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.............

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Family Time

Okay, I'm kicking myself that I didn't take pictures...I was cooking fish at the time, and you know when you're cooking fish, that's all you can do. BTW, yes, I have a camera. No, it's not mine. The truth is, it's my mom's. Yes, I'm buying my own. I've been saving up my spare change, and finally have enough to go replace my washed up one. So, for now, the recycling continues.

Anyway, we had the sweetest evening last night. Do you ever have those times as a family when you're just so overwhelmed by the beauty of it, you can't believe it? And don't you wonder why it's not always that way? My theory is that I'm usually too busy, tired, or just wrapped up in my own world to stop and notice how blessed I am.

Bookworm has an assignment due next Monday. She has to do a report on a Native American tribe, and she has to recreate the home they would have lived in. Yep, no more papers on Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett and the Alamo. We're not in Texas anymore. Here in Oklahoma it's all about Native Americans. Bookworm was disappointed when all of her classmates could share what tribe they were from, and that they had "Indian blood" in them. Her grandma told her she has Indian in her too....She is 1/128 Native American. She was pleased as punch. The question is....What tribe? I always thought Granddad Pat told me we were Apache, and "we were mean." That seemed to fit! :) But, my mom thinks we're Cherokee. I don't know, but all Bookworm really cares about is having "Indian blood" in her. But, as usual, I've digressed...

Have I ever mentioned I'm not crafty? Well, I'm not. Studmuffin always helps with the school projects. This works out well, because he loves it, and if I start to help, it's a slap-together job, and never as detailed or creative as he would do so...

Studmuffin was helping Bookworm with her tipi, (She chose the Sioux tribe. That's not even on OK tribe, but hey, we're expanding horizons here!) and Popcorn was being Popcorn, flying all over the house doing cartwheels and somersaults. The tipi is going to be so cool. I'll definitely have to snap pictures when they're done, so you can all be in awe with me! I was cooking potatoes, tilapia, and spinach salad (our favorite meal, and it takes, like, 15 minutes to make.) We sat down and enjoyed a peaceful meal with not a single complaint of "I don't like" except from Bookworm, and she isn't fond of spinach. But, she did eat it with a minimum fuss.

After dinner, Popcorn got out a puzzle, and Studmuffin helped her put it together while I googled tipi decorations for Sioux Indians. Then, Studmuffin and I cleaned the kitchen together. Again, I'm so glad he has a job that he can actually be around us more, and has the energy to step up and help me clean the kitchen. I hate cleaning the kitchen, but if he helps me, it's always fun. We pop each other with kitchen towels, and generally torment each other, until I almost wet my pants with laughter. This wouldn't be such an issue if I didn't hate taking time to go to the bathroom. I mean, it's such a waste of time. I can always think of something to do, like read a blog, or fold laundry (again, a chore I hate.) Or, even CLEAN THE KITCHEN!

I just have to say it again, for any hubbies reading this (which I doubt are, but maybe a few check in). Your wives love it when you help clean the kitchen. We like it even better when you do the whole thing, but of course that's not fun for you. I bet she'll even let you get a free grope in occasionally while you walk by to clean the stove. Hey now, be honest, you know you're doing it, and you know she's letting you, because, again, we hate to clean the kitchen alone. So, we'll make it more fun for you too! Again, I'm just being honest here!

Last night's good feelings spread into this morning. Studmuffin had an early breakfast meeting, but when Popcorn woke up she came in and snuggled with me in bed before we started the day, and then Bookworm got up too. She didn't have time for a snuggle. *sniff* My baby is growing up. Popcorn asked me to bring her Sonic to school and eat lunch with her, and I offered to do the same for Bookworm....No, she just wanted me to make her a lunch, and no, I don't need to sit with her during lunch. *sniff-sniff* She's getting too big, I guess, to hang out with Mom. The girls got ready for school with no yelling, fighting, or dawdling. Seriously, it's like I fell into another dimension or something, but I just enjoyed it while it lasted. I drove them to school, we said prayers for the day, and off they went!

Now, wasn't that a long, rambling post about nothing? I know it was. I guess I just want to relish how peaceful and simple the last 24 hours have been. And I'm asking myself why it isn't always this way. Whatever the reason, I praise God for the gift he gave me. It's a wonderful life.

