Thursday, January 31, 2008

strep throat anyone?


I love this little girl's sunny disposition in the face of all that "rain". Wonder what she needs all that salt for anyway? Is she making margaritas? Where is she going? I gotta find this chick.

Monday, January 28, 2008

the new baby "in town"

Congratulations to Leah and her Beloved and their family on the birth of Sofia Grace.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

tagged

OK, PJ, I saw that I was tagged on your blog site. I, too, am fairly new to this whole thing, so bear with me. Though I don't mind being tagged at all, since probably about 4 people read my blog, I think I will only tag my sister, as she needs to update her blog (not public) because her last entry is dated November 30, 2007.
So, Liz, you are tagged! Here are the rules (follow them as you see fit):
The rules for this meme are:(1) Link to the person that tagged you.(2) Post the rules on your blog.(3) Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself.(4) Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs.(5) Let each random person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website.

Without further adieu, six non-important things about me:
1) I think anything can be a piece of art. I once bought shadow boxes and framed 4 forks and 4 knives and 4 spoons in each. Then I hung them in my dining room. I thought that was the coolest thing. Still do, despite the fact that the silverplate tarnished (ah, the pleasures of gas heat) and I got tired of taking the frames apart to polish the utensils. I now have my grandmother's measuring cup (which is aluminum) which she used for many many years in a shadow box designed to hold a baseball or softball.
2) Folding clothes is an area where I tend to be quite A-R/OCD. Each thing has to be folded just the right way. I know, I know, they make medicine for that.
3) My house is dusty and I cannot stand to dust. I am considering telling visitors that the dust layer is an art medium for my children, in case they have a moment of creativity.
4) I love to throw a party. In fact, I am thinking of making number 1's thirteenth party a 1950's Sock-Hop theme and not only inviting her friends, but their parents as well!!!
5) If, as a teenager, I could have seen in a crystal ball the prude I would turn into by the age of 40, I may have died laughing.
6) I hate television. The only thing worth watching is stuff I have seen a gajillion times, such as every Bewitched episode (the first Darrin was the best), or I Dream of Jeanie (never liked Major Nelson or his stupid friend).

a great gift

Tonight was the first night of our Christmas gift to my father-in-law.
His Christmas present was a little "coupon book" filled with dates that we marked in our calendars, one Sunday per month, where I fix a meal and we have him over. That way he gets a home cooked meal on a regular basis and, more importantly, we get to spend time with him. It was so wonderful. Everyone pitched in and spiffed up the house. I even got a little help in the kitchen.
He enjoys German food, so I made something my Mom just told me about. On top of boneless/skinless chicken breasts you put drained and rinsed sauerkraut, thousand island dressing, and Swiss cheese. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for an hour. Easy and quite tasty.

Yep, I can see that this Christmas present is going to be a great gift - for ALL of us - the whole year through!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

on being stalked

Today I realized that I have a stalker. I believe that he has been stalking me for quite awhile now. I'm so ready for him to get lost. He's always following me. Every time I turn around, he's there. I catch a glimpse of him in the reflection when I pass by a store front. Totally weirds me out.
Though I am not going to expose him, I'm not going to reveal his true identity, here is a picture which sort of gives you an idea of what he looks like.

Friday, January 25, 2008

things you wish you could say out loud

When you walk into the room in which your 2 year old has been very quiet and you find that he has smeared Desitin diaper rash cream all over his face, don't you just wish you could bust out laughing and call him a "butt head"?

Rule #127 Name calling is not nice.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

phenomenonal

phenomenon: "That which strikes one as strange, unusual, or unaccountable; an extraordinary or very remarkable person, thing, or occurrence."

King is out of town this week. For the second week in a row. I think in Latin that would be translated as: sola parenta.
Every time (and that is no exaggeration) he leaves the city limits, there is chaos waiting in the wings.

