Friday, June 26, 2009

The heart won't lie

Remember that country song? I think Reba sang it.

Well, today I had the TV on for background noise as I did my housework. We have the basic DirecTV package. I love the Gospel Music Channel, but it was showing a movie, and since we don't get GAC, I turned on CMT. Crossroads was on with Taylor Swift and Def Leppard. They had this little segment about following your instinct with your music, and living from an authentic place. This led to distinguishing how to make decisions.

One of the men said, "This will lie," pointing to his head, "but this will never lie," gesturing to his heart. They then continued the importance of always listening to you heart, and doing what your heart says is right for you.

This is a statement I hear over and over in our society, and it worries me. Jeremiah 17:9 states, "The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. who can understand it?" Why would we trust our hearts when scripture clearly states it is deceitful? How many times have I messed things up because I followed my heart, AKA, what I really want to do? Too many to name. We, as people are selfish, and in our selfish hearts we desire to please our flesh. But I am not to live to please my flesh, but to please the Holy Spirit.

Right now, Studmuffin has a job opportunity right back where we moved from. Do I want to move? No. Do I think God is telling me to stay here? I don't know. I'm praying diligently about it. I hope you'll pray for me to. The reality is, if I say I don't want to move, Studmuffin will honor my desires. But again, based on the above scripture, can I trust the desires of my heart? Usually, no.

The only time I can trust the desires of my heart is when I have made a conscious decision to seek God with all my heart (Jeremiah 29:18), and fix his words in my heart (Deuteronomy 11:18) and set my heart on things above (Colossians 3:1) then God will give me peace, and Christ will rule in my heart. There's the catch. I have to listen to the Holy Spirit, who is in my heart, not my flesh.

So, that's what hit me for today. I need to be diligent about what I listen to. The lies that are in the world, that without God's word to guide me, seem to make perfect sense. These lies will creep into my life and I will buy into them. Even scarier, I will teach my children to believe these lies. Isaiah 59:21 tells me that "My Spirit, who is on you, and my words that I have put in your mouth will not depart from your mouth, or from the mouths of your children, or from the mouths of their descendants from this time on and forever." says the LORD." What words are coming out of my mouth? Are they God's words, or are they words of the flesh? I'm working on it. I'm praying on it. I pray that I will raise my girls to have a heritage in the Lord.

Pray for me as a mommy and a wife. Pray that we will make a decision as a family that leads us into God's will, not my selfish desires. I know I can trust Him.

Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Romans 8:28
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

I can't guarantee any of that with my own plans.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

What I found in Popcorn's bed

So, the final step in separating the girls is washing their bedding. They still have to separate stuffed animals, babies, and jewelry, but that won't take long, and I have no idea where I will put babies and stuffies in Popcorn's room, unless it's under the bed.

Anyway, here's a list of things in Popcorn's bed (including all bedding that belongs there)

Bubble wrap
18 stuffed animals
6 books
Bubble gum tape
a pedometer
various baby clothes and blankets
a tooth...A real tooth. She pulled it and couldn't remember where she put it!
a doll trunk
lots and lots of trash....

How on earth did she sleep with all of that in her twin bed?

You are what you eat.

I'm determined not to cook this week. That has been hindered by my first round of green beans from the garden. They looked so good, I ate a few raw...They were delish. It is also hindered by the fresh zucchini my neighbor gave me. (I saw him out in his yard this morning when I was working in my garden, and casually dropped in for a visit. It's okay to visit your neighbors before 7 am if they are outside, right? Where is Emily Post when you need her?) I never got around to planting any zucchini or squash, but my Grandma Irene always said, "Never leave your windows down in the summer. Someone will come and unload their squash on you."

One time I called her while I was in the store. We had just moved, it was summer, so of course I had no fresh squash. She said, "You know you must not have a friend in the world if you have to buy squash in the summer!"

Thank you Grandma. That made me feel much better about moving.

Anyway, last night Studmuffin had to help a friend with his boat. At a lake. And it somehow involved poles, tackle boxes, and smelling like fish when he got home....So he didn't need fed.

In my refusal to cook, I decided to eat a fresh peach and some cottage cheese at about 4:30. I had only had one slice of pizza for lunch. Anyone who knows me at all knows that is barely a snack for me. I eat like a farmhand, even though I'm not one anymore. At about 6 I was starving again. So, I warmed up some leftover taco meat and made some nachos. At about 7 I had a fudge pop and a vanilla ice cream miniature from Schwann's (it's like their Schwann's signature ice cream bar only smaller and only 60 calories.) Then around 8 I had to fight down the munchies beast again, but ended up crumbling and eating a spoonful of Smucker's Natural Extra Crunchy peanut butter.

I don't know...But I'm thinkin' I'd have been better served to just fix myself some dinner and be done with it instead of grazing all night long.

Progress note: I haven't gotten everything done that I hoped while the girls were gone. I did get a book read. And I floated in the pool for 2 hours. But alas, neither of those tasks lead me to completion of my "to do" list. Today, I have to get cracking....

Without any AC. Ours quit last night. I'm waiting to hear from the repair people. Thankfully it's under warranty until July 3rd. FYI: It's supposed to be 90 degrees by 9am, with a high of 100. Yikes. Maybe I'll end up going shopping with the money I'm not making since I'm on vacation this week....

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Studmuffin living dangerously....

I bought 2 new swimsuits. The suits I had were officially worn out to the point that I couldn't even wear them in my own back yard. I thought the one I bought 3 summers ago was still okay until Studmuffin kept asking me to grab stuff for him in the boat...