Psalm 9:1-2
I will thank you, Lord, with all my heart: I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done. I will be filled with joy because of you. I will sing praises to your name, O Most High.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Fun with Paper Dolls

The Christmas tree has a skirt and presents!
Notice the table cloth, and even a cake!

Well, it's that time of the year again...CHRISTmas time, and that has gotten me to thinking about holidays as a kid. I've been shopping for the girls, (of course, I'm dying to tell you what they're getting, but Bookworm has a tendency to want to read my blog, and I'd hate to spoil anything.) I do have some restraint. Very little, but some!
These are educated young ladies.
The teacher had extra clothes you could attach to the schoolhouse.

I love Christmas...I always have. My favorite thing about Christmas is, of course, Jesus. Without him, I would have nothing. He has given me the best gift of all...salvation (hey, you know it's free or I wouldn't have it!) I wouldn't have hope of eternal life spent in glory with my Lord. I can't wait to talk to Him. I've got lots to say, and lots of questions, and luckily for me we will have eternity, cuz you know it will take me that long to stop talking!
The kitty is curled up next to the rocker.

My next favorite thing about Christmas! Of course, I'm sure you've figured that out about me. But, you may be surprised to find it's actually GIVING the gifts that's my favorite part. I love finding the perfect present, or thinking of the perfect craft to make someone. In case anyone's wondering Christmas is my only time to even think of crafting. I'm not generally creative that way. I can cook and I can talk, and I can boss people around, but crafting? That requires patience and a certain sort of inspiration that I don't have (I think the inspiration comes when you sit and think about something, 2 things that I don't do well.)
A wardrobe for every occasion!

But, this blog isn't about making things, it's about Christmas as a kid. Wasn't it all so magical as a kid? We used to spend every Christmas Eve at my great grandma's house. She always gave us pajamas. My dad is one of 2 boys, so this was usually a nice little gathering with my folks and my Uncle Lynn's family (he had 2 kids) and of course, Granddad Marvin and Grandma Irene (the Original Prairie Woman). On the way home we always saw Rudolph's nose. We lived about 4 miles of dirt road away from her, and I was always afraid we wouldn't get home and in bed before Santa got there. Of course, I also secretly hoped we'd catch him at our house....How cool would that have been?
I'm tellin' you , these things are too cute!

On Christmas morning my brother always woke me up at like 4am to see what Santa brought us. We would sneak into the living room (the light HAD to stay off, Christmas tree lights only) and look at all of our Santa presents (he never wrapped ours) and we would raid our stockings. It was pretty dark, so if you wanted a really good look, you had to hold it up to the Christmas tree to see it well. I never understood why David would never let me play with my toys, and we had to put everything back in the stocking in the order that we took it out. David was 6 years older than me, and much wiser. We weren't allowed to get my parents up until 5:30. Of course, David would have me go ask them several times before that if it was time to get up. He never went because he said I was younger and cuter and they'd probably get up for me. Again, David was much wiser (sneakier) than I was, so I usually followed instructions. After we FINALLY drug everybody else out of bed, we'd all get to look at our Santa presents, and stockings with the lights on! After Santa gifts, we opened presents from each other.
Carrie is decorating for Christmas!

After we opened presents, my sister Dawn would begin picking up the carnage that our living room had become (she's annoyingly responsible that way) and Mom would go make this HUGE breakfast for us. If I was lucky it included bran muffins-still my favorite muffin of all time-with butter and plum jelly YUM-O! I'm sure Dawn or Paula helped in some of that preparation, but again, as the cute little one there were very few expectations of me on Christmas morning other than to put my stuff away and stay out of the way. My siblings have often mentioned the breaks I got as the youngest, and I've never denied them. Hey, someone has to fill that role, and I'm happy to oblige.This thing can provide not hours, but YEARS of fun!

After breakfast we would go to my Granddad Pat's and Grandmama Dolly's house. My mom's side of the family is HUGE and that was always an experience. My mom is one of 5 siblings, so by the time they all had families, it was quite an event. For some reason I would get so excited/nervous for this gathering that I usually got sick. I'm not sure why, but I seem to recall spending several Christmases lying on the bed until I felt better at Grandmama's. Dont'cha wish you had one of your own?

