So, I finally resigned myself to buying them boys pants. Don't tell them, and they'll never know. As I was cinching up Bookworm's pants on her minuscule waist, I had a flashback....And Dear Reader, it was not a pleasant memory...In fact it's quite embarrassing....

I decided it had to be shared with bloggerland.

I used to run on a relay team. I was the 4th leg of said team. The only way you lost your spot on the team, was to a challenge. On Monday morning anyone on the track team could challenge you for your spot. We had to race the 220, and the winner either kept their spot on the team, or was replaced.

This lovely spring morning started out like any other...pleasant, full of beauty, me laughing it up with my friends, and chatting....Until I got to gym. And realized I forgot my gym clothes. And subsequently was informed that Mandy was challenging my spot on the relay team. What? Challenge me? I was totally unconcerned about my ability to beat Mandy in the challenge. I was pretty sure I would smoke her like a big cigar.....Until I remembered that I forgot my gym clothes...And regular clothes were not allowed.....What was I going to do?

Well, luckily, Ivana had an extra pair of sweats....That happened to be her mother's....That was missing the drawstring.....Ivana was generous enough to loan me these sweats.... Aaah, the generosity of teenage girls....Or maybe not.

You see, these pants would in no way shape or form stay up. And I had to run in them. In a race. As hard as I could. No excuses. No putting it off until tomorrow...You're challenged, you do it today. At least I assume that was the deal. I don't actually remember asking the coach to let me wait a day, or even explaining the clothes situation.

So, we assume our positions. The coach gives the signal and.....We're off! Running down the track, around the corner, and, and,....and....... my pants are falling off! Yikes! I'm running and holding onto my pants as best I can! Oh no! I'm losing! To Mandy, the girl I was going to smoke like a big cigar! All my visions of grandeur are vaporizing in her trail of smoke as she LEAVES ME BEHIND! And I try to not show my BEHIND to the entire girls track team! I'm grasping my pants, and running. I hiked them up extra high, and took off with a final burst of speed, hoping that they'll stay up until the end of my race. The cool air on my backside notifies me that, no indeed, my pants will not stay up with this final sprint.....(Dear Reader, I seem to recall that I was wearing day-of-the-week panties, and it was the wrong day! The horror of the entire experience still haunts me.)

I'm sure you can deduce, gentle reader, that I did not win my challenge. I lost my spot on the relay team that week. I can still remember the sick feeling of disappointment...With myself...with my supposed friend who convinced Mandy to challenge me for my spot....With Ivana for not loaning me a pair of sweats that would fit....With my coach for not feeling sorry for my bratty self, and calling the race a bust (actually he laughed at me, but who could blame him? I'm sure that race could have one millions on video)....

Truly I was devastated......

Truly devastated as only a teenage girl could be....

I'm a total loser, and the one sport I could actually do well has now failed me (BTW, I was never the star of any sport....average at best, mediocre at worst).

I would never get over this! NEVER!!!

Until the next Monday, when I remembered my gym clothes, challenged Mandy the Menace to a rematch and.......

smoked her like a big cigar....

Dear Reader, I just read this post, and am thoroughly disgusted with myself. Truly, I was a brat. I am so tempted to rewrite it in a light that makes me look less bratty....But honesty compels me to leave it as is....And it really is more entertaining this way. So, I'll take it on the chin. Just be gentle with me, and remember, this was long, LONG ago (7th grade, I think).... Any reminders of current bratty attitudes will not be appreciated or needed. Thank you, and God bless you for tolerating me for this long....I don't know how you do it!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Running in the Hallway.

I got some new jeans the other day. Studmuffin commented on how blue they are. Yes, I did get a dark wash, however I also tend to keep jeans until they are so faded and thin that they are like t-shirts, so a new pair looked REALLY blue to him.

But the real beauty of this comment is it inspired a new blog for me! I'm telling you, everything in my life is weighed in as a blog/non-blog moment. Sometimes I feel they are totally bloggable, but sadly, they just don't play out for me. However, I'm feeling really good about this one. Especially since I laughed until I teared up telling Studmuffin about it.

One of my best friends growing up was TeNille. She was one of the truly nicest people you will ever meet. And, this story is about her (and me, of course, because EVERYTHING is about me *at least I think so, and remember, I need my fantasies*)

Do you remember the 90s? Remember Rocky jeans? Well, in rural Oklahoma they were the thing to have if you were of the female gender, and you must own a Brushpopper shirt if you were of the male gender. TeNille was looking mighty fine in her brand spanking new jeans one school day......

Our tale begins in Spanish. TeNille noticed she had a strange blue tint to her hands. She asked the teacher about it. "I don't know, are you cold?" the teacher asked.

"No ma'am" TeNille replied.

The blue hands were swept under the rug for the moment in favor of conjugating Spanish verbs. Voy, vas, va, vamos, vais, van.....

TeNille's hand raised...."Ummmm, excuse me? My hands are turning bluer."

Sure enough, they were blue. At this point the teacher sent for her mother. You see, TeNille's mom was the home ec teacher, and her dad was the vice principle, and a coach (small school, you have to understand) and there was no such thing as a school nurse. I'd only heard of those in books. We had a secretary. If you felt sick, you went to the office or your mom if she worked at school. If your mom didn't work at school the secretary treated what was ailing you, or she called your parents. There was no need for a nurse. That would have been superfluous!

So... TeNille's mom arrives on the scene. She takes a look at TeNille's hands, which are now cold and clammy. "I don't they hurt? It looks like your not getting blood flow to them. Give them a shake."

TeNille begins to shake her hands in an effort to restore the blood flow. The whole class is now involved in the drama unfolding before our eyes, and Spanish verbs are out the window....

"They're not getting better...They seem to be getting bluer!"

Oh my! We're in real trouble now. Her dad is now called to the scene. He does his examination of her...."It looks like you're not getting enough blood flow to your hands....Try running down the hall and shaking your hands, see if that helps." I don't know about you, dear reader, but by this time I was kind of freaking out. I'm thinking "how long can a person go with insufficient blood flow? Surely gangrene is imminent. I can see amputation in her future...And what would the basketball team do without their star player? She was also a cheerleader with me...How was she going to hold her pom-poms without any hands? Or swing a golf club?" Oh, I was afraid, gentle reader, very afraid....

So, our heroine (ummm, is that out you spell the girl or the drug? I'm never sure which) is now running up and down the halls and shaking her hands....I'm trying to recall if she had a hall pass for this activity, but since the school disciplinarian happened to be her father, and he told her to do it, I guess this was a moot point...(You have to understand I was very aware of hall passes and the necessity of having them....I tended to wander the halls a lot during school. Especially my senior year. There were so many more important things I had to do other than attend class....But, I made darn sure I got a hall pass before I left class to roam the hallowed hallways in search of bigger and better things to do. Hey, I didn't want to get into trouble with my best friend's dad! How would that look?) My mom happened to walk by (she worked at school too, as a teacher's aide) and saw everyone standing at the Spanish room door, trying to get a good look at TeNille, running up and down the hall...praying her precious hands would be saved....