Here is a little list to bring you "up to speed" on this week's chaos:
-The 2 year old has some strange virus and has been running a high fever and hallucinating all night.
-The 10 month old is teething and is cranky and is up and crying half the night.
-If that is not nearly enough fun and excitement for one old dame, there was tonight's trip to the ER in which #3 got a stitch in her top lip.
Yes, that's right folks, I got to spend a huge chunk of time and money at one of our local hospitals trying to calm an 8 year old's nerves about her first experience with "stitches". This sweet cherub was at a roller skating party where the climax of the party was to skate in the dark - no lights except for a disco ball.
Y'know how the lights go round and round and when you are skating one way, the lights are turning the other way?
Well, she got disoriented and fell. (Heck, I am about to fall off my computer desk chair just imagining it.) She then hit her face right on the shiny wooden floor, breaking her fall with her top lip. And, well, her front tooth - you know, that big one right there on top? It pierced her top lip. Of course it wouldn't have been so exciting for all the other party-goers if there had not been so much blood. And screaming. And a trail leading all the way to the girl's room.
*sigh*
God bless that sweet little thing. She was so brave. Once we were in the exam room where it was light enough for these old eyes to see, she sheepishly asked "Do you think I'll have to have stitches?"
"I'd have to guess yes, honey."
She got so anxious about it all that her body started shaking and she grew quite pale and very cold. She couldn't control her shivers. But she was very brave. She wanted to know if I was scared when I had to have stitches. To further calm her nerves, I read aloud to her two stories from Guideposts. One was about a man who takes handicapped kids out on horse carriage rides. The other was about a lady who took in a stray kitten and somehow it related back to her grown son whose life was "astray".
After I finished the stories, the doctor came in and gave my sweet girl her first stitch. She hardly even winced (may I recommend Zap!). I was so proud of her.
Anyway, we are home now. Tired. Sore. Swollen. Poorer. Yet, richer. But mostly tired.
Yep, God carried me through this crazy day, an all around phenomenal day.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

it's hard, but you have to do it anyway

This morning number one got a lesson in what having work ethic means.

At the first of the school year, she signed up to be a car-line helper in the mornings for one semester. This entails getting to school a little early, putting her books in her homeroom and going out in front of the school to help students unload from their car as their parents drop them off. All told, it takes anywhere from 10-15 minutes - tops. We understood that she could not do it for the first 2 weeks of the semester because she had previously committed to another responsibility (quiz bowl team practice) most of the days of the school week.
Quiz bowl practice is over as far as she is concerned and this week we made her begin her responsibilities for morning car line. She is a shy person, so it has been a little unnerving for her, but I have been very supportive and acknowledged what she is going through as well as handing out praise for doing it anyway.
HOWEVER, this morning things got u-g-l-y! It is cold and rainy and she started first thing saying she didn't want to do it due to the weather. I patiently told her that I know it would be cold and wet, but that she would warm up and dry out and she'd feel good about having done the responsibility she was supposed to do.
"Doing what is right is almost never easy," I told her, "It is always much easier to do the wrong thing."
Her complaints kept getting louder and more peevish. We prayed aloud at breakfast and I asked that the Lord would help her do what she needed to do. Just before she left for school she was actually crying and screaming, "I DON'T WANT TO DO THIS" over and over and over and over, like someone from an asylum - all the way to the car (my father-in-law took them to school today). I told her that I loved her and that I hoped she would have a good day and that I would be calling the school to make sure she had done what she was supposed to do. Then I closed the door, and immediately started praying that God would help guide her, give her strength, and if needed, that He would get another adult to intervene which will make her understand how important it is to have a work ethic.
King has been out of town since Sunday, so he wasn't here to back me. I had this "show" all to myself. I have to be honest, my knees were weak, practically knocking. I didn't want to have to stand up to her and calmly, yet firmly (without anger and screaming) tell her she will be doing this. I wanted to be in bed. I wanted to run away and not face it, but I knew I had to stand my ground. This was non-negotiable - not only for her, but for me. God has blessed me with five incredible children. I cannot shirk my responsibilities especially in matters of moral formation. I, too, have to do the right thing, no matter what the "weather" is.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

it'th raining it'th thnowing the old man ith thnoring


Ah, don'tcha just love the icy cold fingers of Global Warming?