My favorite gift of all time at that celebration was a paper doll set from my cousin Isaac. I loved it. It was a Gingham Girl paper doll set, with a house and everything. It came in this giant magazine looking thing, and I got to punch it out and assemble the house, furniture, everything. I still have it. It's in a drawer in my garage, and, no kidding, I got it out and looked at it last week. In fact, my girls played with it all weekend at my parents. Aunt Patty, if you're reading this, great gift idea. I somehow doubt Isaac picked it out for me. Whoever actually picked it out, I love it, and thank you!
Bedroom furniture, a sewing machine, they each even had their own scissors and needles!

What about you? Don't you just love Christmas? I want to challenge us all, myself included to remember the magic of Christmas this year. Remember the joy we felt as children at this time, and try to focus on that instead of the expectations of what we should be getting done. Have fun, enjoy the holiday, and spend extra time reminding each other why we are even doing all of this. ....the greatest gift of all, Jesus Christ, who came to bring salvation to the world.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Second Time Hurt

First of all, I have Studmuffin's permission. I promise I do. He only demands full share on the royalties. Please don't let him in on the little fact that I'm spending all of this time on a blog that is bringing in no money. I know I've confused you, but all will come clear, just be patient.

It was a lovely spring night on May 30 of 1996. We had just gotten back from our honeymoon. Strangely enough, we had to stay with my parents for a night, because we couldn't be in our apartment in Arlington, TX where we were moving to until June 1st. Talk about uncomfortable! In fact, we spent one night with his parents, and one with mine. Ick. It's tying my stomach up in knots remembering how awkward and embarrassed I felt. *Shudder* Let's not dwell on it any more, okay? Oooookey-dokey.

This story involves my beloved pet rabbit, Buster. Buster was a good little bunny. In fact he was a house rabbit. Didja know you could have a house rabbit? Well, neither did I until my sister Paula had one, and I couldn't wait to grow up and have one of my very own. Paula is 8 years older than me, and Dawn is 12. There were lots of things they got do, and I couldn't wait to grow up to be just like them.

But I've digressed....

Buster was a wonderful bunny. He loved carrots (don't feed your bunny too many of these. It stops 'em up) and he loved alfalfa hay (don't feed your bunny too much of this either, or he'll get the runs.) A happy balance is the best way to go. My roommate discovered that he loved soda too, and he quickly mastered drinking out of a straw (we pipetted it for him, of course.) Hey, did you know that when a rabbit is scared, he stomps his feet amazingly loud and drops 3 little turds right there? Me neither, but we quickly learned it. The neighbors slam their door...THUMP went Buster's feet, and out popped 3 little turds. It was always 3.

Did you know you can litter train a rabbit? Me neither...I never did succeed in this. You see, this particular step requires patience, but most importantly it requires you LEAVING YOUR BUNNY IN THE CAGE. Sabra and I were both terrible at that. You see, rabbits pick a place to do their business, and this is their bathroom. Therefore, you need to leave them in their cage until they decide their loo is in the cage. Buster's loo was behind the front door. So, that's where his litter box was. "Welcome to our lovely little home! Oh, please excuse the litter box, that's where the rabbit insists on going, so..." You can imagine what our guests must have thought of that! Did I happen to mention we were in a no pets allowed apartment complex? Shhh...Don't tell anyone.

Well, I bet you're wondering what all of this has to do with Studmuffin and permission to tell this story? Patience, patience, patience. Surely you realize that I must chase a million rabbits before getting to my point. Pun intended.

So, we're staying the night with my folks. I feel awkward, and I don't even want Studmuffin to hold my hand, much less show any other form of affection. Woops, there's that nauseous feeling again, and now I'm starting to sweat...I didn't realize this would be traumatic to me too. We were sitting in the living room watching TV with my parents. We weren't even sure what we were going to do with dear, sweet Buster. I didn't feel right leaving him in his cage all day, and you don't want to ever leave your rabbit unattended out of his cage. Can you say massive destruction? Anything wood is unsafe...Rabbits chew,and they chew a LOT.

So, Buster's ultimate destination was hanging in the balance. For some reason my parents didn't want to take him in. Just not a farm thing to do I guess... Studmuffin was sitting on the floor watching TV. He was just out of the shower, wearing gym shorts. I think they were purple Umbro shorts. Remember those? Very light weight, almost parachute material....Yes, this is significant. You see, he soon wished he was wearing canvas, or maybe even leather shorts.

One minute we're all watching TV, blissfully unaware of the scene that was about to unfold, me trying to figure out how I was going to go to bed at my parents house with my husband, because they'd surely be thinking we were going to know... and the next second Studmuffin lets out a yelp, and curls up in the fetal position on the floor....