"What's going on" she asked at about the time TeNille was stopping for a check-up. They all explained the situation to her. My mom took one look at her hands and said..........

Are you ready?

I know you are.....

Surely you've guessed, because I already gave the plot away in my first sentence!

She said.............

"It looks like you have ink or something all over your hands. Are those new jeans?"

You could have heard a pin drop...Then there was an outburst of laughter, and everyone talking and laughing and explaining...and maybe even a few tears of relief mixed in from yours truly, because, really....who ever heard of a cheerleader that can't hold her own pom-poms?

And for further explanation, gentle reader, since TeNille was nervous her hands were sweaty and cold.....And she kept rubbing her hands on her pant legs to warm them up and wipe off the sweat, thereby exacerbating her condition. It really is too funny. I hope this story truly did blog well. I had to stop several times to compose myself because I kept getting caught up in the memory of poor TeNille (who truly hated being embarrassed and never did anything that wasn't absolutely up and up because people might look at her, or judge her, or whatever) running up and down the hall, shaking her hands....and the look on her parents faces when my mom asked the obvious....

"Are those new jeans?"


A Frustrated Rant

Mom, don't read this post....seriously. It involves your present, and we don't want to ruin the surprise.....

Are you gone?

Are you?

Well, if you're still here, you're going to ruin your surprise, and you can't blame me!

Seriously, quit reading....

Now, please!

Okay, I think she's surely gone by now.

I had this great gift idea all planned out for my mother. She's been asking me for the same thing for like 3 years, but then when it's actually Christmas time she asks for something else, so I get that for her instead. This year I had the supplies bought and everything, ready to go.....

A few weeks ago, she called and told me she wants a personalized photo calendar for Christmas. It seems she'd mentioned the calendar to Paula, who already had her present, so Paula suggested she call me. I like to scrapbook, so I'm sure it seemed like a good idea.

It is a good idea. Just not for me. You see, I'm not techno savvy. Oh, like to pretend I am, but I'm really not. The reality is,I'm a brat when it comes to technology, or anything else for that matter. If I don't grasp it immediately, or it doesn't upload immediately, or I save the pictures in the wrong format, I get frustrated and then I abandon it for something I like to do.

Like cooking. Eating. Exercising. Blogging (of course). Even cleaning bathrooms for pity sake...

But, alas, I can no longer procrastinate on this gift. I have to get it ordered today if I'm going to get it in time to give it when I see her. We all know how tacky IOU gifts are, so I'm trying, REALLY TRYING to get it done. I've been working on it solid since 9am. I stayed home with Popcorn because her eyes are still a little runny, so I thought this was the perfect time to get it done. It's now 11:15, and I've made minimal progress. I can't find a disc that I recently copied my sd card to. It has all of my photos from March through October. It took me forever to figure out how come I couldn't copy the pictures out of my emails to a single file so I could upload them all to I finally realized I needed to click directly on the pictures, not the text below them. Duh! I could go on and on about the stupid mistakes I've made doing this thing, but I won't because that will only serve to frustrate me more!

I had planned on working on it yesterday, but instead I had to finish the "gift from the heart" present I had to make for the gift exchange with my siblings and their spouses. Plus, now I'm not even sure anyone else will like this gift that I dreamed up. I should have stuck with baking. I can do that. Granted, it's predictable. Everyone knows I can do that....

Of course, there's the key....I CAN do that. Easily. I decided to break out of my box and try something new. So, I did. I'm done with that. Been there, got the t-shirt and all of that.

So, I'm done ranting now. I have to finish this lovely calendar that my mom better darn well cherish for the rest of her life. Because you can bet I'm not doing this for anyone again........

Unless they ask, and then of course I will because Christmas is about giving a gift someone really wants, not what I want to take time to make. So, be prepared for more future ranting if anyone dare ask me for a personalized photo calendar again!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Playing Baby Dolls

Popcorn and I are blessed today....with pink eye. Yeah!

Mine kicked in yesterday, and she started complaining of her eyes hurting last night at 11pm. I got her up, and gave her my eye drops (read here: Studmuffin held her down, while I used a crow bar to get her eyes open for a drop of medicine.) Then I sat on the couch with her head in my lap and a cool cloth on her eyes (I'm not sure this is at all recommended, but she was crying uncontrollably at this time because they hurt so bad. I figured cool moisture would make them feel better.)

Isn't it so hard when your little ones don't really fit in your lap anymore? That was my realization last night. She can no longer curl up in my arms and be comforted. I can remember the sheer exhaustion from getting up with the girls when they were littler. I couldn't wait until they slept through the night, were well again, their nightmares would end, etc....

Now that my late night parenting is so rare I treasure it (unless I'm working the next day, and then I treasure Studmuffin getting up with them!)

God & I were discussing this last night, and I have to tell you... I was sad that my baby was hurting, but I was glad that I was blessed with a quiet moment with her. A time when I had nothing to do, and no distractions. No TV, no telephone ringing, no meals to get the idea. It truly was a blessing.

Studmuffin's aunt was in the area doing some Christmas shopping today. She invited us to dinner, but Popcorn and I stayed home with our cooties, and sent Studmuffin and Bookworm off to enjoy a lovely meal at Red Lobster. Popcorn was bummed (me too, for that matter.)

Please excuse the mess in this picture: We were getting out Christmas decorations. Yes, I'm feeling a little defensive looking at the mess in the background here....but this picture totally captures Popcorns personality....But I've WAY digressed.....

So, we endeavored to have fun. We decided to play babies. It was really fun. It turns out that Popcorn's pretend character teaches 1st grade, and she had been shopping all day (we ran into each other shopping....sad to say, but it took me almost 10 minutes to figure this out.) I invited her over for tea after our long day shopping. I asked her what she'd been shopping for. "Everything. We needed so much stuff, and I hate going to the store all of the time." I had to smother a laugh. That is so what I say. And I hate shopping and crowds.

So, we arrived at "my house." She asked me if I lived in a mansion. "Yes, where do you live?"

Popcorn: I used to live in a mansion, but not anymore.
Me: Where do you live now...a castle?
Popcorn: No, just a half a castle.

What the heck? I decided to let that subject drop because one of her kids started crying. I asked her how many she had. "I don't know. I never bother to count. It's too ignoring."

Me: Annoying, huh? Are you like the woman who lived in the shoe?
Popcorn: Mom, she didn't know what to do, and I know exactly what to do, and I do it all of the time.

Aaah, the exhaustion of pretend mother hood. She is so harried.

We ended up letting the dog in, because she was knocking on the door. (For real. The dog bangs against two large planters, which makes a knocking sound, so we open the door. Hey, it beats her jumping on the door!) Anyway, the dog came in when we were getting all of the babies to bed. They all needed hats to keep their heads warm while they slept (besides the fact that doll jammies always come with hats). We were short 2 hats. Popcorn decided to just press those two dollies heads up against the dogs belly (she was asleep on the floor next to us) to keep their little heads warm. Oh well, sometimes you just have to make do!