He had a strange smirk on his face...

I realized the elastic was shot in my top and he was getting a view every time I bent forward...


So. I went and bought 2 new suits. One is a tank top and skirt. The other is a tank top and board shorts. Stufmuffin asked me if I bought anything "sexy."

Ummm...Does this man know me at all? I am not baring my white belly for anyone. Plus on the boat I need to feel well covered and know that nothing will fall out or off out on the water. Plus I need to be a good example for the girls... And, in all honesty, my tank tops and gym shorts have always bared more than any bathing suit I own. That's just the way I am....I'm a white girl, and nobody wants to see that much white skin unless it's very firm, with no dimplage or stretch marks, and I have an abundance of both...

So, I showed him my new suits.

His comment: Those look like appropriate suits for a 30 something mom.

Okay. So they are. But when he says it that way, I totally felt like an old frump. Men. Sometimes they should just stick with "You look very pretty in that." There is no way to misconstrue that...Unless it's "You mean I don't always look pretty?" But, I would never be that manipulative...

Unless I just felt the need to pick on him!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I'm least until Saturday.

Well, yesterday I made a very long drive...

I drove to Hillsboro, TX to meet my good friend Tara. She is graciously letting my little hooligans stay with them until Saturday. Actually, I had planned on them to return Friday, but it turns out Saturday is better for her, and who am I to argue with someone wanting to keep my kids an extra day?

It was so great seeing Tara again. I had not seen her since we met last July to meet for me to return her girls to her. I love her dearly, and our visit was way too short. When they walked in to IHOP (the official meeting place) it was like we picked up exactly where we left off. Don't you just love friendships like that? I've been so blessed that way. I have a friend in Arlington, that we seldom get to see, but when we get the chance to be together, it's like we just sat down to have lunch together yesterday.

I know that it's that way for these 4 little girls too. Popcorn still considers Abigail her "very best friend." Isn't that too sweet? After being apart 11 months, they hugged and hugged, and Popcorn's face got all red, and I thought she was going to cry.

Bookworm and Annie are equally well matched. I have to say, I was surprised to see they were nearly the same height. Annie was much taller than my girl last time they were together. They are both very innocent, and diligent of protecting that innocence. They both love using their imaginations, and are in no hurry to move on to big girl stuff. I love watching them play and interact with each other.

I'm pretty excited about this week, even as I'm wondering what I will do with myself with no kids for the week. Normally when I ship them off, I end up picking up extra shifts at the hospital. Since this was supposed to be the week we were on vacation (Studmuffin had problems at work, so we couldn't go) I decided to use this week as my vacation in my own home. I haven't cleaned house since my nephews came. So, today is house cleaning day. Tomorrow I will finish organizing the girls rooms, then Thursday I plan to scrapbook all day. Plus, I have to paint our hallway (Studmuffin, do you remember promising you would paint the hallway when we moved in since you know I despise detail and cutting in?...Just a gentle reminder!) Bookworm wants me to paint one wall in her room turquoise. I thought I would maybe surprise her with having this done for her.

Oh! Did I tell you that I was separating the girls into separate rooms? I made an executive decision. So, before they left we sorted the toys. That went amazingly well. The toys that they had been given to share, they divvied up. It was kind of like a little divorce. For example, I had gotten them a Barbie living room set at a garage sale for $2. Popcorn got the floor lamp and couch and coffee table. Bookworm got the TV, entertainment center and chair. No arguments. Amazing, right?

Anyway, I have big plans for this week. So, I better get off this blog and get to work! But, never fear, I'll keep you posted on my progress! Aren't you so relieved?

Oh, oh! I almost forgot...I'M NOT GOING TO COOK THIS ENTIRE WEEK!!!! I refuse. So there. This is vacation...A vacation that involves work, yes. But if we were on a REAL vacation I would not be cooking...So, I refuse to cook supper this week. So Studmuffin better bust out his debit card cuz we're eating out or doing carry out every stinking night. So hah. Take that, buddy!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Helping Dad

In honor of Father's Day, I thought I'd share some of my favorite memories of my Dad.

My dad made everything fun. The first time Studmuffin helped us work cattle he was astounded at how smoothly everything went. The thing is, even if it didn't run smoothly, it was no big deal. You let a calf get by? Well, we'll get it in a minute when we re-sort (to get all of the other calves I missed of course.)

I hated "working the gate." This is a very important job. The person working the pen brings you, hopefully, one calf. If you want to keep the calf it was an "in." If you plan to sell the calf it was a "by." In other words, you either opened the gate to let a calf in or quickly closed it to let it by into the pen behind you. Notice I said "hopefully one calf." Sometimes 3 calves would run at you at one time. Dad would yell "First one is a by, the next two are in!" I would be half panicked trying to get the sorting right. Now, if Dad worked the gate, he was very adept at sending 3 calves 2 different directions at one time. And it was the right direction. That always drove me crazy. I remember my Grandad Marvin always used to say, "Andi, the cow doesn't want to run over you. Get in front of her. She'll stop." I disproved him on this theory over and over as I would try to leap a 6 foot fence in a single bound and the cow would charge into me, the corral, and whatever else that was in the way of her getting back to her calf. But he still never gave up this adage. Stubbornness runs in our family.

