Thursday, December 29, 2011


I can't really say why, but I've had a strange problem lately.  I keep getting zits and I don't know why! 

Now here's a little perspective...I'm thirty years old.  I've never been a person who struggles with acne.  I've always been blessed with clear, fairly smooth skin.  Now all of a sudden, I have...I'm ashamed to admit it...four zits at one time! 

I'm so distressed!  I've been thinking what could be the cause of these sudden outbreaks, and I've come to the conclusion that it must be stress.  Either that, or God is trying to make me more sympathetic to the teens in our youth group...nah, must be stress.

That thought comforts me a little because I know what the solution is for stress in my life..a bubble bath, girlie movie, and most importantly...

                             el chocolate!!!

Well, even if it isn''s worth a try!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Little Old Man Thoughts On Laura Ingalls Wilder

We have just finished reading the book Little House in the Big Woods aloud at lunch time.  Our usual routine includes me reading a chapter or so as the kids are finishing up their lunches.  (It's a nice, calming influence at a somewhat tired time of day).

Cara has had plenty to say throughout the book, as any of you who know her would have probably guessed.  Every remark about hair or dresses or how much they love Pa brought forth a gush of excitement from my little girl.  Allie would usually grunt her agreement between mouthfuls thus, "Dash da ma ma nash na nee!"  Interesting.

My little old man, however, has remained eerily mute through the entire book.  He was listening I could tell, but he said nothing...until this week.  We had finally made it to the second to last page in the book.  Ma was making a large meal for the field workers.  Just as Laura Ingalls Wilder described all the food they had prepared being put onto the table, Scott had some input.

He put down his sandwich and blurted out in excitement, "Wow, Mom!  That sounds really good!"

Leave it to Scott to think with his stomach...even in a book review!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Lord's Birthday

This painting reminded me what a special thing it is to have Christmas on a Sunday.  It is, after all, Jesus's birthday celebration, not ours!

This painting is "Christmas Eve" by J. Latham.  Is it just me or does it seem like a rare and somewhat foreign thing to associate Christmas Eve with a full church?

I love the lit stained glass windows.  I think I'll have stained glass windows put in at my house next time I have $10,000 to spare.  I love the sleigh with the excited horse.  I do not love the thought of walking kids to church wearing a corset and bustle.  I'm going to have a bustle that's built in if I don't stop dreaming of peanut butter balls and fudge.  <<sigh>>

Friday, December 23, 2011

What Can I Give Him?

by Christina Rossetti

What can I give Him,
Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, 
I would bring a lamb;
If I were a wise man,
I would do my part;
Yet what can I give Him--
Give my heart.

**Editor's Note:  This is my children's favorite Christmas least for this year.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Sentimental Christmas

Okay, grab your hankies, Moms.   This one will make you well up a little...or maybe it's just me.  Look at this painting titled "Her First Christmas" by Robert Gemmel  Hutchison.

Isn't that sweet?  I love her little round blushed cheek.  I remember all of my babies at this stage, overheated and exhausted with the excitement of the activity, lights, and dare I admit...even egg nog.  The toddlers run around smiling, squeaking merrily, until they collapse in a heap like this picture at the end of the day.  What a cool father Robert Gemmell Hutchison must have been.  This painting is way more creative and memorable than a "Baby's first Christmas" onesie or sleeper!  Not that I'm knocking it...I think all my kids have one!

Wipe your tears, Moms.  Remember your precious ones like this next time one of them tries to eat tinsel off your tree!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Word of the Week, Man Phrase Edition 3

I have to say, I'm a lot more comfortable using man phrases since I began chronicling their meanings in my word of the week category.  One of the reasons I have avoided using man terms is because I've been unsure what boundaries they require.  When is it appropriate to say boo-yah!, for instance?

Here is another man term that has had me scratching my head for a little bit.

a hot mess

Okay...just so you know...this has nothing to do with temperature.  Here's the definition that I have concluded from contextual usage...

hot mess: n. a confused situation, something that is abnormally cluttered, a person who is overwhelmed by emotion.

Isn't it efficient of men to use one term for so many meanings?  We women would probably have seventeen separate terms for these definitions!

Here are my sample sentences:

The young girl's not-so-subtle evasion tactics led the Mom to assume the room was, as she suspected, a hot mess. (Again, an instance taken from real life).