We are getting an icy mix, but earlier, it was snowing huge snowflakes! The kids are really hoping school will be cancelled tomorrow. Silly kids, don't they realize they have to make the day up later?

reminder: valentine's day is less than a month away

video

My sis-in-law sent this video of sand art/soft jazz to King and I.

I could watch it for days.

(Did I mention I am easily amused?)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

riddles

1. Black within and red without;
Four corners round about.

2. Little Nanny Etticoat
In a white petticoat,
And a red nose;
The longer she stands
The shorter she grows.

3. Old Mother Twitchett had but one eye,
And a long tail which she let fly;
And every time she went over a gap,
She left a bit of her tail in a trap.

4. Lives in winter,
Dies in summer,
And grows with its root upwards.

5. Flour of England, fruit of Spain,
Met together in a shower of rain;
Put in a bag tied round with a string,
If you'll tell me this riddle,
I'll give you a ring.

6. In marble walls as white as milk,
Lined with a skin as soft as silk,
Within a fountain crystal clear,
A golden apple doth appear.
No doors there are to this stronghold,
Yet thieves break in and steal the gold.

7. Thirty white horses upon a red hill,
Now they tramp, now they champ, now they stand still.

8. As I went through a garden gap,
Who should I meet but Dick Red-Cap!
A stick in his hand, a stone in his throat,
If you'll tell me this riddle,
I'll give you a groat.

9. As I was going to St. Ives,
I met a man with seven wives,
Every wife had seven sacks,
Every sack had seven cats,
Every cat had seven kits -
Kits, cats, sacks, and wives,
How many were going to St. Ives?

10. What the heck is a groat?

*********************************************************************
Answers:
1. chimney
2. candle
3. needle and thread
4. icicle
5. plum pudding
6. egg
7. your teeth
8. a cherry
9. one
10. fourpence (a former English silver coin worth four pennies)

Monday, January 14, 2008

forget the barrel of monkeys

Ever heard the phrase "that's more fun than a barrel of monkeys"?
I have learned (for the millionth time) that the most fun a toddler can have is a big, full box of wipes (the expensive kind is even more of a thrill!). Pulling each wipe out, one by one, leaving them strewn all over the living room floor because Mommy forgot to put them out of our reach, is the most fun ever.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

brb


With First Reconciliation coming up Tuesday for #3, I will be busily examining my own conscience..... this may take awhile.
When you are saying your prayers over the next day or so, offer up a little prayer for my sweet third-born, who may have a small case of the nerves.

Friday, January 11, 2008

a bright spot



It's raining and I couldn't be happier. The kids are napping. The house is quiet except for the sound of the dishwasher. I am getting ready to give myself a pedicure which is long overdue.
No one is throwing up. No one is crying. No one is wanting to be fed, diapered, or held. All the projects I have waiting on me can just stand in line. I am taking a few moments for myself.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

next?

The 2 year old learned what "throwing up" is today. It's the end of the day and I have washed nearly every blanket and sheet in the house. The smell of bleach, pine sol, and Lysol permeates the air. Please, oh, please, oh please, Lord.... let this one pass me by.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

oh, good grief

King came home last night from a dinner for an organization where he serves as president of the board. "Hm.. my tummy sure does hurt. I hope I don't have food poisoning."
An hour or so later he was retching. Poor thing. And I feel so helpless. There is absolutely nothing I can do to help, other than to pray for his healing. So that is what I did. He slept downstairs so that he wouldn't wake the children. Today he said he felt marginally better. Now, though, he is running fever and is again asleep on the couch.
You know what this means, right?
It wasn't bad jambalaya. King has a (dum dum dee dum) VIRUS.
*sigh*
The next couple of dominoes to fall: sick kids, sick mom. Or vice versa. In either case, I don't have time to be sick. Are you kidding me? I don't even have time to shave my stupid, hairy legs. Or give myself a pedicure. Much less do I have time for something that I don't enjoy... like yowling at my reflection in the river Kohler.
I despise throwing up. *sigh* I feel frustrated like Charlie Brown with the blacked-in thought bubble over his head. I'm going to bed.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