He's @#$!!!

He's ?/+*!!!

His face is a strange purple hue.

He is gasping for air...

He's...............................he' he?

Surely not....

Is he holding himself?

We were mystified....What on earth is WRONG with him?

Can you guess? Betcha can't.

Can you?


It seems Buster was not happy with Studmuffin. He was mad at being left for 5 days. He was mad that this man had stolen my affection, and apparently he was angry that we had been doing....well....errr....doing....ummm.....HONEYMOON things. That's all I'm sayin' about that.

But I will say this. Buster took exception to this. He took such extreme offense to this, that he took action...

He BIT Studmuffin.

Bit him on the.....well, you know...

He BIT, and he TUGGED.


Really hard. (I must say...I'm not sure a gentle tug would have been ok)

Studmuffin never did forgive Buster for this slip in etiquette (you know the rule...don't circumsize the man that feeds you?) Studmuffin had already had this procedure done once before, and he was blissfully unaware of any pain..... But this time....

Well, let's just say that THE SECOND TIME REALLY HURT.

Wait a minute!!!!! That's not the end!!!

Well, it's the end of that story, but don'tcha want to know what happened to the rabbit?

Of course you do!

Well, he obviously didn't go to TX. He stayed with my parents for a few weeks, until they found a lovely family with 3 little ones, who would just love to have a pet rabbit.....

It seems this lovely family also had a dog....A dog who loved rabbits....

Poor Buster! Studmuffin, unfortunately, did not mourn Buster's passing. I think he felt he got his just rewards. *Don't tell him, but I think I heard him laughing when I was sobbing the whole tragic story onto his shoulder.* I'm sure he wasn't. I know much he loves me. He's my hero. My knight. My champion. I know he'd never laugh at my pain...............Would he?..........Of course not, I'm being silly..........I think.
Again, Dear Reader, a girl needs her fantasies, and I would appreciate if you would let me keep mine. Thank you.

Again, Studmuffin has read this post, and he approves this blog.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008



Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Am I a Mooch, or WHAT?!

I was reading through my blogs, (I never denied being egocentric) and I noticed a very disturbing pattern. The doggie bed my sister gave my dog....The table Studmuffin's aunt gave us....the girls Halloween costumes...the Desert Rose dishes from The Original Prairie Woman... I did not like what I was thinking. "Andi, you are a serious mooch! Go out and buy your own stuff!"

I'm not a mooch! I'm not! Seriously! Cheap, maybe, mooch......Nope!

I had a sudden flash of packing for college....Most of those possessions were thanks to my sister, Paula...the iron, the lamp, the clock, well it goes on and on. My cell phone is from my niece, because a neighbor girl ruined mine, and then the one my sister gave me broke (notice neither of these instances were my fault...that's my story and I'm stickin' to it!) My mind started to spin circles (more than usual for those of you who wonder), I began to sweat (again, more than my usual sweat...this is paranoid sweat) and I became a tad concerned.

That caused me to take a brief inventory of my humble abode.

My bedroom furniture is thanks to a gift from The Original Prairie Woman....

My end tables are from Studmuffin's growing up years....

I have a dining room table that was my great-great grandma's...

The furniture in the kids bedrooms were thanks to my mom...

The hutch in my dining area was refinished by Studmuffin, but originally came from my mother-in-law...

The decorations are just as bad....

Have I bought NOTHING for myself?

Have I?


Tell me?

What about my....? Never mind, that was a gift....



Hey I know! I bought my....Nah, that was a present too.

Think, Think, Think

Oh, this is getting painful,


Oh crud, this ain't working out so well in my favor....

Remember that show Spin City? (I had such a crush on Michael J Fox as a kid, until I realized that I was probably taller than him, and like the rest of the short guys I knew, he might call me "Andre the Giant." Yes, my childhood was painful, but somehow I survived.) I'm sure I can spin this to my favor....

Let's see....

Okay, so maybe I get lots of gifts from people. Maybe it's not because I'm a mooch, but maybe it's because they all love me and want to bless me! I'm pretty darn lovable after all. Hey, who am I to rob someone of their blessing by helping me? (Thanks Paula for that little saying. I've been waiting for an opportunity to use that example...What do you mean you didn't mean it that way?)

Maybe I really am cheap...cheaper than I realized... That is a scary thought, dear reader, because I already thought I was pretty darn cheap.