The perfect storm of chocolate abstinence, lack of sleep, and football viewing caused the young mother's emotions to erupt until her entire family saw that she was indeed a hot mess.

The woeful mismanagement of Mr. Ling caused Randy and his unfortunate coworkers to scratch their heads in wonder at the hot mess the company had become.  (This too has been taken from real life, but the names have been changed to protect the innocent...and the guilty!)

Monday, December 19, 2011

So Sweet...

I have a theory.  I've been thinking through the deliberate placement of words like "Angel" and "Adorable" on baby clothes.

"I love Mommy" her bib declares.

 I'm pretty sure manufacturers put it there to remind you how cute your baby really is next time you see her splashing in the toilet.  <sigh>

I'm sure that each child has been ten times worse than normal every time I dressed them with "Mommy's Little Sweetheart" across the onesie.

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Adoration of the Wise Men

Saw you never in the twilight,
When the sun had left the skies,
Up in heaven the clear stars shining,
Through the gloom like silver eyes?
So of old the wise men watching,
Saw a little stranger star,
And they knew the King was given,
And they follow'd it from far.

Heard you never of the story,
How they cross'd the desert wild,
Journey'd on by plain and mountain,
Till they found the Holy Child?
How they open'd all their treasure,
Kneeling to that Infant King,
Gave the gold and fragrant incense,
Gave the myrrh in offering?

Know ye not that lowly Baby
Was the bright and morning star,
He who came to light the Gentiles,
And the darken'd isles afar?
And we too may seek his cradle,
There our heart's best treasures bring,
Love, and Faith, and true devotion,
For our Saviour, God, and King.
- by Cecil Frances Alexander

Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Band of Merry Kiddos

I've been hunting around for some Christmas artwork to add into my very random collection of artwork.  I wanted to find some pieces that are relative to the holidays small task when I only post artwork with expired copyrights.  At least I thought it would be hard.  Amazingly, I was able to find a plethora (use that word today--it makes you feel smart) of paintings of interest.

Here's the first...

It's called "Christmas Caroling" by Kate Greenaway.  I've done one of her pictures before because the kids in them are just so cute and they remind me of my own chubby-cheeked cuties.  Just a minute...(pause)...okay, I'm back.  I just needed to go squeeze my squishy little girl.  She was the only one I could catch!

I love their over-sized coats and the clear sky.  Wouldn't you love a crew of kids singing to you on Christmas eve?  The instruments may be a little much considering their age, but then maybe that's a personal quirk of mine since I've taught fifth grade band before.  However, when I try not to hear beginning violin scratches along with the painting, I find it completely charming.  No one carols anymore...

What do you think?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

An interesting political philosophy

''Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedies.''

—Groucho Marx

Monday, December 12, 2011

Play Time

The soldiers stiffly circled the flagpole, halting to attention around the American flag.  They stood in silence until the large-headed Captain began, "Ready, men?  Attention, Salute, Pledge...."  They all pledged allegiance in their manly voices.

The Captain continued, "Now, we're going to sing."  He then began a very manly rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner".  The soldiers joined in with dignified gusto.  In their patriotic fervor, they began to clap and yell, "Go Blue!".  Then, it was time for the action to begin.

The men left the camp site for the vastly carpeted terrain below.

"Line up, men!"  the Captain bellowed.

They immediately obeyed, ordering themselves into ranks.  The jeeps and tanks joined them as well, bringing up the rear, slightly behind where the action would soon take place.  The sound of engines roared in the distance as the evil cars began to approach.  They rounded the corner and proceeded to the carpeted terrain, revving their engines to jeer the alert soldiers.  The soldiers stood still for a moment, waiting for the go-ahead from their Captain.

Suddenly, the wicked blue car screeched into the ranks of soldiers, burning rubber all the way.  The Captain yelled at the soldiers, shouting at them to fight back.  The soldiers pulled out their guns, bazookas, and bayonets.  Manful grunts and artillery screamed through the air.  The tanks chugged around and opened fire on the line of villain cars.  The cars began to panic and were about to make their escape when the soldiers broke their ranks and began to jump on top of them.  The air whistled with the brutal sounds of hand to hand combat as the soldiers unleashed their fury on the enemy cars.