an epiphany

As I was meandering through the narthex today during Mass (the first half was spent getting the baby to sleep, the second half was keeping the 2 year old from disturbing TOO many people with his shenanigans) I was straining to hear the priest's sermon in regards to the Feast of the Epiphany.
Gold. Frankincense. Myrrh.
Each had significant meaning that foreshadowed the life Christ Jesus would lead, who he was, and what he would do.
Gold, a gift for a king. Frankincense, a sweet-smelling incense, a gift representing his Deity. Myrrh, a gift which represented bitterness was an ingredient used in embalming.
No doubt layers upon layers of meaning in the time of Christ.

So, as I was pacing up and down with sleepy children, God seemed to be asking how can I give Christ my own gold, frankincense, and myrrh? It was funny, because in the same instant I felt the question being asked, there, too were the answers.
Gold - that one is easy. I can give the gift of my time to the Church, volunteering. Like the job I do for the Intercessory Prayer Team, composing prayer requests then emailing them to the team members. I can give the gift of my talents, too. Like when I got my spiffy new embroidery machine and monogrammed nearly a hundred scarves for the school's Christmas bazaar. Or when I re-hemmed the uniform skirts of the girls whose legs had grown so much over the year. And, of course, I can give my tithe as a gift. When I sit down at the beginning of each month to write out all the checks to pay bills, I always write the checks to church first.
Frankincense - Willingness: the sweet-smelling fragrance of my being open to God's will. Being willing to listen and obey. Doing it cheerfully is probably an even more pleasing aroma, but doesn't always happen. Like when I found out I was pregnant again, right after I had just had my 4th child.
Myrrh - hmm.. this one is a bit harder. How can I give a gift that would be pleasing to the Lord with something from my own life that related to bitterness and death. Well, how about my own humanity. My own sin. The only thing I can give is to die to the flesh. Letting go of those things which make the flesh happy. Repentance and Confession are the best ways to rid myself of the "decay" that sin leaves.

While I do look forward to the day when our whole family can sit in a pew and focus on what is going on, I must say, today I was thankful for the epiphany I had just outside the doors of the sanctuary.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

never, never a dull moment

Y'know when you run upstairs to quickly put the baby down for a nap and you run through the bathroom to "pay the water bill" (as a friend of mine used to call it). Then you hear something that sounds like your 2 year old is no longer watching PBS, but rather is getting into something he shouldn't be (because there is a time frame of just over a minute when he isn't being watched).
Well, let's just say that when that happened to me this morning, I came downstairs and had to explain that even though they are shaped the same, they are the same size, and the new "packaging" crinkles in a similar fashion, string cheese and stringed feminine products are not the same.

My Mom swears that I will miss these days.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

the most dreaded four-letter word

DIET!
Yeppers, mine started today. You pick whichever one works best for you, but I prefer low carb.
Well, actually I prefer to ignore my health and blindly go on eating Breyers ice cream by the ton, but really there is no good end to that. Plus, there are only so many X-es you can put on clothes. I saw that Wal Mart has exercise clothes that go up to a size 5x. Thankfully I stopped this train a few stations short of that one.
In fact, last night I was a walking stereotype of the post-holiday shopper. If anyone at Wal Mart tracks this sort of thing, (to be written about in some fluff news piece) I fit the mold perfectly.
Everything in my shopping cart had to do with one of three things:
-weight loss
-organization
-cleaning

So, howz about you, what's in your post-holiday cart?

new year, new room

Even though there is still much to do to make it "just right", we have the painting done and most of the furniture in place.
(The bedspread is more the color of the walls, but has a sheen to it, so it photographed icy blue.)
Note bottle of wine on dresser.... this picture was taken about 11:30 on New Year's Eve!