Popcorn: So, do you have a dog?
Me: (I realized we were in pretend land again) Yes.
Popcorn: Is it ever ignoring?
Me: Annoying? Yes, sometimes she insists on being under foot when I'm trying to cook.
Popcorn: Yeah, my dog is ignoring sometimes too.

So, here's the question I have for you...How sad is it that every moment of my life is now analyzed in one context...Is it bloggable? I have to say that most of my evening with Popcorn was totally bloggable, but I won't subject you to any more for today. I have to save some for a later date when I'm suffering from blogger's block.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Conversations with Kids

I'm better now. I took a nap today, and when I woke up at about 2pm, I was a new person. Well, not really new, but my head no longer feels like it's going to explode. And I was actually able to taste my food at supper. Studmuffin picked up some Joe's Crab Shack for me as a belated birthday dinner. I didn't have to cook it, or do dishes, so it was delicious.

So, I haven't told you any kid stories lately. I know you're life has been sadly lacking. So, here's a story for your reading pleasure.

Well, the Christmas season is upon us. This has gotten our little family thinking of all sorts of Christmasy things. I know. You need an example....

"Hey, Mom? What's a virgin?"

Okay, I was rehearsing a song for a Taste of Christmas for our church, and Bookworm asked me this profound question in the middle of my song. I kindly asked her to wait until I was done, and then I would answer her. This allowed me to wrap my scrambling brain around a good reply....And ask for divine intervention to give me the proper words. My brain was whirling. Unfortunately, the song ended way too soon.

Me: Bookworm, do you know where babies come from?
B: Yes. (She points down there. Hey, she's a nurse's daughter, and she's seen kittens be born.)
Me: Ummm, yes, but do you know how the baby gets in the mommy's tummy?
B: Yes! God puts it there!

Okay, now I'm starting to sweat a little...

Me: Yes, but first the Mommy and Daddy have to make the baby. They have sex, and that makes the baby.

Yes I did! I said sex to my 8 year old daughter! I know, in hind-sight I'm wondering why I didn't use another whoopee, or mating, or.....or.....anything but sex!

B: Oh. So, what does that have to do with a virgin?
Me: You see, Mary was a virgin. This means she had never had sex before. God's Holy Spirit put the baby Jesus in there, and she and Joseph did not have sex until after Jesus was born. So, Jesus was born of the virgin Mary. It was truly a miraculous birth.
B: Oh.......
Me: Do you have any questions? (Please, Lord, I really don't want to have THE TALK with her tonight. Give me words.)
B: Just one.....
Oh great, here we go...
Me: Okay, you can ask me anything.
B: Can little kids say "sex?"

Okay, not the question I was expecting, but I gotta say, I was relieved.....

Me: Yes, if you're asking me about sex, you can say it. But, you don't need to mention this conversation with any of your friends, or talk to them about sex. Come to me so I can tell you the truth. And, your friends' parents need to talk to them about it, just like I did you.

B: Okay.

End of conversation.

I gotta say, I've been expecting follow-up questions, but none have come.


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Woe is Me: Part 2

So..... are you sick and tired of me whining and complaining, and moaning?

Too bad...I'm not done yet.

Today is my birthday, and I think I'm sick. I've been blowing my nose every 10 seconds all day long. I actually had a great day at work...The kind where I only sat down to eat, but I was never actually behind, just nonstop busy. I like being busy. That's why I'm a nurse. It kinda goes with the territory. However, how do you feel as the patient when your nurse is CONTINUOUSLY blowing her shnoz? *I have no idea how to spell that word.* I'm sure it invokes all sorts of warm fuzzy feelings...of dread.

I rushed home from work to Bookworm's Christmas program. By the time it was over, I hurt all over, and I could barely stay awake. I came home, put a pot of water on to boil, with spaghetti and a can of sauce next to it, (Studmuffin was picking Popcorn up from basketball practice. I figured he'd take the hint.) and went to the tub. And SOAKED. It was great. But, my body aches all over now. I'm not I sick or this the result of standing for about 2 hours in a lead apron today, and then being on my feet the rest of the day? I don't know.

What I do know is the two nurses that worked interventions with me today left early. On my birthday. When my kids had a Christmas program that we'd been discussing I'd barely have time to get to. Because their patients had all left. And mine was still recovering. So they left. On my birthday. Because they could. I'm not bitter. I'm not dwelling....Nope, I'm not. I'm TOTALLY over it. Yessirreeeee.....

Moving on.....

I GOT A NEW DRYER! At Sears. For $330. It was originally $498. Since it's near the end of the year, they're replacing all '08 models with '09. So, I got it for a steal. Yeah!!!

Dear Reader, I'm not dwelling on the fact that a lady in my Devotional Divas group offered me her old dryer for FREE last night after I bought a new one.
I'm telling you, I don't ask for free stuff. People just offer it to me!

Yes, I could have returned it. But mine is new. And it's quiet. And. It's. huge. YEAH FOR ME!

Dear Reader, I'm also not dwelling on the ohsohelpful lady Sunday morning who told me, ohsohelpfully, that I could have gotten my appliances half off on Black Friday. Gee, silly me, I didn't realize my dryer would quit on Black Friiday.

And, last, but most certainly not least, dear reader, I'm not dwelling on the fact that a guy I work with guessed my age correctly. Isn't it depressing when people realize how old you are, so therefore you must look your age? (sigh) I remember when my patients used to think I was too young to be a nurse.....sigh

Oh! One last thing, and then I'm done...I promise! I have this amazing new remedy for a plugged up nose. Put on a surgical mask. It's pretty amazing. The humidity from your breath loosens up the sinus pressure. And your nose begins to run. And boy does it ever run. I don't recommend this tactic in a surgical environment. "Ummmm, no Dr. Stokes, I'm not crying. What's that sir? Yes, I have a runny nose. No, sir, the mask doesn't seem to help. Yes sir, I hear you all laughing at me even though my ears are a little plugged up. I'm glad I can provide some amusement for your day." How the heck do you blow your nose in such a situation? I don't know. And none of my beloved coworkers seemed to know, or at least they didn't feel the desire to end my suffering and thus end their amusement!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Woe is Me

My stinkin' dryer quit. It was only 12 1/2 years old. It's only been repaired 2 times. And moved 4 times. So, tomorrow I'm going to my local Sears to look at dryers. Not my idea of fun. I initially considered getting a washer too, but then I looked at the price of what I want, cringed, and decided to wait. After all, I also want new counter tops, and new flooring. A girl must show some restraint in her covets.

Not only did my dryer quit, but I have to take the stinkin' van to the collision shop because apparently when they pieced the jalopy back together, they forgot to hook up the interior dash lights. It's rather strange to drive down the road with no interior light. By the way, the interior lights worked after the wreck before they repaired the van! (No, the wreck was not my fault. Long story...I'll tell you later.)