Wait! I'm not cheap! I'm not a mooch! I'm eco-friendly! I don't waste a single item! It's called recycling! Not CHEAP, not a MOOCH, it's called RECYCLING!!!

Hey! Whoddathunkit? I'm green! Yeah me!

P.S. Aren't my posts boring without the benefit of photos? Maybe someone will give me a camera since SOMEONE washed mine! Again, I claim little to no responsibility for the aforementioned broken items.... So, as I was saying, if you'd like to bless me with a free camera, I'll bless you by allowing you to bless me. Hey, I'm just generous that way. Yep, that's me...I'm a giver!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Rainy Morning

Don't you love rain? I mean, of course, when you don't have to be out in it. Rain is wonderful.

Let's set up the scene, shall we? Lets.

The kids are off to school after being home for 4 days due to last week's illness. (picture me doing cartwheels of joy to get my day going.)
The dog is curled up on her bed by the fireplace. (Thanks to my sister Dawn (click to learn more) for buying my doggie a bed-what a great aunt!)
I'm sitting on the couch with my laptop on my newly refinished coffee table, and I'm reading blogs.
Okay, here's a side trip, (my blogs would not be complete without at least one, or maybe a dozen) but I got this great old children's school desk from Studmuffin's aunt. I sanded it lightly (this means not to Studmuffin's standards, but I wanted a rough look) and put a light cherry stain on it. It has scratches galore, and crayon marks inside the cubbies (which I didn't bother to sand or anything, just wiped out the cobwebs) and it has the teacher's name written in black marker on the bottom. Thank you Mrs. Martinson from Rm 5-whoever you are, and wherever you were from. I love my new coffee table. Studmuffin continues to point out that it's actually 4 inches too high for a coffee table height. He is such a rule follower! Don't get me wrong...I like rules! Rules are IMPORTANT! Unless, of course, I don't like the rules, and then the rules are just SILLY! The coffee table height rule, in this case, is silly.

Okay, where were we?....Oh yes, setting the scene...

I am drinking Earl Grey tea from my lime green Fiesta Ware tea cup on a salmon Fiesta saucer. I love Fiesta. I have 16 complete place settings, and 2 more incomplete. I also have 8 place settings of Desert Rose stoneware that The Original Prairie Woman, aka my Grandma Irene gave each of her grandaughters a few years ago-thank you Grandma Irene! Hey, would anyone like to have dinner at my place? I've got the dishes if you've got the food!

Back to the scene (again): There is a beautiful candle burning, vanilla hazelnut-yum.

I have absolutely nothing to do, but sit here, type on my blog, and get sucked into other bloggers worlds. *sigh* This is the life.

I think I'll turn on some classical music and complete the scene...excuse me please, I'll be right back....


Oh no!

Huge mistake!





The Agony!

The Pain!

I should never have lifted my face from the computer screen. When I went to put in the CD I made the mistake of letting my eyes wander... Don't ever do this Reader if you prefer to live in fantasy land, as I do. I was sadly reminded of all the things I must do today. There is a mountain of laundry to be done (why must my kids go through 2 outfits minimum a day, and manage to get food on both outfits, therefore doubling that days laundry?) The dishwasher needs emptied, then reloaded with breakfast dishes. I hate dishes, they never go away.

We're out of food...

No, seriously, we're out of food. My kids had to eat cereal for breakfast. They like a hot breakfast, that must include peanut butter and some form of syrup. I am out of both. They were not happy with me.

The floors need swept, and mopped for that matter, but I REFUSE to do that on a rainy'll just get messed up again at 3o'clock!

I need to plan my menu for the next 2 weeks before I go to the store so I don't have to return. Of course, the every 2 week shopping trip is the reason we run completely out of food. I only buy what I need for the 2 weeks. It works great economically, not so great for sudden munchy or craving attacks...I have lots of those, and so does Studmuffin. Why do men get up and eat at 2o'clock in the morning? This is a mystery to me. How can he go back to sleep after eating a bowl of ice cream? Or a bowl of cereal? Or a can of pineapple? Of course, he hasn't done any of those for several days, because, as I said, we're out of food, and snack food is the first to disappear.

I need to go to the bank. I need to work on our budget. Did you know budget is an acronym for depressing? Look it up, it's there, I promise...Okay, so it's not there, but darn it, it should be!

Well, now that my fantasy bubble is completely popped, I must get to work Dear Reader...