We used to have an Angus bull that had a tendency to roam. He liked to go into our neighbors pasture and visit the ladies there. We regularly had to get the horses and run him back home. The neighbor had a pony that had been allowed to founder in his pasture. So, we would be trying to round up an 1800 lb (guesstimating) bull, not disrupt Henry's cows, and avoid the crazy pony that would run up on us and kick at our horses. It was quite the sight, I'm sure.

Before I move on, I just have to share a remembered conversation with Henry and his wife: "Well, I guess it's okay that your bull got in here, but we really didn't want any black calves." Dad just apologized and went back to work. Never mentioning the fact that half of Henry's cows were black....Okay, return to topic:

Dad would rope the bull, then I'd put my rope on him (I was a terrible roper) and we would use 2 horses, trying to be sure and never let any slack go either way to prevent a charge from the romeo at either horse, and lead him home. One time we had been unsuccessful at getting him lassoed. Dad told me to go on ahead and open the gate, and we would have to just run him home. I rode ahead, but the gate was hard to open. I was wrestling with the bale (the wire that wraps around the gate post to attach the gate to the fence post) and I heard a thundering sound. Here came Dad the bull, and the crazy pony. My horse started to dance. So, I'm struggling with a fence and a skittish horse. I can still hear Dad yelling "Open the gate! Open the gate! Open the gate!" at the top of his lungs, and can picture that bull bearing down on me. I turned back to the gate and "put my butt into it." just like Dad taught me.

I got it open!

Just in time to see the stupid bull veer right and jump the fence into our pasture.

Dad, never one to be caught off guard immediately yelled "Close the gate! Close the gate!"

Gee. I guess that explained why no matter how many times we checked the fence to see where the fence was down we could never find it. Stupid bull.

Seriously, though, Dad did make everything exciting. We used to have to haul irrigation pipe. We had an irrigation system that we would use aluminum pipe for. When it was not in use, like in winter, or when we needed to farm, we would gather up all the pipe and stack it neatly. However, it was a tedious job to move it from place to place. We would each grab an end of 2 pieces of pipe, and "trot" to wherever it went. I'm just going off of memory here, but I think the pipes were about 8 feet long and 8 inches in diameter. How could this be fun? You see, we would always see neat things. Dad always made an effort to point out every baby bunny he saw. Or hawk. Or baby birds. Even flowers. It was always interesting. He would point out animal tracks and tell me what made them. If we found a pile of mouse bones and fur we knew an owl had probably had his meal there, then regurgitated the indigestible parts. Since I always found this fascinating, I guess I was always a little bit of a nurse. Plus, Dad was always nice and let me pick up my end of the pipe first. I would pick it up and tip it up on it's end. The end he was on. Why, you ask? Well, if the pipe had been stacked for the winter, invariably some animal had decided to make a home in it. Rabbits were okay. Even mice were alright. But I always had a horror that a snake would come sliding out. That never happened, but I still dreaded it.

I always knew my dad was invincible. One summer the rattle snakes were terrible. One day we were rounding up cattle and we killed 4 rattlers. Notice I said "we." Here's the scenario: Blue and I go to get a calf. He would start to pitch and carry on. I would see a snake, realize that was the cause of the ruckus, and run to get Dad. Dad would then come and kill the snake with his lariat. That's right...His lariat. I thought he was the most amazing dad ever...

And I still do!

Happy Father's Day, Daddy! I love you, and I hope you guys have a great trip to South Dakota!

Without us.

Dang Studmuffin's job interfering with our plans for fun...

But I'm not bitter or anything....

Saturday, June 20, 2009

S'mores, Carnies, and Ticks

We went camping last night. We had a lovely camp site on a local lake. There were lots of trees. There were lots of ticks. Scads and scads of ticks. I'm talkin' ticks crawling all over our tent as we were setting it up. Little itty bitty deer ticks. Smaller than a pin head. I promptly soaked the whole tent in insect repellent. I sprayed down all of us. The problem was, the tricks were dropping out of the trees onto our stuff... Yes, I appreciate the shudders of horror I know you are all having right now. Seriously, the only place I felt safe was on the water.

Remember our lovely campsite? Well, it was very entertaining. We had a very, shall I say, eclectic group of people at the next sight over. There was a gentleman who could juggle fire. He had a baton thingy with torches on either end that he would ignite and use two stick dealies to juggle it back and forth, throw it up in the air and occasionally nearly drop it on his foot. Also, he had a fascination with lighter fluid. It seems they forgot to bring fire wood. The group went around and gathered up sticks and branches off of the ground. The wood was too green to burn. Their fire kept nearly going out, but every time it did, fire starter dude would come up with his lighter fluid and squirt the flames until they were up to bonfire height. When his can of lighter fluid was nearly empty he held the can OVER the flames and squeezed it dry. No exaggeration, those flames were licking up around his can when he finally had it empty. I was praying, "Please God, keep him safe. Please God, don't let him get burned. Please God, I really don't want to deal with 3rd degree burns tonight." I literally said a prayer of thanks when God kept the idiot safe. The group (it was very large) was a family reunion. They had no conception of the quiet hours posted. They stayed up yelling and laughing until after 1 am, and they were back up, yelling and laughing some more by 5 am. I was ready to kill them.

Originally, we had planned on staying 2 nights. However, I'm driving the girls to meet a friend from South Texas on Monday. That group was still there this afternoon with no signs of slowing down. I wanted the girls to be rested up to go visit their friends next week. So, based on the loud hillbilly carnie folk next door and the ticks, we packed up and came home this afternoon.