I need to go to the store. Tomorrow is Monday. That's my grocery day. I actually like grocery day. I plan a menu, make my list accordingly, and if I really want to have fun, I list my items in the order they would be found in the store, and stack my possible coupons in the same order. Oh! And I put a little "c" next to any item I may have a coupon for, so I can compare it, then compare if it really saves me money. *Has anyone else noticed how the coupon inserts are twice as thick as before, but have half the amount of coupons? What's up with the full page ads? And who the heck actually believes 25c off of 4 cans of soup is a bargain?* Don't you just love how they list how much it is per ounce? Then you can really determine how much you can save with a coupon/sale. I know, I'm weird. These little things just make me happy. Like having a specific place in the pantry for each food item. This is not such an easy task now that I have a smaller pantry, but I find that small baskets help.

Well, that post was completely pointless, wasn't it? There's a snapshot of my plans for Monday....Hope yours, Dear Reader, includes more exciting a pedicure, or a massage....or coffee with a friend...or a nice long nap!

Friday, December 5, 2008


I have blog block. I wouldn't call this writing....too rambling-ish. But, you see, I feel compelled to blog. This has become my journal of sorts, only I've never been disciplined enough to keep a journal, and my pen can't keep up with my thoughts. It's a frequent struggle I have. Like when I drink too much coffee...or take the recommended amount of cold medicine. Or when I used to stay up late with my study group in nursing school...lots of Dr. Pepper, coffee, and sugar....You can imagine me on sugar and caffeine. Not a pretty sight. Speaking of hyperactivity...

Do you remember Metabolife? In college I decided I needed to lose some weight. I was in nursing school, and I did aerobics 5-6 days a week, but ate whatever I wanted. Taking a diet pill seemed like an easier alternative than portion control, or limiting my snacks during class time. The first day I took the recommended 3 tablets before breakfast, then before each meal. They worked. The sight of food alone made me nauseous. That seemed like a good thing.

The not so good thing?

I was hyper....jump out of my skin, my insides are quaking, my eyes are darting back and forth, I'm talking so fast I don't know what I'm saying, I have really great ideas, but I can't seem to stop my thoughts long enough to catch them...and I have to sit through a 4 hour pharmacology lecture.......

Yikes! I didn't sleep that night. Neither did Studmuffin. I talked his ear off that night, and I was pretty dang funny if I do say so myself...please don't ask Studmuffin his opinion....I think he may have preferred to sleep.

So, I betcha think I learned my lesson!

Yep, I sure did. The next day I only took one pill before meals.....I was up all night again.....I think Studmuffin succeeded in getting SOME sleep that night.

Did I learn my lesson this time? Sure 'nuff!! I only took one pill that day....And finally slept that afternoon........and was awake all night again the third night. I finally let my beloved sleep.

Well, Dear Reader, no one said I'm hard-headed and difficult to train! *Those who disagree should keep their opinions to themselves....This is my blog, and therefore my fantasy world. Thank you.* I ditched the Metabolife never to touch my lips again.

And I've never attempted diet pills again...Of course in retrospect, I remember taking Dexatrim at one time with similar effects, so why I thought Metabolife would be okay is beyond me. Again, gentle reader, this is my blog, therefore my fantasy world, so we're not dwelling on any possible character defects these stories may reveal. Such as being hard-headed and at times self-delusional. I repeat, we're not dwelling on this....

Thank you again for your cooperation.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Tattle Tale Saga continues...

So, who remembers my decree "No more Phineas and Ferb or Suite Life of Zack & Cody until you girls can stop tattling?" Remember that particular gauntlet I so carelessly threw down? Well, unfortunately, I do. And I miss Phineas and Ferb. Heck, I miss London Tipton. I miss getting 30 minutes of peace while I cook dinner. And I feel guilty that I even require 30 minutes of peace when I'm home alone all day 3 days a week, and on those 3 days I miss my friends, and I'm lonely....What is wrong with me?

Anyway, the conundrum is this....My girls don't like any of the shows that are on during dinner fixing time, except those 2 shows. Or, it's shows I don't allow them to watch. Plus, I like both of those shows. Perry the Platypus cracks me up....So, the girls said they would go without tattling for one week.

We've been depressingly unsuccessful. Last night on the way to Popcorn's Christmas program:
Bookworm: Mo-om, Popcorn is sticking her feet up in the air
Me: Darn it! Now we're back to zero...Remember, no tattling!
Popcorn: Bookworm, what are you thinking? I wanted to tattle on you today, but then I remembered I wanted to watch Suite Life tonight, so I kept my mouth shut!
Bookworm: I forgot!
Popcorn: How can you forget?.......

And another sibling squabble ensued.......

This morning Iwas reading the paper (I'm so excited. For 3 months I get the Sunday and Wed paper for $2.75/month! Yeah!) and of course I read the comics first. I love Baby Blues. In today's strip, Zoe was happy that she could tattle on her brother every day for the rest of her life, and still never run out of reasons. I had to laugh. Isn't that true?

Well, Dear Reader, that's all the rambling I have for you today....more whining than rambling. But, someday, I know my girls will learn not to tattle. They may be in college, but I know that future is there, somewhere, in a galaxy far far away, where Phineas and Ferb no longer exist......And then I will be sad that my little turkeys are all grown up, and don't want to tattle to me anymore...

1 Peter 5:7
Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.

Cast ALL of your anxiety...some translations use cares/worry. God doesn't tell us to give the big stuff to him, or the important stuff. He clearly tells us to cast ALL cares upon him. He can handle it...that's what he's there for. I've been coming back to this verse over and over lately. Do you ever feel guilty for being dissatisfied? Do you realize how incredibly blessed you truly are, and feel like you are whining because something is weighing you down...and this something seems so insignificant. God has been teaching me something...It's not insignificant. He cares about it. It may be a situation that may never be changed, or you can't see how it will change.

Maybe you hate where your fire place is, and every time you look at it, you wish it were different. Maybe your front door you expected to go into your brand new home isn't what you wanted after all. Maybe your pantry is way too small. No, these aren't all my examples, but they're concerns I've been hearing. I've decided these feelings are okay. We may not be able to change them. It probably isn't fair to bring these complaints to our spouses, especially if they can't/won't fix them. That will probably just create more dissension or dissatisfaction. Plus, fixing all of our problems is not a role our spouse is supposed to fill. That's God's role.

I've decided to bring all of these issues to the feet of my God. I used to hold this back. I felt ungrateful and selfish for being concerned about these little things, so I would ignore them outwardly and give God praise for all that he has given me. But those little things were still there. I was still clinging to them. I was not releasing them to God, because I had decided they were not worthy of his attention. They were too small for God. Doesn't that seem silly when it's put into words? But that was what I was saying. I was minimizing God, and who he is by refusing to turn my problems over to matter how small.