Suddenly, an enormous white horse with rainbow colored hair entered the scene with none other than Buzz Lightyear on her back.  The zealous space knight charged into the fray, clobbering the combatant cars with his space laser.  Sparks flew through the air on his right side, then his left.  Buzz turned his white stallion and had come face to face with the evil blue car.  Their eyes locked in a daring game of chess.  The blue car suddenly began to spin his wheels, then sped toward Buzz, leaving tracks in the carpeted terrain behind him.  Buzz's stallion whinnied ferociously, then charged toward the dangerous car.  They were getting closer and closer...

"Hi Buzz.  Are you ready to get married?" came the ill-timed comment from the festooned, bridal Barbie.

"Cara!!!!!" yelled the Captain.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Keepin' It Real, part 2

There is clutter and dirt
and dishes and laundry.
I need to get cleaning,
but spend more time reading.

No, this is not really my house...Don't worry, Andy!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

General Stonewall Jackson on Politeness...

"Good breeding or true politeness is the art of showing men by external signs the internal regard we have for them.  It arises from good sense improved by good company."

Am I mistaken or is true politeness a lost art?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Ellen Bartelle, Woman of Mystery, Part 10...At Last!

Catch up on Ellen Bartelle here...Ellen Bartelle, Part 9, or click on the Installment Story label at the top to see other installments.  Now, without further interruption...

It was a dark and stormy night.  The glowering clouds traveled quickly, giving momentary peeks at the half moon above.  Ellen was at her post across from Fit for Life, observing as her guests arrived for the final showdown.  She intended to make a great entrance once her guests had all arrived.

She had emailed invitations to all, under the guise of a party honoring the new calorie counting software being launched next month.  The Mayor had arrived moments before Herman and Margarita, who were bickering as usual.  Next, Frank came, underdressed as usual, leaving behind him a trail of peanut shells.  She held her breath as Jonathan Miller parked and entered the building, speaking briefly to the security guard with a smile.  Editor Wilhelm and his secretary Carla slithered by silently...Ellen smiled to herself...soon she would never have to darken the door of Fit for Life for the rest of her life!  The clouds had passed and the cool night air blew through the damp trees, causing sprinkles anew to fall around her on the bench.

It was time to make her entrance.  She walked up to the Fit for Life building, her red velvet heels clicked and caused mini-splashes as she crossed the street.  She flashed her credentials and a smile to security and headed to the elevators for her final ascent into the office.  She felt a little odd without the fanny pack...instinctively trying to rest her hand only to find nothing.  She ran her fingers through her damp hair, then bit her fingernails nervously.  She was always so worked up for these meetings...public speaking was not her forte.

The elevator dinged conspicuously, reminding her of her first visit to the floor.  She exited the elevator, pausing dramatically in the hallway only to discover that no one was there.  She clicked across the black tile and entered the office.  She posed near the doorway until all eyes had turned toward her...the guests were all helping themselves to the diet sodas and bottled waters she had thought to provide earlier.

"Hello, friends," she toned deeply. "Thank you all for responding to my message."  No one responded; some of the guests looked very confused.  The room took on an air of discomfort.  Carla quietly began to sneer, while Herman searched for a regular Pepsi.

Having made her brief entrance speech, Ellen was unsure how to bridge the gap for her big reveal.  She could feel the red of embarrassment beginning to creep up her neck as the others continued to stare mercilessly.  Frank sauntered over and offered her a beverage quietly, steering her toward the refreshment table.  Ellen would have none of it...she had a mission to conclude.

She gestured grandly, announcing the fact that she had an announcement to make.  "If you would, please be seated while I make introductions."  Everyone chose a desk chair and waited...everyone, that was, but the Mayor, who obviously would never fit into a Fit for Life desk.  He stood nervously by Editor Wilhelm, shifting his weight back and forth.  Then she began...

"It was four short weeks ago that I began my work here in the Fit for Life editing department.  I've gotten to know many of you during that time, but I have a confession to make to you all...I am not just an editor's assistant by trade...(she paused here)...I'm a detective."  She locked eyes with Jonathan's bewildered eyes, only to have the moment spoiled by Herman loudly spouting to Margarita, "There!  Did I tell you there was something else going on?  I don't know why you can't trust me about these things..."  Margarita interrupted him with a detailed assault of exactly why she couldn't trust him.  The bickered quietly from their desks in the corner.

The Mayor decided the moment had come to take credit for everything Ellen had accomplished.  He tottered to the front of the office, congratulated Ellen on a job well done and began making a speech about in-house ethics and how important he always considered it.  Ellen had been upstaged before the reveal, and she was unsure of how to get things back on track.  Just then, fate took a hand.