I know it may not sound like it, but we had a great time. We fished and boated. It was too windy for skiing or tubing. We found a little cove to swim in, and we had the beach to ourselves for 2 hours solid before anyone even came near us. Then, we headed to the Nature Center where the girls got to learn about local animals and make plaster casts of animal tracks. Last night they spent forever chasing and catching lightning bugs...


And who could forget.....


Post Note: I realize that one may gather that I have something against people who work in carnivals...This is completely untrue...Unless they decide to camp next to me and party all night long with kids screaming and yelling, and shouting profanities...Well, in that case...I wish they would just shut up, and shut their little yapping dog up, and GO TO BED!!

The End.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Gift Bags

Popcorn has a tendency to get attached to things. Things that I consider junk. Like a rock. A rubber lizard. A teeny tiny seashell. A bird nest that is carefully wrapped in tissue paper and stored in a shoebox in the closet. Don't tell Studmuffin about that last one. He told me to throw it out. I thought it was too sweet to trash. The same as the cardinal feathers I found in her window sill. There is a strict rule of "no feathers in the house. They carry mites." But, when you find the feathers so carefully hidden, and you know they've been there for months, because you remember forbidding them in the house, it's like, what's the point now? The damage is done.

Well, Popcorn tends to feel the same way about certain gift bags. She had a Scooby Doo gift bag that belonged to "this family" and we could not use it for anyone who did not reside in this house,because then we'd no longer have the Scooby Doo gift bag, and she liked it. Every time I wrapped a present for anyone at all, she would hunt me down and say, "Mommy, please don't use the Scooby Doo bag, that bag needs to stay in the family." And I would find it amusing, so I kept it...Remember, I'm cheap, and I love free stuff (click here to read more.) I feel very passionately about this when it comes to gift bags. My goal in life is to never actually buy gift bags, but to repurpose (how green am I?) them for the next present.

Well, the last party the girls were invited to, I made Popcorn part with the bag. Number One, it was time to leave for the party, and we were frantically wrapping the present. I had no gift wrap, so this was our only option, short of bags with poinsettias or baby motifs. She was upset, but decided to make the sacrifice for the love of her friend.

Tonight we were frantically looking for wrap or a bag for the gift she needs for a party she's going to tomorrow. She is going to the party from the babysitter's since I have to work, so I can't exactly wrap it and take it their tomorrow. Our bag supply has not improved because, alas, nobody has received a gift since last time.

Aha! We have bags the right size!


Houston, we have a problem....The bag is yet another bag that she loves. This time it's Tweety.

Okey dokey...I'm calm. I'm patient. I'm loving.

Aha! Strawberry Shortcake....


This one is too babyish. Popcorn doesn't like Strawberry Shortcake, so neither will Amanda.

How about this one?

Too Valentine-ish.

This one?

It's boring. Just a plain brown gift bag. And no. She's not going to decorate it herself. She doesn't "feel like it."

I'm calm. I'm patient. I'm loving....

Then she spies it....A Taz gift bag! That's perfect!

Happy, happy, joy, joy....


It turns out the Taz bag is the Tweety bag...Different picture on the other side....

No. She doesn't want to use it. It's the family bag. She wants to have this bag in our house.

I'm calm. I'm patient. I'm loving...

I honestly did not lose my temper. I know. My tolerance is nothing short of a miracle.

We finally did find a bag. We settled on one that is way too big for the present.

Only to discover that I'm out of tissue paper.

Dangit, dangit, dangit, dangit!

We found some packing paper, fluffed it just so, and called it good.


So, to all interested parties who may be purchasing presents from my children: Please send gift bags. I'm cheap, I like to reuse gift bags, and I'm too lazy to wrap gifts, plus my brain is too weak to remember to buy bags or wrap at the store. So please, please include a cute bag with your gift. I promise it will be put to good use...Unless it is too baby-ish, or Valentiney, or Christmas themed, or Popcorn becomes inexplicably attached to it, in which case it will be looked at every time I drag out the wrap box, but will be forbidden to be used...

In review: The bag should be cute, but not so cute Popcorn becomes attached. The bag cannot be too big or too small. Avoid themes if at all possible, because they will inevitably be the wrong ones. Unless it's the right theme, in which case we will have it for all time, because it will become a "family bag, that needs to be in our house."

Thank you for your consideration in this matter. Remember: My problems are your problems.

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Zoo

We made a racing trip to the OKC zoo today before we had to pick my sister Paula up from the airport. I originally thought we would have 4 hours to look around, but it turns out the zoo opened an hour later than I originally thought. However, we did get to look around 3 hours, and that's all this group of kids could survive.

You would not believe the litany of:

My feet hurt.

I want to ride the tram.

I'm hot.

I'm tired.

I'm sweaty.

It's too far to walk.

I think we must have walked at least a mile already.

However, at the first sight of a mister they would all run as fast as they could to stand under it. Logan actually said, "It's a good thing we didn't have time to be here all day, or I would have needed a wheelchair."


That, Gentle Reader, is obviously why my sister & us will never make a trip to Disney World! Yes, it was hot. Yes, it was so dad gum muggy that my underwear got all sweaty. Wait. Was that too much info? Well, it's true, and all of you know it. That is the worst feeling. Yuck. But still, these kids are young. What is wrong with today's youth? Have we coddled them to the point that they can't take a little sweating and sore feet to look at some zoo animals.