In just a few minutes...I think I need to check out Pioneer Woman, or maybe the Country Doctor's Wife, or maybe I should see what's happening in the REAL world. Of course, the blogger world is way more fun.... Maybe I'll .....



Let's see..........

Oh. Forget. It. The moment is ruined! Ruined I tell you! I must return to the real world! Wish me luck, and don't worry, I'll be back to my fantasy world as soon as my real world lets me! just as soon as I peak into a few blogs, just a few, I promise...

Ephesians 6:7
Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men.

Colossians 3:23-24
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

Friday, November 7, 2008

I'm not fat

At least that's what Popcorn says.

It all started about 2 months ago. That stupid Nutri-System commercial came on. You know the has the woman who works in Hollywood, and she had ballooned up to, like, a size 10 *gasp*. Then, she found Nutri-System, and lost weight. Now, she's a disgusting size, like 4 or something. Those details are foggy in my memory.

What's not foggy is her outfit....zippered shirt, unzipped to down there, tight jeans...sandy blond hair, perfectly tousled with artfully arranged highlights to give the California sun-kissed look...I'm getting nauseous thinking about it... Let's move on, shall we?

Popcorn pipes up "Mommy, you need to do that, so you can look like her!"

Imagine my look of horror. Steam starts rolling out my ears...My eyes are glowing red (or was it green?)

Studmuffin quickly steps in to save the day. "Ummm, honey, even Daddy doesn't go there."
Popcorn: I'm not talking about you, Daddy, I mean MOMMY!
It's about this point that she actually makes eye contact with me. Nobody ever said Popcorn was slow to catch on. "At least, I think you should...I don't know that's just what I think.... I think."
When you hear this conversation in your head, remember my little ones lived in TX long enough to get the accent down. Think is actually tha-ink. Try it in your imagination, it helps, I promise. Much more impact.

But back to the point. You know me, I didn't say a word. Not a word. I composed myself, smiled at her, and faked a brittle laugh. I tried to be okay with it, really I did.

I blew it off...

I did...The whole thing never crossed my mind again....

Why don't you believe me? What is wrong with you people?! I moved on...

Of course that little kernel of information has been sitting in my subconscious for these past months. She redeemed herself yesterday. We were lying on the floor, rolling around.

Popcorn: Hey Mom, you're flat here!
Me: What do you mean?
Popcorn: Here. (Oh, Dear Reader she rubbed my STOMACH! still my heart)

Yep, she redeemed herself. I have a flat stomach. (Dear Reader, what we are not focusing on here is the fact that I was lying flat on my back, with gravity to help me out.) My 6 year old said so, and 6 year olds don't lie...well sometimes they don't least, I'm sure she wasn't lying this time...I think. ....

*sigh* Excuse me while I go do some Pilates....

This is the LIFE!

Yesterday we took a day off from life. Today we're taking another. It all started Wednesday evening. Popcorn had a fever. This resulted in her staying home from school yesterday, and me calling in to work. I hate calling in. As a nurse, you know how tough it is to get everything done when someone is gone. Well, at about noon I got a call from the school. It seems poor Bookworm puked in the cafeteria. I went and picked her up, of course. I was a little annoyed with the school nurse. It seems she'd already been to her before that day for a headache so bad she couldn't concentrate on her work. Nurse Ratchet phoned me and said "She said she had a headache, and now she says she threw up." Mommy rushed to the rescue. I arrived, she's sitting in a chair, white as a sheet, and tells me "Don't touch my jacket, it's wet." Thanks for the warning. Ick.Compassionate Nurse Ratchet says "Well, what do you think?"

What do I think? I think she's sick....Nurse Ratchet seemed in some doubt about that. Poor Bookworm is crying at this point. Begging me to leave "right now." We left, with Nurse Ratchet continuing to ask me if I thought she was sick. I felt my hackles rise...I felt my protective Mama Bear persona take over....

Mama Bear: "Bookworm did you throw up?"

Bookworm: Yes, in the cafeteria *sob*

Mama Bear: It seems she's sick. And, since she's crying, I better go.

Don't mess with my babies. I'm the only one who's allowed to question their illness and if it's legit. (We won't mention that she had reported a headache to me, our local Nurse Ratchet, who noted she had eaten every last bite of breakfast, asked for seconds, and so was sent to school.)