A cell phone began ringing.  It rang unanswered for many minutes, it's jazz trumpets blaring the same eight bars repeatedly.  People began ignoring the political hogwash in search for the unanswered phone...who wasn't here to answer their phone?  Or was someone there who wouldn't answer their phone in the present company?

Ellen took the Mayor's momentary lapse to jump back into the spotlight and announce grandly, "I know who that phone is ringing for!"  People were checking their watches and trying to make a discreet was obvious they didn't care where or why the phone was ringing.  Feeling the excitement waning, Ellen walked boldly over to Carla the secretary.  She met her smoldering gaze fiercely, and with fists clenched (a very conspicuously odd movement) she invited her to answer the phone.  Carla's eyes gleamed with acknowledgement, but she only snickered aloud and claimed no knowledge of the phone.  Ellen walked over to Carla's desk and from the second side drawer pulled out a pink cell.  "You do know of this phone because it has been your source of communication with the outside man who is blackmailing the embezzler of Fit for Life."

That statement finally made a bit of an impact.  The Mayor waddled over, his piggish eyes green with excitement, Carla began shoveling insults out about Ellen's BMI, Jonathan was carefully listening, clearly intrigued, and Herman and Margarita were of course still arguing in the corner.  Frank looked on keenly.

Ellen quieted the mini-mob with the promise of an explanation.  They quieted nervously and listened as she began.  "I was approached prior to my introduction to Fit for Life by the Mayor, who was obviously concerned about the embezzling of funds from this...(her voice caught a little as she thought up a complimentary, yet honest adjective for the hated job)"  Ellen  glanced over to the agitated and perspiring politician.  "It was a bold move to hire someone to uncover the source of the embezzlement from without the company.  His reasoning was obvious...the mayor himself is the embezzler."  Ellen had anticipated a gasp of astonishment, but apparently this news didn't surprise many. Even the Mayor was tonguetied in his own defense.  He pointed his finger at her, trying to summon up a speech, but was perfectly speechless.   She cocked her eyebrow, then continued, "The Mayor isn't the only breach in ethics here.  He embezzled thousands of dollars from this company to fund his reelection campaign under the watchful eyes of Carla and her well-seasoned blackmailing companion in crime.  The red mark on the blackmail letter was a dead could be no one else but Frank."  This time there was a gasp.  Frank, her lifetime friend stared in shock at Ellen.

He began, "Ellen, how dare you accuse me..."  Ellen realized her improvident blunder.

"No, no, Frank, of course I don't mean you...I mean Frank from the street.  You know, Frank's franks?  His real name isn't even Frank!  It's Troy...who buys hot dogs from a guy named Troy?  I couldn't believe it at first, either, but there's no mistaking that horseradish ketchup he makes.  Who else would be able to see the secret happenings of Fit for Life?  Who else would have known which waif to approach with the idea of blackmail?  It had to be someone close.  Some one the Mayor would never suspect.  Someone who had been able to photograph the Mayor eating all those nitrates.  It was him."  Ellen finished with a smile, then casually ignored her growling stomach while she calmly dialed security and the police.

Frank and Editor Wilhelm were strong in their praise of Ellen's blame-pinning palate.  The Mayor was arrested, as Ellen had already forwarded all Fit for Life financial data to the district attorney.  The police would be out late into the night looking for Frank, er, Troy, who would be hastily thrown under the bus by the  now unemployed Carla.

Out of habit, Herman began cleaning up and turning off the lights.  There was only one light left on in the office, as most people had already left to spread the gossip around Seattle.  Ellen looked at Jonathan, seeking his approval and understanding.  He came near her and offered his congratulations...then he invited her out to dinner with him and his girlfriend.  Her heart sank...seriously?!  Ellen smiled slightly and thanked him, evading the invitation for now.  She stepped forward and shook his hand, standing eye to eye as equals.  She would never feel inferior to him again, for she had proved her worth to him and all Seattle.  She was alone, but she was a force to be reckoned with.  She was Ellen Bartelle, woman of mystery.

She put on her red ladybug sunglasses, turned on her velvet heel and walked away slowly.  She left the building, grabbing the lipstick umbrella on her way out into the damp streets of Seattle.  The storm had calmed, just as had the mystery of her life...until tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Word of the Week

Here's an interesting word suggested by my little brother.  By the way, once you're a little brother, you're always a little matter how many doctorates you collect.  So there!