The boys were too funny. They talked about seeing the alligators, pythons, anacondas, fish, monkeys, etc. It was a mad dash to see them. We simply had to hurry. Then, when we would get to whatever animal they were dying to see, they would look at it for 5 seconds and be done with it. It was comical. Of course, it didn't bother the girls or me. We had seen all of the animals several times.

So in review, here's the scenario:

It was hot.

The kids were exhausted with less than 3 hours of wandering the zoo.

Certain animals were "must sees."

These animals had to be seen as quickly as possible, and then required 5 seconds of observation.

The sight of a mister alone can give the energy boost equivalent to 12 soft drinks.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

What I learned from my nephews...

My freakishly long monkey arms are great for playing monkey in the middle in the pool. Now, one might think that I would have consideration for smaller, younger players. One would be totally wrong in that thought process. That same person may also assume I would let my kids beat me at hula hoop contests, jump roping contests, and twister. Sadly, that person would be wrong then too. I say, where's the joy in such a hollow victory? When my kids beat me they know they shed blood sweat and tears to do it. And that my knee will be so sore that I will limp for 2 weeks after...

It is only fair that Logan guard me in monkey in the middle, because I am "huge and fat." Yes, those are quotes. Yes, I dunked him. Yes, he paid dearly. Which is exactly what he wanted.

Logan learned that the word is "mayday" not "maytay." His brother and cousins will completely ignored his cries of distress when he yelled the wrong word....Of course, they probably would have anyway because he totally had it coming.

I learned that Olay Complete all day moisture lotion with spf 15 for sensitive skin is also known as "freckle cream." Aiden showed me the proof of it's effectiveness by pointing out the area on his cheek where his freckles are fading. Not the area where there are no freckles yet...The area where his freckles were! You know, I myself have been using this specific lotion for years. And my freckles have faded. I like my freckles. I have been saddened by there fading. But, this cream is great to avoid sunburn, so I guess I'll deal with the unfortunate side effects.

All boy games eventually lead to war. Enough said.

Logan said he was about to unleash his grenade launcher and bazooka on somebody at sometime. I can't remember the details, but I about wet myself laughing at his description of his biceps.

You can apply sunscreen 3 times in a 4 hour period at the lake, but if your nephews are alpha white, this will be only moderately effective, and they will still burn. And you will pray that their sunburns will be gone by the time their mother comes to get them in 2 days.

Since I allowed them to swim for 3 hours at my own house the next day, they will still be red when their mother comes to get them.

Last, I learned that I will be very sad when they leave tomorrow. I hope they can come back soon! And so do my girls.

Oh! I also learned that blond hair really does turn green in a chlorinated pool! And I learned from my hairdresser this week that Suave clear shampoo is gentle on hair, and to use it after swimming (she also told me to saturate my hair with conditioner before swimming to prevent damage. But I'm not sure how this will be on pool chemicals.) Logan's hair lost it's green tinge after using this. I breatheed a big sigh of relief that his mother wasn't going to find him fried with green hair....He would resemble green eggs and ham!

Post Note: After viewing this on my blog, I'm laughing at my white knees in the pictures. This is just reinforcing what I already knew. Alpha whiteness runs in the family. And I'm an atrocious photographer.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Goliath Bird Spider and Vanessa Hudgens in My Living Room

Today we were nagging the girls to clean their room, and somehow that prompted the memory of the Goliath Bird Spider we had in our living room a few months ago.

I was in the kitchen (like a good wife,) Studmuffin was helping me (like a good husband) and suddenly Bookworm screamed at the top of her lungs. "Spider! Spider! There is a giant spider in the living room!" We continued on with our duties....

She came dashing into the kitchen, sobbing and gagging and choking..."Th-th-there is a-a-a-a-a--a giant TARANTULA in the living room!!!"

"Where?" we asked.

"U-u-u-u-nder the p-p-pillow!"

Studmuffin decided to forgo dishes to play the hero role....

I heard a gasp and a "WHAT THE?????"

I came around the corner to check it out. I found Studmuffin standing at a safe distance (aka across the room) and Bookworm continuing to shake from head to toe and sob. I looked at the sofa pillow, which was laying on the floor, and sure enough, under the edge, you could see a giant spider. I jumped approximately 8 feet in the air.

And nothing happened.

I continued to stare, Studmuffin maintained his distance, Popcorn joined the scene and added her own weeping and trembling to Bookworm's.

And still nothing happened.

We began to be suspicious. I mean, once calm sets in, rational thinking begins again. How exactly did a giant tarantula get in our house? How did it escape notice until it decided to hang out under our pillow? Why isn't it trying to hide from us? How did a Goliath Bird Spider make it to Oklahoma? Was brought in on some imported fresh produce? Dangit! I knew I should have listened to my mother and paid closer attention to where my food comes from! It probably came in on my avocados!

Wait a second....

That's not a Goliath Bird Spider!!!

It's Vanessa Hudgens!

Not the real Vanessa Hudgens, silly!

It was Bookworm's High School Musical Barbie. She had left it on the floor, someone threw a pillow on top, her dark curly hair hanging out the side. In the exact shape of a spider.

A Goliath Bird Spider to be exact.

Now, can anyone tell me why my children tend to jump to conclusions and have a bent towards dramatics?

And, no, the pictures obviously have no relation to the post. My nephews are here this weekend, and I just had to share. Do they look like they're having fun, or what? You can't decide if they are having so much fun they can't stand it, or they are scared to death. We went near the shore for lunch, and the kids got out to swim. There was a crane near the shore. Notice how close he let them get to him before he finally left! And he caught a fish while they were watching him!