Then I read 1 Peter 5:7, and I was moved to tears. Cast ALL my anxiety on him....He cares for me. My God cares for me. He cares about my kids. He cares about my job. He cares about my pantry. Nowhere do I find in scripture that God only cares about the "big" stuff. But I do see quite clearly where it says to cast ALL things to him. ALL things. Can you imagine? Do you understand the feeling of liberation this can give you? The indescribable relief and joy?

I challenge you to write this scripture down. Put it on an index card and carry it in your pocket. Post it on your bathroom mirror. Tape it to your steering wheel. Keep God's promises with you always. Tattle to God. That's what he's there for. He cares about a marriage that's falling apart, sick kids, and parking places that were stolen by the punk who darted in front of you and took it. He cares. He cares for me, and he cares for YOU.

So, I thought this rambling was over before I even typed my scripture....God had a different agenda for me today. Hope you were blessed!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Random Statements from our Thanksgiving with Family

I thought this seemed like a fun blog after my niece asked me if I bought my sweater at the big and tall store....WHAT?!!!!!? She claims it's because it has this really cool neck line that has a million buttons on it that drapes around my shoulders and could (in theory) button up my neck over my head, and about 3 feet above that (slight exaggeration.) Okay, Molly, if you say so, but in future, don't ask your aunt if she shops in the big and tall store. I mean, how the heck am I supposed to take that? I had immediate flash backs to junior high and the awful nick name "Andre the Giant."

So, here's more random statements from our lovely family holiday.....

"If you're a big fat tattle tale raise your hand..."
-me to my mom after she told me Popcorn was outside without a coat on AGAIN....Apparently, Popcorn can ignore ME when I tell her to wear a coat, but if Grandma says out!

"I don't know why you don't just take that thing off, it's just hanging off of your shoulders."
-Studmuffin to me in reference to my unmentionables during a game of Skip-Bo with my sister and her husband, and my PARENTS!!!! Hey! It was late, and I'd had the darn thing on for like, 15 hours, and it was binding, so I unhooked it. Nobody would have known if Studmuffin had kept his mouth shut. And people think I can't keep quiet!

"WAAH!!!! He *sob* tricked me by *hic* saying I'm a scaredy-cat! *sniffle*
-Bookworm in reference to her cousin, who for some reason called her the above. The aforementioned cousin has numerous fears of his own. I know it may not read as humorous, but if you knew the 2 dramatic personalities involved you'd totally get the humor here....

"Well, you don't know if you have enough potassium if you never get it checked!"
-Grandmama lecturing me on the fact that I don't eat potatoes (except very occasionally), and therefore, my potassium is probably low. This is the same grandmama who used to lecture me that drinking too much milk would make me fat (I now only drink skim), whole wheat bread is better for you (I now only eat whole wheat), and numerous other nutrition lectures through the years. I must say, I've conceded her wisdom in many cases, but this one I'm standing firm on! Please don't remind me of this conversation in 10 years when I'll probably be eating potatoes every day....

"You guys have never been surrounded by cattle before, so you don't know how it feels. You're heart feels like it's going to stop."
-my 7 year old nephew sharing his vast knowledge of cattle ranching to my little ones. We went with my dad to feed cattle, and he lets the kids get on the back of his flat bed while he pours feed out. The cattle swarm the pick up, and even let you scratch them while they wait for Farmer Jones to give them their dinner. Picture 87 cows and their calves of various ages surrounding a "feed wagon" and calling for their dinner with three little kids standing on the back of a pick up. They are so eager to pet these lovely bovines, but there is fear in their eyes, and a little timidity in their scratches to ears and backs.

"Don't take that pie, I'm not finished with it."
-Studmuffin's grandma to me....She had already eaten 2 pieces of chocolate cake. We had discussed whether she'd had enough sweets when she went back for apple pie....I decided to decline comment because at least it had fruit in it! However, when I was "guarding" her pie for her, she went back and got another MONSTER size piece of chocolate cake. This grandma is more my style. No lectures on nutrition from this lady!

"We've been married for 4 blissful years!"
-My brother-in-law to my sister......Aaaaw!!! How sweet! Of course, the sarcastic ones, not to be outdone piped up with.....

"We've been married 4 blissful years too! Let's see....1996? No, that was the year we moved to Arlington, and I missed my mommy! How about 1997? Yeah, that year was good. 1999? Yeah, that year I graduated nursing kids, no bills, 2 was good that year. 2001-2002...not such a good year...I was MAJOR post partum. 2006? Yeah that was a good year..." The other blissful year we couldn't agree on, but nonetheless, surely there were four in there somewhere! (Of course, in reality, every year is blissful when I'm with Studmuffin, except of course when he's making me crazy!)

"We're going to dance the Mexican Frito!"
-my 7 year old nephew describing the dance he and Popcorn were about to perform for our own Dancing with the Stars contest. It turns out he meant the Latin Free Style. Too funny.

Well, that's all I can think of for now....but give me time...surely more will come to mind. It truly was a great Thanksgiving, and I laughed so hard, I couldn't stand myself. I ate so much I couldn't stand myself. I talked so much I wished I would shut up (and so did everyone else, I'm sure.) Sounds like a successful holiday to me. How about you?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Did I make it?

Ummm....Okay, I think I'm officially "in." I've been tagged. Does this signify some sort of success as a blogger? Does this mean that I am finally accepted, and people want to know what I really think, and who I really am? Is my hair okay? Are my clothes cool? (Do they even say "cool" anymore?) Did the quarterback of blogosphere notice me in the blog hallway and ask his friend to have my friend ask me for my number? I don't know. I'm confused. I'm excited. I'm giddy. I'm....I'm....Okay, I'll just get on with it.

There's only one problem here. Tag 6 people.... Do I know 6 bloggers? Ummm, no..... (Again, to my sister Paula, you need to get a blog, that would make me one person closer to cool enough to have enough people to tag.) I mean I have no "peeps" here! Or is it "peops?" How the heck are you supposed to spell peeps, as in "Yeah, me and my peeps went to the movie...." I don't know... These are mysteries that I may never have answers to, because I'm not a librarian like my sister Dawn, and therefore I'm not a seeker of all knowledge, both relevant and irrelevant. I'm a nurse, I like drugs, and I like body parts, and I like to know how one affects the other.... But seriously, I'm REALLY rambling now, so moving on...

I received this tag from Becky at Adult Deprived, so here goes the rules, and my super cool responses....*They better be super cool if I'm to stay with the "in" crowd in blogosphere!*

1) Link to the person who tagged you.
2) Post the rules on your blog (copy and paste 1-6).
3) Write 6 random things about yourself.
4) Tag 6 people at the end of your post and link to them.
5) Let each person know they have been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.
6) Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

1. Only God is sure of my natural hair color....It's something between a mix of brown, gray, and?
2. I have lived 10 different places in my lifetime, and 9 of them have been since I was 18.
3. I hate moving, and I plan to never do it again.
4. I will never say I'm never moving again, because last time I said "never," God answered with "San Antonio." Yikes! Lesson learned.
5. I live for Survivor, and go into a minor depression when it's not on.
6. I've gone sky diving. (NO, I don't plan to ever do it again....I'm a mommy now, but again, I've learned to never say never.)