I like his style...being a polack as well, the verb form of this word can come in handy for every day life.

tump: v. to bump or knock (usually with over)

               n. a small mound; a clump of trees, shrubs, or grass.

How the word has such very different meanings, I have no idea.  Does that stop us from using it?  Not one bit.  Let's try this out in every day life...

The tired toddler followed her mother moaning for a full fifty minutes during the dinner preparation, despite the mother's unfortunate habit of tumping into her every couple of steps.

(In case you were wondering, yes, this did happen to me last night...)

The dinner party was ruined when the zarf-like guest tumped the punch pitcher over onto the leg of lamb.  His rival watched the public example of clumsiness with schadenfreude

 (Yes!  Extra points for me for using three vocabulary words in the same...uh...two sentences.  I tried for one but it wasn't meant to be.  That would have been triple points...but who's keeping track anyway?)

The terrific athletic teen trotted to the top of the towering tump before tumbling down, to his trepidation.  

All right, give it a try...alliteration or not, I'll love reading your sample sentences! 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Charlotte's Web

Here's a book review for those of you who have the little ones around.  We've made it a habit after our school time is over to do some reading aloud together...well, minus Hurricane Allison, of course.  The first book we started with was Charlotte's Web by E.B.White.

Would it surprise you to hear that I never read this book until college?  I had no idea that it used to be the book every first grade teacher read to her class, and is now pretty standard for kindergarten teachers.  It really is a great book!  It has an interesting plot, including good and evil and cleverness (and vocabulary!), yet it still maintains a sweetness and innocence which is becoming a thing of the past for the little guys.  I won't go into the ins and outs of the actual story, since most of you probably already know it, but I have to say, I really enjoy the descriptions in the book.  Even without Garth Williams' classic illustrations, you can just imagine what Fern looks like feeding the pig, Wilbur, from a bottle.  You can practically see Templeton's bulging body after gorging himself with loads of chocolate, ahem, fair food.

I guess it comes down to this:  it's a well-written, classic book that kids of today still enjoy!  It also has a great ending...unlike this book review.  Try it with your kids...they'll love it!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Lines on Being a Landlord

(This is a poem for my parents...both landlords in their own right...this is what I've learned about it!)

In Apartment one, they're drunk all day
In Apartment two, they're drunk all night.
They're not so bad in Apartment three,
In Apartment four, they always fight.

The police came out to Apartment five,
A weird smell comes from Apartment six
Apartment seven is really clever
At not-paying-my-rent type tricks.

There's ten people living in Apartment eight,
Ten animals in Apartment nine,
They run and scatter when I show up
because they have to pay a fine.

Apartment ten is the best of all
For they've torn large holes in all the floors.
Silly owner, don't you know
That every piece of fault is yours?

I work a lot, without much pay,
I replace the floor in Apartment ten.
I think I'd like to sell this place,
But not right now...I don't know when.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

This Made Me Laugh!

Even though our gas here has finally dipped below $3/gallon, I thought this picture was hilarious.  I guess even the gas station owners are somewhat helpless to the prices!

Picture courtesy of

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

School Update #3

We start our school day with the Pledge of Allegiance and a patriotic song.  One of our goals for our children that homeschoolers sometimes overlook is for them to know the different parts of citizenship and patriotism.  Since this is included in the A Beka Bible curriculum, it's pretty easy to include.  The first few weeks, the patriotic song has been "My Country 'Tis of Thee".  We've now moved on to "The Star Spangled Banner".

Our first day with a new song, I usually sing it for the kids, then we gradually learn it and sing it regularly together.  The first day, I gave them my heart-felt rendition of "The Star Spangled Banner".  Scott stood there mutely as I belted it out.  Then, as soon as I finished, he began to clap, then shouted, "Play ball!".

This is Reds player, Scott Rolen.  My Scott thinks his middle name is Rolen...seriously. 

Hmmm...I think he watches too many baseball games!  I'm glad it seemed familiar, though.  Hopefully he'll start associating it with our country sometime soon!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Inflationary Language

I love Victor Borge's humor...this one reminds me of the sad state of our economy.  Try adding (ha ha) this into your everyday conversation!