Anyway, we took a day off to enjoy illness. We watched Scooby Doo, Hannah Montana, Suite Life of Zach and Cody, Phineas & Ferb,etc. etc. etc. I did nothing but disinfect frequently, and lay on the couch with them and veg out. I even worked in a nap.

Today, I kept them home again. Neither of them ate supper last night, they went to bed early, and got up late this morning. I'm having some guilt about that now. They are running around like maniacs. They are doing karate kicks. Can I get in trouble if my kids are caught riding their scooters in the neighborhood during school hours?

I'm disinfecting. Washing all bedding. I've disinfected every surface I thought necessary, and some probably unnecessary...I've scrubbed toilets and tubs. Now, we're back to lounging and watching kid shows. I enjoy kids shows...We won't get into what that says about my maturity level. I'm sure it's a reflection of my childlike innocence and joy of life.

Maybe we'll go shopping in a few hours when the laundry is done. Gasp! Did I just admit that? Oh well, I've already contributed to juvenile delinquency today, why not go the whole way. Popcorn has $9 burning a whole in her pocket, and Bookworm needs church shoes. I'm guessing sandals won't work now that it's November. They're begging me to leave right now. Obviously they're gravely ill, and needed a day of recuperation.

Hey, we might as well make this wasted day useful. I'd hate to blow a whole day playing hookie just sitting at my house, fearing being reported to the cops by the neighbors. Better to take them out in public... Who's to say I don't home school? I don't, but I'm a BIG believer in mental health days. My mental health ain't so good right now. The sicklings are nagging me...They're bored...I never let them watch tv, and after an entire day of that, they're bored, and now they want to go outside and swing, and enjoy the beautiful fall day.

Okay, the guilt is starting to weigh me down. I'm starting to get irritable with the sicklings, and that isn't good for their mental health. I'm sure it will be better if we shop. Then Popcorn can whine because we're not doing what she wants, then her legs will be tired, and she'll drag behind
and be generally exasperating, hoping we'll go to a toy store to blow her $9.

Bookworm will complain because her feet are so skinny that the only shoes that will fit her feet are NOT the shoes she wants. They won't be trendy little ballet slippers, or canvas shoes like they wear in HS Musical...

On second thought....maybe we'll stay home.

Psalm 136:1-10
Give thanks to the LORD , for he is good.
His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods.
His love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords:
His love endures forever.
to him who alone does great wonders,
His love endures forever.
who by his understanding made the heavens,
His love endures forever.
who spread out the earth upon the waters, His love endures forever.
who made the great lights-
His love endures forever.
the sun to govern the day,
His love endures forever.
the moon and stars to govern the night,
His love endures forever.

Give thanks to the Lord who gave me 2 precious girls to enjoy
His love endures forever.
who gave me a husband who loves me and wants to please me,
His love endures forever.
the One who listens to my complaining and still loves me,
His love endures forever.
to him who loves me and has forgiven me
His love endures forever.
I praise the only I Am, the Lord of all creation, who loves me, who has taken away all of my blame, so that I may be pure and holy, without fault.
His love endures forever.
He has control in all situations, and He works all things to the good of His purpose

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Okay, I'll tell you my secret...

I have a scar in my belly button. No, I didn't have laparascopic surgery. No, I didn't have liposuction...I wish. Mine is way more romantic than either of those.

Many years ago, way back in 1998, there was a young married couple. They were deeply in love. Studmuffin decided to prove his love on a romantic camping trip to Turner Falls, OK. After a day of hiking Studmuffin decided to build a camp fire for his lady love. Oh, it was going to be a beautiful fall night. He had even complied with state regulations and brought his own wood that he had bought at his local Albertson's. No chopping down the local forest for this romeo. Nope... he followed the rules.

Hey, did you know that the wood you buy at your local Albertson's is sometimes green? Yes, it's very hard to light. But Studmuffin persevered, and after dousing the green wood in approximately 2 cans of lighter fluid he triumphed. His lady love was chilly, and he wanted some romance...and he was pretty darn sure that wouldn't happen if she was cold. His lady love hated to be cold.

Well, after getting the fire started, things started progressing quite nicely for Studmuffin. Ooolala, the romantic fires were burning...did I say burning? What is that burning sensation? Lady Love let out a screech of pain, and scared poor Studmuffin to death! What did he do? Was there a fire breathing dragon that needed to be slain? Yes! But not in the expected manner! You see, the aforementioned green wood had popped... and popped a burning ember, out of the fire, and as Studmuffin's luck would have it, right into his lady love's belly button. She tried to flick away the burning sensation. Unfortunately, that only pushed it further in. She began to screech and thrash...Dear Reader, it was NOT romantic. She had to resort to grabbing the glowing ember, and plucking it out! Now she had burned fingers too!