We got a new tube because ours got a tear near the valve where we could not patch it. We got a smaller one, because our old one was fine for us, but too big for them. Unfortunately the next size down is almost too small for them. Plus, it has a tendency to sink down in the front when you start. My oldest nephew was the only one strong enough to lean back enough so it immediately planed out. Bookworm refused to ride the tube after she did not lean back the first time, took a little dip before it popped up and planed out. She was done done done when that happened. Stick a fork in her, she's done, and she's "never getting on that tube again!"


Friday, June 12, 2009

She survived...And so did I

Bookworm returned from Kids Kamp last night. She had a great time. OF COURSE... I was never worried...Not for one minute...

Unless you count the minute that she was burying her face in the pillow as she waited to climb on the bus to leave....

Or the minute I was looking at the ceiling, wondering if she was in bed yet...and if not, how tired she'd be the next day...

Or the minute when I was taking Popcorn to see the movie "Up" (loved it) and wondered if she would be sad that we went without her...

Or maybe the minute when I was scrubbing the shower and I remembered how disgusting the church camp showers always were...

But other than that, I never worried...Not at all.....

Seriously, though she had a great time. Apparently, she did cry when the bus was leaving the church on Monday. She hung out with a girl in 4th grade who was on her basketball team. The other girl is very quiet, and I had thought maybe they would hook up, but I worried they would both be too reserved to actually approach each other...woops...Did I say worried? I mean, ummmm, concerned. Yep, that's it. Concerned.

It also seems she had a little boy actively pursuing her from the first day. He told her to "meet me at the gazebo at noon if you want to have a boyfriend." Of course, this was in a note via a messenger. Bookworm said he was "relentless." She said, "Mom, that boy was crazy or something. I am way too young to have a boyfriend! I don't want one...He must be drunk or something if he thinks I like him!"



Does she even know what that is? Or how you get that? I don't know, but I had to laugh at her phrasing. And breathe a sigh of relief that she's "too young to have a boyfriend."


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

I'm very very busy

And I've got a lot to do,
and I haven't got a minute to explain it all to you..
For on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday there are people I must see
and on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday I'm as busy as can be
With my most important meetings and my most important calls
And I have to do so many things and post them on the walls!
(Shamelessly copied from Sandra Boynton's "BusyBusyBusy" from her cd title Philadelphia Chickens.)

Have you ever read Sandra Boynton Books to your kids? If not, you have to buy them the next time you see one. Then, after you fall totally in love with her illustrations and whimsical language, you simply MUST buy her cd's for your kids. You will love them.

I fell in love with her when my girls were about 2 & 3. There is this song called "I Like to Fuss." The lyrics go like this: I like to fuss, I like to moan. I like to stand on my chair and say LEAVE ME ALONE don't bother me.....I like to gripe. I like to brood. I like to stomp all around in a truly terrible mood." That song could not have been more perfect to a mother of two toddlers.

But, this post is not about Sandra Boynton, and her creative genius. Okay, so it sorta is, but that was not the original game plan. I got off on a bunny trail...

Hippety-hoppety Easter's on it's way....

Thumpety-thump-thump. Thumpety-thump-thump....Woops! That's Frosty, not a bunny!

Put your right foot forward....Stick your left foot out!

Okay. I'm done. Seriously....

I've typed and deleted the rant I was about to post about 50 bajillion times. Here it is in a nutshell. I'm in a hurry. I have tons to get done. I need everyone around me to move as fast as me. There is no excuse. I don't care if Studmuffin says it is ridiculous how fast I walk. I think if people put their mind to it, they can move as quickly as me (or close to it.) I had to leave work late because other people are incapable of moving was quickly as I would like them to. This delay resulted in the above photo diary.

Don't understand?

Look again. Less than one mile in 9 minutes.


It took me over 1 hour to do a drive that normally takes about 25 minutes.

So. Originally I was going to rant and rave about all the poky people in my life. But that is ridiculous and petty...And no matter how I tweaked it, I sounded whiny and unfair. So, I'm done. No more complaining about poky people.

But could you please just think of me the next time you are strolling through life as if you don't have anywhere you need to be in a hurry? And when you think of me...




Try to think of it as an easy calorie burner. Whatever helps you get there quicker. But please, please, please


Thank you. I appreciate your concern for my problems!

And, I appreciate you overlooking the film of filth on my radio in the above pictures. I tend to clean all day at work, because I have to clean the bays between every single one of my patients. I find that does not lead to any desire to clean at home.....Funny how that works out.

And a post note for all of the grammar people in my blogosphere: I would spell it whiney and pokey. Spell check insist it is whiny and poky. What do you think?

Monday, June 8, 2009

Kids Kamp

Bookworm leaves for Kids Kamp today. The girls decided to practice camping last Friday night. They were determined they were going to sleep in the "back back yard." Translation: outside the fence.

Now normally, I would have said fine, no big deal. However, a few weeks ago a coyote came onto my neighbors back porch and snatched their Maltese right in front of them. It was late at night, they had let the pooch out to potty, and my neighbor had the porch light on, standing just inside her french door, watching her. Can you imagine her horror when Cotton ran up on the porch, ready to come in, and a coyote dashed up on the porch, snatched her and ran off? That is just a little too bold, even for a sturdy country girl like me. So, I insisted they sleep inside the fence.