Okay, now who the heck do I tag? You got me......How about....

Dawn (duh)
Sarah (duh)



let's see....
Well, that's it, that's all I've got. You see, I am not cool, I am not well known, and most people who's blog I follow are way to stinkin' popular for this rambler.....Pioneer Woman, Country Doctor's Wife....The Farm Kids....

You understand, don't you? You forgive me for not following rules this one time, right? Right?......Right?.......HELL-OOOOO!

Oh, you're still here? Whew! I thought you, like, ditched me for sure!

Well, Dear Reader, I must now end this silliness and prepare for bed. I have to be at church for sound check at 7:30 tomorrow, and that would be AM.....Ummm, excuse me, but who the heck has vocal chords that function that early? I can see I'll have to start my 6 cups of coffee at like 5:30 to get the ole pipes ready! Bye for now!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

She has even less shame than me.

Hey, who watched Dancing with the Stars?

Well, I did. And poor Studmuffin did by default. He hates it. But, last night as he suffered through the finale, Cloris came on. You know how outrageous her antics were. Studmuffin immediately said "That woman has NO shame."

Me: Wait a minute, you said I had no shame. Are you comparing me to Cloris Leachman? (not sure of the spelling)

Studmuffin: NO. She puts you to shame on having no shame.

There you have it Dear Reader. Someone has less shame than I do. Amen.

Warning: Drastic Subject Change!!!!

We had piano last night. Tuesdays are hectic. I pick up the girls from the sitter, we come home, grab a snack, the piano bag, and out the door to lessons. We then get home from there about 6:45, and I make dinner.

So, here's the scene. I'm cooking tacos, Studmuffin is helping (in the kitchen, still my heart) and Bookworm is illustrating her letter to Santa. Popcorn is mysteriously missing..........

heard from a distance "Bookworm! I need your help!"

Bookworm does not deign to answer....She is busy as I mentioned. A few moments pass......

"Bookworm I need your help! Right now! HURRY!" This summons is still distant if a little more frantic.

Still no response, and honestly, I'm listening, but only with half an ear, and a small kernel of unease is beginning to develop, but I shove it away, because I'm hungry, and ask anyone, if I'm hungry, watch out!

A few moment pass again..... This time the summons is downright angry. And anxious.

Studmuffin: I'll come help you, you're sister is busy. SILENCE


Studmuffin is helping, but there is still this vast amount of.................SILENCE.

My momdar is flashing like crazy now, but again, I'm hungry, and that cheese won't grate itself. Besides I'm sure Studmuffin has everything under control.....

Well, they reappeared in time for supper, and nothing was mentioned. I was hungry, so my curiosity was dampened by my belly. But, of course, I'm nosy and I have to know what the big deal was.......

Well, it seems that when we got home from the babysitters with a whole 5 minutes to spare before leaving again, Popcorn decided to play with her sister's gerbil, Ava. Only, Ava wouldn't let her catch her....Then, I said it was time to go, and she dashed out the door.....with the cage left open.

Yep, Ava had made her great the closet....AKA the black whole. The abyss where all toys are thrown, without a care. The place where there is a giant pile of Barbie furniture, and carriages, and cars.....

Ava had a great time....escaping Studmuffin's hands. She'd leap from obstacle to obstacle. From Cinderella's carriage, to Barbie's Mustang....into the bed, under the dining room chairs...between the wall and the Barbie carrying case....

Do you know the disadvantage to trying to catch a gerbil? You are afraid you'll hurt them, and they have no such fear....they'll run under your feet, or they'll dart under a piece of furniture, which you'll have to move, and pray you don't squish them. It's a very stressful experience.

Studmuffin eventually just "herded" her out of the closet where Popcorn was able to easily catch her in the wide open space of the bedroom carpet. FYI, gerbils aren't quick, but they are able to elude you in obstacle course surroundings, because, again, there is the fear of hurting the little rodents.

Well, Ava was safely returned to her cage where she will surely ponder her next escape. And Popcorn confessed she was not calling for our assistance, because she was hoping to avoid getting into trouble. Smart thinking. But, lucky for her, Daddy responded to her cry for help. He just silently went into rescue mode, where I would have went into lecture mode, then proceeded to attempt the rescue while simultaneously continuing the lecture until the gerbil was caught, and probably continued it well into the evening meal.....Well, thankfully, Studmuffin responded to the cry for help, so all I had to do was laugh at the image of him trying to catch a gerbil in a messy closet. All's well that ends well!

'Twas the day before Thanksgiving...

And I refused to get out of bed.
My hubby talked to me, quizzed me, gave up, and kissed me goodbye on the head.

The girls were dying to get up at 6:45 am,
It was time to play dress up and do "Dancing with the Stars" AGAIN.

I ignored them all, and turned away
I waited until 8am to begin my day.

Now, the laundry needs done, one more pie needs baked
I better get us packed for the trip we will take.

But alas here I sit with my coffee nearby
And I'm checking my blog while the time flies by.

So now this dumb poem really must end.
Have a happy Thanksgiving with your family and friends!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Ramblin' on Monday

I don't have much to say, but you know I'm posting anyway. It's become as vital as my 6 morning cups of coffee. Okay, it's not really 6. I make 6 according to the pot, but we know that's only 3 coffee mugs. Big coffee mugs. Big, steaming hot, dark cups of coffee. No sugar, no creamer, just hot, black, strong coffee. Coffee to hold in your hand and smell. Coffee to sip while you dwell on what you should be doing today. Coffee to sip on and think about all your not going to do today, because dernit you don't want to and you can't make me.

I had a great weekend with my mom. She came down and we did some Christmas shopping. The girls bought presents for each other. We'll see if they can keep that secret for a whole month! Popcorn told her grandma that it's really hard for her to keep a secret. That's the truth.

One day I told her I'd made a cake for Daddy, and it was going to be a surprise when he got home. She looked so disappointed in me and said, "Mom, why did you tell me? You KNOW I can't keep a secret!" That Popcorn is very self-aware, because this was when she was only 5! I just laughed and told her she could tell him as soon as he was home. She was very relieved.

Studmuffin proved himself to be a provider for his family this weekend. He got his deer. Praise God! Now we can enjoy the holidays. Of course, hunting is how he enjoys the holidays. Lucky for him, his brother is coming for Thanksgiving, so he'll have to take him hunting!

We had a tragedy in the house last night. Popcorn's gerbil Lucy died. It was awful. It was tragic. It was Popcorn standing over the toilet dry-heaving horrible. Bookworm felt we should get her a new gerbil immediately. Popcorn said: "I'm done with gerbils." *How terrible am I that I breathed a silent sigh of relief. * I hate seeing my kids sad. It's such a helpless feeling. She took a long, hot bath. I'd go check on her, and she'd be silently crying in the tub, playing with her horses. When she got out, I was helping her get dried off and into jammies, and she just kept doing these little hiccupy sobs. It was terrible. She seemed better this morning, but she prayed that God would help her forget about Lucy on the way to school. Poor little thing. Bookworm prayed "Please let Bookworm forget about the horrible scene with Lucy from last night." That was helpful!