The story, sadly, gets worse. Lady Love was not yet a nurse, she was a student nurse, and unprepared for the risks of adventurous living. She had no burn cream, no antiseptic, no pain reliever...nada. And let me tell you, she was in pain.

Oh, she tried to be strong. She tried to ignore the pain, but alas, she was weak. She had to be taken to the first aid station.

Did you know they want to SEE your burn when you show up in the middle of the night asking for pain reliever and antibiotic ointment? Aack! Lady Love was so humiliated. The park ranger wanted to know HOW she managed to burn her belly button. "None of your beeswax, bucko! Now just give me some ibuprofen and neosporin!" Of course, she was more gentle than this (she was humiliated after all, and wanted to get in and out by bringing as little attention to herself as possible.)

Well, Lady Love and Studmuffin got their supplies and returned to camp, but the romantic atmosphere was no more. They enjoyed the remainder of their trip (minus the flames of love.) But... was it their imagination or did the park staff all chuckle when they happened by them on their hikes? Alas, the paranoia became more than Lady Love could bear...They packed up and returned to their safe little apartment in Arlington, TX. The end.

Wardrobe Drama and Birdbrains

Popcorn has always had her own unique style. When she was 3 and 4 she always wore monochromatic clothes. Her very favorite outfit was a purple shirt, with purple shorts, and purple socks. Then, at about age 5, her personal style changed to polychromatic. This translated means, "if it doesn't match, it will be my favorite outfit, and I will wear it as soon as my mommy washes it again." So, she frequently wore her purple shorts with her blue LV Bears shirt, and pink socks...or on a REALLY special day, the socks would be mismatched. Sadly, I am spineless when it comes to wardrobe. If it covers all of the necessary parts, doesn't need ironed and is clean, I'm okay with it. I did make the effort to point out it didn't match, to which she replied "I know. I don't care." I then decided why should I care, and sent her on her merry way.

To those of you who are wondering, yes I received comments from well-meaning friends, and even strangers. What they, and you, may not understand is the strength of Popcorn's will. I like to pride myself on my own strong will, but when we clash....Well, let's say it just ain't pretty.

So, I've decided that I refuse to battle about clothes. Yes, I've had some moments of pause regarding this. If I can't make her wear what I want at 6, what will happen when she's 13? We'll face that road when we get there.

Well, this morning she wanted to wear shorts. It's November. Yes, in South Texas I would have allowed it, but this is Oklahoma. The wind is blowing. Well, she agreed surprisingly easily to not wear the bright blue shorts with her pink camo shirt. She came strolling in the living room in a pair of........leggings. Tight leggings. Tight leggins with a pink camo shirt that she's had for 2 years, and it barely skims her waste. Did I mention the leggings are fitted? Yes, she's 6. Yes, she's tall and slim. I initially agreed. After all, she's 6. But then...I had visions...visions of my 13 year old curvy child strolling out in the same outfit. Would I crumble then? No. You would be proud of me, dear reader. I stood firm. Today, that is. She changed again. (Hey, I need to save this date. I actually accomplished TWO wardrobe changes out of Popcorn in one morning! With very little argument!)

She reappeared. In a pair of brown palazzo pants. That she wore in preschool. She's now in 1st grade. They used to come to her ankles. Now they are wide legged shorts that come to just above her knees. Were they really shorts? No. Were they leggings? No. Was she decently covered? Yes. I didn't say a word. We headed out the door for another day in the life.

So, what do you think? Are leggings by themselves okay on a 6 year old? I know most of you will tell me to have her put a skirt on over it. This won't fly with Her Fashioness... so try again. Let me know. I'm interested to hear about your kids wardrobe drama. And if you have none, make it up...I don't want to feel all alone here! Thank you for your tolerance.

Oh, and a post note courtesy of Bookworm... "Did you know that barn swallows are very useful birds? They eat junebugs, flies, and wasps." How handy...I pointed out that they also poop all over my porch when they build a nest there. "Well, that's not very useful!" Oh, Bookworm, you make me laugh.

Isaiah 61:10
I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with jewels.