But, back to the subject: Kids Kamp. Bookworm is very excited. So am I. But, of course I'm nervous for her. Our church is fairly large, but we only have three 3rd grade girls. And, only one other 3rd grade girl is going. She and Bookworm aren't that close, plus the other girl's mother informed me, "I'm having Chloe take a friend, so she will have someone to play with at camp." I had just verbalized that I was really glad Chloe was going so Bookworm would have a kid her own age to play with. I was stunned into silence at that statement. I'm sure she didn't mean it rude. It was actually smart. Why the heck didn't I think to have my kid invite a friend to go with her? Duh.
I'm sure she is going to do just fine. I always loved camp. And I grew up in a very small church, where I was basically the only kid who attended regularly, and I still loved it. Of course, Bookworm isn't as assertive as me. She's not shy, but she also isn't the kind to just run up to a group of kids and join in a game that she thinks looks fun. Even at our own VBS I had to instruct her to go up to the rec youth worker and tap her on the shoulder and ask if she could play the game of keep away that had started in the gym when our craft was finished WAY too early for them to go to their next station. Bookworm was just too nervous to go up and join in without being specifically invited.

So, obviously I'm going to miss her and fret over whether she's having fun for the next 4 days. She returns Thursday evening. My dog Kelsey is sure going to miss her. I'm sure she'll be fretting over where she is when the rest of the pack is at home where it belongs. Kelsey is just a worrier that way.

I can tell you another thing. This little goofball is definitely going to miss her sister. They really are best friends. They spend every minute of every day together in the summer. In fact, they've spent so much time together lately that they are starting to bicker all the time. I think I'm going to put them in separate rooms. That way, they can at least have their sleep time apart, and have their own space to go to when they need alone time. Not that Popcorn ever needs alone time. Seriously, this kid is going to REALLY miss her sister.

So am I.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Mr. Black & Decker himself...

Remember the yard swing I got at our town wide garage sale for a whopping $5? I'm sure you remember how Holly finished my decision on how to salvage the cushions. She promptly destroyed them and reminded me that fabric anything and puppies don't mix.

Studmuffin decided to make a bench for the frame. He said, "You know, for about 30 bucks I could build you a nice wooden bench for that."

Of course, I agreed. Gentle Reader, can I just tell you how awesome my husband is?

He started cutting the wood for the swing last Sunday. I was shocked when I walked in and discovered him routering (spelling?) the edges.

I was even more amazed when he spent his second evening working on it Friday. And he finished it. He did a fantastic job.

Today he is attaching the rope, and he's decided that he's going to crackle it in blue and white. I'm not sure which will be the top color, and which the base. Of course, this will also require him repainting the frame. But, hey, I'm not going to interfere with obvious creative genius when I see it!

I can tell you it will look great. This sure beats the heck out of what I originally pictured, which was a very basic squared off bench suspended by a rope. I'm sure since it's prettier, it's bound to be more comfy too!

Post Note: Ummm, yes, I realize I could be a tad more patient and post a picture of the finished product. One little problem. He has yet to purchase the paint. You do realize that this is where progress will stutter and stall for an extended period. At least if I go by previous projects. He works really hard and brilliantly fast, but when he gets to the last, simple stretch, he loses interest and moves on to a new one. I can't blame him. Anyone who dug through our closets would undoubtedly find countless craft projects that I've begun with good intentions, yet failed to complete. This is the reason I no longer do crafts. I can't handle the guilt of the uncompleted project, yet I lack the ambition to finish it. My answer: don't start what you know you won't finish! Of course, Studmuffin will finish it. He's just great that way.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

John Deere Green

I was driving home from work today and I saw a tractor. I suddenly had a flash of driving Dad's John Deere 70 tractor. It had no cab. I never got to drive it when it had a shade. I don't know if we never owned one, or if I just fell into the time frame when it was worn out from heat, rain and Oklahoma Wind.

We had a heavy four wheel drive Case tractor at that time. It packed the earth too hard for drilling so we used the 70 when my Grandad's tractor was otherwise engaged for drilling. I also got the privilege of using it for spraying and using the spreader.

Have I ever told you that Dad very seldom gave me orders. Every morning while I ate breakfast he would list the things he planned to "let" me do that day. That was his exact words. "Andi, today I'm going to let you drive the tractor." I never dared to say "No thanks, I think I'll go to the lake today instead."

But, back to tractor driving....The spreader was a simple implement that you simply hooked on to the tractor, filled with fertilizer pellets, and as you drove it sprayed the pellets onto the soil. Basically the same as the spreader you find at Home Depot to fertilize your lawn. Only bigger.

Anyhoo, I actually enjoyed the 70. You felt like you were driving really fast because you got to feel the wind in your face and you had to continuously move the steering wheel to keep it on track (picture how little kids pretend to steer and that was the reality with our 70.) Mind you I was probably only going MAYBE 10 mph, but it was all in the perception. I can remember bebopping along and singing at the top of my lungs "She thinks my tractor's sexy...It really turns her on....She always smilin' at me...While I'm chuggin' along." Or how about, "You can set my truck on fire, or roll it down the hill, but I still wouldn't trade it for a Coup deVille. It's got an 8 ft bed that never has to be made, you know if it weren't for trucks they wouldn't have tail gates..." Or maybe even "You know a dream is like a river...Ever changing as it goes..."

Okay...I'm done with our musical interlude.

Remember my previous mentions that I had a tendency to....ummm....well....

What was I talking about?