Ooookaaay, now that I'm all depressed.....

WE'RE GETTING A PUPPY FOR CHRISTMAS!!!! No, that's not a shout of joy. That's a shout of frustration. I don't want a puppy. Studmuffin wants a puppy, and he never asks for anything, and my wonderful father-in-law found him a free puppy. She is 3/4 Brittany spaniel, and 1/4 pointer. So, Studmuffin is getting a puppy. I'm sure I'll love her, I just have to meet her, and see her beautiful face to stop dwelling on all of the work of a puppy. And, looking up Brittany's is not a good idea if you don't already have one. Can you say "destructive if not properly stimulated?" Yikes. Let's move on, shall we?

Seriously, I have to move on. I've enjoyed our "chat" this morning, one sided though it was. I need to go to the store to get Thanksgiving supplies. I'm making pies today. Pumpkin and pecan. Yum-yum! Oh, and anyone who's reading this and will be seeing me, I'm bringing a pumpkin pie each place. Scotty, I'll make the sweet potatoes again, and I'm making Pioneer Woman's wild rice. Oh, and Mom, I'm bringing that 15 Bean Cajun soup. I can't wait to eat myself sick. I'm looking forward to it! I really must go, and be productive! Have a lovely Monday morning.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Tattle Tales

Today my girls were in rare form with tattling. I told them "No more Phineas and Ferb. That sister Candace is obviously rubbing off on you two."

Bookworm: No, Mom, we learned to tattle from London Tipton.
Me: Well, then no more Suite Life or Phineas and Ferb.
Girls: NO FAIR!!!

I don't think that worked out how they had planned. But, it got me thinking about tattling. Honestly, they've always tattled. I try to ignore it and tell them "go away" unless someone is bleeding. But, they persist with this annoying habit.

I know, you're dying for an example. I know you are. I can hear you begging me "Tell me a story Andi! Please! Please!" Well, I live to please my reading public, so....

Here's a great example.

The setting: driving to gymnastics. It was a 30 minute drive, and they'd been fighting and tattling the whole way. Finally in desperation I began to sing, "If you're a big fat tattle tale raise your hand" to the tune of "If you're happy and you know it."

Popcorn raised her hand....and piped up "Mom! Bookworm's not raising her hand!"

I laughed so hard I almost had to pull over and compose myself.

Case closed. My kids are Big. Fat. Tattle. Tales!

Psalm 145:3-6, 21
Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise;
his greatness no one can fathom.
One generation will commend your works to another;
they will tell of your mighty acts.
They will speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty,
and I will meditate on your wonderful works.
They will tell of the power of your awesome works,
and I will proclaim your great deeds.
My mouth will speak in praise of the LORD.
Let every creature praise his holy name
for ever and ever.

Father, may my lips sing your praise and share your mighty works with everyone around me. Amen.

Friday, November 21, 2008

I Have No Shame

I must not. Otherwise, I wouldn't share half of the stuff that I do. A messy house. Freebies of any kind. Scars in my belly button. Truant children. Well, I could go on and on.

Studmuffin shared this revelation with me when I was sharing some of the ideas I have for posts. "Babe, you have no shame." I couldn't argue with that! I have lots of great ideas, but they float away in the wind before I can really grasp them. I've gotten to where I even write them on random sheets of paper....then I lose the paper.

You see, I love to laugh. Especially at myself. I enjoy making others laugh. At my expense? That's okay, as long as they enjoy the story. Heck, they don't even have to laugh at my story, it could be any story....Just as long as there's laughter. So, Dear Reader, here you go...And yes, you have my permission to laugh. And be startled at my complete lack of shame.

It was the summer of 1992, and I was a ripe old 16. Growing up on a farm/ranch comes with lots of responsibilities. The particular day we will be learning about was no exception. My dad worked hard...(still does)...He worked full time as a contract pumper for oil and gas companies driving 400 miles a day, plus he still ran our ranch. Mom worked at the school during the school year, working as a teacher's aide, and a school bus driver. Hey, it's not so bad having a mom driving the bus. I put my makeup on on the way to school. I had a nifty butane curling iron to achieve the proper 90s hair. I never had to do homework at home, because it all got done on the bus! But, we're not talking about my bus riding adventures, we're talking about tractor driving adventures....Yep, tractor driving.

We had a 4 wheel drive Case tractor. I'm not sure of the year or any other details, I'm pretty impressed I remember that. I do remember we still had a big blade on the front of the tractor that was handy for building up terraces, or blading snowy roads. Yes, the blade is a significant part of our story. Do you think I would waste your time with useless information? Okay, maybe so, but's pertinent THIS TIME.

The A/C had gone out on the tractor, and it had been getting repaired. One bright sunny summer morning my dad informed me the tractor was ready, and he was going to let me drive it home. No, this was not a privilege. It was 44 miles from our home to this particular town, and the tractor's top speed was like, oooooh, FOURTEEN MILES PER HOUR! I was not pleased. But you didn't say "no" to dad, and really who would want to? He was always so nice about his orders for the day. "Andi, I'm going to let you check the cattle today, and ride the horse through them, so they won't spook when we round them up next week. Then I thought I'd let you drive the tractor for me today. Oh, and I think we need to move the irrigation system. I'll let you help me with that tonight." Yep, no joke, he "let" me do all sorts of stuff. No orders, no demands...he gave us permission to do our chores.

So, we went to get the tractor, in a town that's 44 miles away. Dad was in an unusual mood that day...unusual in that he was cranky and angry about something, and I knew it. Dad very seldom showed anger, so whatever went down, it was BIG. It was a lovely drive to silence (no kidding, it happens occasionally with me.) Dad paid for the repairs, put me in my big rig, and set off for a day of driving all over the Panhandle and Northwest Oklahoma pumping wells.

I started off on my journey. Just me and my tractor....bee bopping along, radio blasting (you had to turn it up REALLY loud to hear it over the motor)......"I got some ocean front property in Arizona..." Imagine me singing at the top of my lungs.

Whooo! It was getting kind of hot! Hmmmm....Yep, it was shaping up to be a scorcher. I cranked up the A/C and kept on rolling....The only problem was, I seemed to get hotter and hotter, and HOTTER! The gall-derned air conditioner had quit....AGAIN! By this time I'd been driving an hour. That meant an hour back to town. What would I do then? This was before the days of cell phones. Dad had a big bag phone, but for some reason I remember he didn't have his phone. Either that, or I dreaded calling him in such a mood. I'm not sure where Mom was, but not home. My grandparents were gone. That left me with few options. I didn't have any family or friends in the town...What to do...What to do....

Remember, I'm 16 at this point with all of my worldly wisdom....I decided to drive it on home. Okay, so it's hot. Open up the windows! Woops, big mistake. This seemed to magnify the heat rolling off of the engine and straight back to me. I kept the blowers going, but they seemed to do little good. I was hot. REALLY HOT.

I took desperate measures.

Really desperate measures.

I'm sweltering, and I'm going to die of heat stroke measures.

I stripped down to my panties, and I drove that sucker home. Yes I did, and I ain't lyin'! I drove past 2 different families that we went to church with. I saw them coming, but my legs were way too sweaty to drag my jeans back over. So, I met them in my skivvies...and waved just as cheerfully at them as they did at me. I'm sure they thought I was in shorts...At least I hope they did. (It was the Nelsons and the Cummins families. Yep, I even remember who.)

So, the A/C is blowing hot air. The radio is on full blast to distract me from my misery, and my water ran out long before the 4 hour ride was over, and I'm in my skivvies. Yes, FOUR HOURS. You see, 14 is top end. That means that with hills and curves I apparently averaged 11mph. It was a long ride. You'd think with nothing better to do, and driving EXTREMELY slowly I'd notice all sorts of little nuances! Remember I was 16? Well, I was not the most observant 16 year old.

I was so excited when I finally saw the turn off to our house. I began my turn, and LURCH! The tractor stopped. What the?! Why am I stopped? The tractor won't go forward! Hmmmm...

At this point I begin to study my surroundings. Remember the blade on the front of the tractor? Well, it seems that the blade had worked it's way down gradually, what with all of the bumping down the road. Not only had the blade worked it's way down, but it hadn't done it recently. Did I happen to mention that the road was a farm to market road, and it had recently been repaved? Yes indeedy! I had just scraped the top layer of asphalt off of that pretty new road. Of course, this little factoid did not dawn on me right away. I just raised that sucker up, and continued on my way. Seriously, I think I was near delirium at this point.

I drove the last few miles to home, and who is there? My sister Paula! I shared my tale with her, of course. She got a big kick out of it, and it was HER who pointed out I'd just bladed a newly surfaced road. WOOPS!!! Just for laughing at my expense I made her help me move it to the field.

I was pretty proud of myself. I drove a miserably hot tractor home in the heat of summer (Dear Reader, if I was farming that meant it was LATE summer, just in case you didn't know that, and that meant it was HOT.) Did I mention I was hot? I'm sure that explains my reasoning for driving the tractor to the field. Why did I take a tractor to the field that had a newly repaired A/C that didn't work? Who knows....I was 16...That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!

So, Dad got home. I shared my tale with him (minus the driving in my skivvies part-I'm not that stupid.) He did not find it funny...Not at all. Did you ever wonder what driving down a paved road with the blade down would do to damage the blade? Well, my 16 year old brain surely didn't wonder. That is, until Dad asked me about the braces/brackets/support thingies that held the blade on. "Huh? I'm not sure I know what you mean..." BTW, I'm sure he used the right term, but it escapes me at this time.

Well, my long day continued. Dad let me help him weld them back up to their original thickness of, oh, an inch or two? And their thickness before the repair job? Ooooh, 1/4 inch or so. I'm telling you, that blade had been hanging on by a thread.

Dad made me stand there, in the sun, and "help" him repair the blade. I think the most I did was hand a tool every so often, but he was determined to teach me to observe my surroundings, and THINK, not just float through life. Well, I certainly remembered to check the blade every so often when driving it, but as far as always being observant? Well, those are tales for another day.....

Romans 9:33
As it is written:
"See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes men to stumble
and a rock that makes them fall,
and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame."

Thank you, Jesus, for taking away my shame!

Baby, it's cold outside

So...what I have learned thus far today at 8:35 on a November morning. When you are sitting crying, and reading your sister's blog, and your dog is doing a strange yip outside, you better go investigate.

I thought she had a small animal cornered, because the yip was very similar to that, only slightly different. I originally planned to ignore her, because I don't like to see her kill mice, rats, birds, whatever she is "hunting" that day. But, again, this yip seemed different.

*SIGH* This is as bad as my kids. What does she want?

Dear Reader, I'm not used to cold weather. My poor dog isn't either. She was very mystified by the large cold mass in her water bowl. She was yipping at it, like that would accomplish something. She'd lick it and yip. Well, I chuckled and gave the poor dear a drink. Confession: after I spent a split second being mystified as to how I would fill said bowl since the water hose was frozen solid. Again, I'm not used to cold weather! I disconnected the hose, turned on the tap, and aha! Water! I KNOW! Sheer genius!

Anyway, don't call PETA or anything, but I had a good chuckle at the dog, then had a moment of envisioning her tongue stuck to the bowl, and you gotta admit that would have been funny too. In a sad, pitiful, poor dog way. (and yes, I realize tongues stick to metal, not ice water, but you know how my mind wanders)

Well, have a great weekend! I have another post coming to you today, and I promise, you don't want to miss it.....That is, if you like laughing at other people's idiocy, and of course, long rambling posts!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I Hate Cleaning House!

For anyone who tried to view this Wed, I apologize. I was only starting, and hit "enter" in the title box twice. I learned that automatically posts your blog. Woops!

Wanna know what's pitiful?
This all happened so quick.
I cleaned house Friday.
We were gone all weekend.
I worked yesterday.
What the heck happened in this place?

Do you know what I need? I need a house fairy.
You know, like the one off of Ella Enchanted.
I love that movie.

How the heck did I cook dinner in this very kitchen last night?
I'll tell ya how. I shoved it all out of the way,
then worked in a tiny area.
I pretended we were living in a travel trailer again.

I like living in a fantasy world.
Come join me, it's fun.
Of course, coming to the real world can be kind of painful.

I am not completely hopeless.
I do still make my bed every day.
Okay not every day, but most days.
At least, on the days that I feel like it.
But seriously, my mom did drill one thing into my head.
"Make your bed every day."

Hey, Mom, why didn't you tell me to clean my desk every day?

Or pick up my kids' dresser every day?
How do they manage to have so many piles of stuff?
How do they find anything?
I'll tell ya how, I find it for them, that's how!
Then, I get frustrated and organize the whole thing,
and a week later it's just like it was before I started!

But, alas, Wednesday I cleaned.

And cleaned some more.

I dusted. I swept. I mopped.
I cleaned BOTH bathrooms!
I knew a dear sweet lady in South Texas who always compared cleaning to the sin in her life. She said she never minded cleaning, because she always thought of how filthy she'd be without Jesus' blood to remove the stain of sin from her life.
Isn't that a beautiful image?
Oh, Dear Reader, I still hate cleaning.

The great part about cleaning all day Wednesday?
We eat at church on Wednesday night.
That means no dirty kitchen!

That means that Thursday morning, my kitchen still looked like this.

Oh, and my kids bedroom?

Ummm, you see,

Shouldn't cleaning their room be THEIR responsibility?

What am I teaching them if I clean up all of the messes in their lives?


That's what I'm thinking.

And, that's why their room looks like.............