Oh yeah....I would lose track of what I was supposed to be doing.

Well, one time I was fertilizing the field a mile north of my parents house. I'm guessing it was a quarter section, which thanks to Studmuffin I can translate for you to 160 acres. It was actually a flat field with no terraces.This is very unusual for the Panhandle of Oklahoma. Since there were no terraces I was able to drive around in great big circles...Eventually I would get a feel for how far apart my tire tracks needed to be so that I had maximum coverage, but did not spend all of my time looking behind me to make sure I was covering well. I guess you could say I eventually guesstimated it. Well, this particular time, I was dancing along, standing up (the seat got sweaty after awhile, and that lead to uncomfortable sweaty-booty itchiness. You understand, I'm sure) singing at the top of my lungs when suddenly...

What the heck?

What is that?

Where did it come from?

Did we have another spreader parked in the field?

No, Gentle Reader, of course we didn't. Apparently I had failed to look behind me for quite a while. An entire circle's worth to be exact. At some point my pin had shook out of the hitch, the spreader came unhooked, and the spreader stayed put....

While I continued blithely along, completely ignorant of the fact that I was just driving around in a circle...

Accomplishing nothing.

I quickly pulled up to it, rehitched (I think I ran around frantically looking for the hitch pin, lest I get yet another lecture on inattentiveness) and completed the job.

Never to mention the whole debacle to my parents.

Until my Dad told me about using the spreader one night when it was late. It seems it got dark before he finished, so he was using the headlights to judge the distance between tire tracks....He was driving along, and suddenly the spreader was right in front of him. He decided it was apparently too dark to finish farming that night and called it a day.

I think it runs in the family.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Conversations with kids

Studmuffin had a very important meeting today, so we ate supper without him. It seems that the "new guy" at work needed Studmuffin to help him find fishing supplies and boat supplies at Bass Pro Shops. Then, Studmuffin had to go over and look at the new guy's boat and do grunting noises over it....

So, the girls and I were eating our chicken fajitas alone. Remember I said they have VBS this week? Bookworm was telling me about a girl who has been visiting. Sierra asked Jesus into her heart yesterday, and today she decided she wants to be a missionary. Popcorn wants to be one too. But she hopes she doesn't have to walk everywhere or she might have to start using a cane. Bookworm informed her she doesn't have to travel across the ocean to be a missionary. She could be a missionary to the Americas. I told them that you can even be a missionary to the US. Bookworm said, "Yeah, like Idaho!"

Okay, that really cracked me up. Idaho. What a random state. Where did that come from? Maybe those potato farmers need some soul saving...

And last but certainly not least, a little known fact for your edification:

The first testicular guard "Cup" was used in Hockey in 1874.

The first helmet was used in 1974.

It took 100 years for men
to realize that the brain is also important.

Now, don't you feel better knowing that? You're welcome.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Is Jello made from bone marrow?

I'm a sharer....No seriously, I am. I know you are all shocked to learn my propensity for sharing, considering the things I've shared on this blog. Just in case you need a refresher course, click on any of the following to remind yourself of my willingness to share...

Like driving the tractor in my panties
How I got a scar on my belly
I'm cheap and I know it
I'm random
I used to be a track star
I lie to my children

Anyhoo, we are having VBS at church this week. I'm helping with crafts on the days I can be there, and we were all sitting in the worker break room, eating the marvelous snack of day old vanilla pudding, complete with separated pudding and soggy wafers-yum, and pretzel, chex and animal cracker mix, and a vegetable tray. Oh, I forgot to mention Koolaid to drink. Okay, I hate to be ungrateful, but really? Are these the adult snacks? But this blog is not about the pitiful snacks they supplied, it's about my knowledge of all things.

If I have knowledge on a subject I feel compelled to share it. For instance over Memorial Day my Grandmama Dolly told me I should eat jello so my bones would be strong. This was a revelation to me. I don't particularly like jello. It's okay, but I'd rather have chocolate or any kind of cake or bread....

Returning to topic (once again), my friend April is a vegetarian. She said she refuses to eat jello because it's made from bones. I agreed with her statement. Click here to find out more about gelatin. I had seen it on "How it's Made" I think. I also learned that serving jello used to be a sign of prosperity, and the variety of molds were another symbol of wealth. Interesting, huh?

Plus, at some point in the conversation I also felt the need to tell them that they can pick up channel 5 on their HD converter boxes, but they then have to readjust the picture to pick up all the other channels. Apparently this is inconvenient if you have an antennae on your roof instead of rabbit ears like me....

Will Ferrell was on with Bear Grylls last night in a special episode called "Men vs Wild." It was hilarious as you would expect. However, I also shared that I'm kind of boycotting Will Ferrell since he shared on a talk show that he taught his kid to cuss people out, and that he thinks it's hilarious. Dang it. Why did he have to go and do that?

Let's see...what else did I feel compelled to teach them about?

I learned through another blog that if you really want your curly hair to look good you should stop washing it. That's right! You can find out more here.

I shared that I prefer to use face sticks to keep my little ones' faces from burning. It doesn't run into their eyes like the lotions do (even if it says it won't burn eyes.)

Okay, I shared way more info than that, I'm sure, but it was at the face stick point that my subconscious said "Andi, pipe down! Not everyone on the planet wants to hear your thoughts and opinions! Save it for your blog!" So, I did. I shut up and tried to devote the rest of the day to listening and not sharing....Can you believe it? Me neither, but I really did try!

Pinkie promise!