Monday, November 28, 2011

An Unforgettable Surprise

This Thanksgiving brought me something surprising to be thankful for.  My romantic and thoughtful hubby, in his wisdom, knew I could use a break from the household routine.  So...instead of spending Wednesday evening with my wonderful in-laws, I was whisked away for a local romantic getaway.  It was refreshing, fun, and relaxing--a lot of enjoyment to cram into almost 24 hours without the kids!

Knowing my affinity for experimenting with the local highlights, Andy got us a room at a bed and breakfast in the Cincinnati area called the Symphony Hotel.  (I'll post a review sometime or other for you locals, in case you're curious!)  It was an adventure--we checked in, walked a bit to explore the area, then got ready for a night out.  We drove downtown to the Chiquita building where we stowed the car before walking to the river.  It was our intention to cross on the Purple People bridge, but couldn't figure out how to get there.  There was a pedestrian lane on one of the other bridges, however, so we walked across the Ohio (despite my childhood suspicion of bridges).  We went to dinner at a lovely Italian restaurant in Newport, Kentucky where I tried my first carbonara.  It was divine and inspiring--I've got to try making that at home soon!  We browsed around Newport by light of the Christmas decor, then took our moonlit walk back to the car.  Do you know how intensely romantic it is to snuggle by your hubby and cross the Ohio river by starlight...with no kids around?  It was lovely.

We made it back to our room where we could warm up, talk without interruption, eat cookies my Mom-in-law gave us, then watch TV until we fell asleep.

Do you know what was the awesomest kidless moment?  Waking up in the morning to quiet--and getting to lay in bed and read until I felt like getting up to a breakfast someone else made for us!  <<sigh>>

And guess what...all this loveliness happened without any chocolate consumption.  Yes--it was just that perfect!

Thank you, Andy, for loving me and spoiling me with such a fun and romantic getaway.  You are the absolute best of the best!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Word of the Week, Turkey Edition

For those of you trying to remember what it is in turkey that makes you drowsy, the word you're looking for is:

L-tryptophan: noun. an essential amino acid with a documented sleep inducing effect.  (as found in turkey, of course).

Here's an important note.  Don't leave off the 'L-'.  Apparently plain old tryptophan is a non-sleep inducing generic variety of amino acid.  Wouldn't want you sounding like a ning-nong.

So, when your father-in-law falls asleep on your couch after Thanksgiving dinner, you can impress everyone around you by teasing him with the accurate name of the soporific amino acid. :)

Just a head's up...I'll be taking the rest of the week off blogging to spend the holiday week with my wonderful family.  You should be, too, by the way, so get off my blog and go hug your kids or something.  That's right, I'm kicking you out...until Monday.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Shocking New Holiday Exercise Routine

Avoid weight gain during this holiday season by following our fool-proof exercise plan.  Doing this 40 minute work-out, 5-7 days a week, you can drop those pesky pounds! (Adapted from a real magazine to fit the REAL Mommy lifestyle!)

Here's the Plan:  You'll alternate between high- and low-intensity exercise;
research has shown that this combo is an effective way to burn fat.

Total time: 40 minutes

4 Minutes: Start at a light pace; pumping your arms at your sides, to warm up.

2 Minutes: Stop walking to pick up puzzle pieces you are stepping on.

2 Minutes: Walk at a moderate pace.

1 Minute: Chase your toddler into the other room and retrieve the sharp object    
from his or her hand.

1 Minute: Make another child stop whining with the threat of cleaning her room.

3 Minutes: Walk at a moderate pace.

1 Minute: Pick up your 26 pounder after she falls and gets another bruise.

1 Minute: Run into the kitchen and turn off the burner under the boiling-over

3 Minutes: Walk at a moderate pace.

2 Minutes: Walk as fast as you can while digging under piles of stuff to try to
find the phone before it stops ringing.

3 Minutes: Walk at a moderate pace while talking on the phone.

2 Minutes: Drag a chair over to the kitchen and repeatedly climb on it to keep
turning off the smoke detector.

3 Minutes: Walk at a normal pace while swinging a towel near the smoke detector.

2 Minutes: Walk as fast as you can without tripping on the toys strewn all over
the floor.

3 Minutes: Run excitedly around the house to figure out where and why the
toddler screaming is happening

2 Minutes: Discipline. (this really gets your heart rate up)

5 Minutes: Slow your stride, taking longer steps and relaxing your upper body.

Cool Down: Make your children pick up toys while you supervise under threat of
more heart raising activity (ie disciplining)

If you follow this fool proof routine 5-7 days a week, you could get the same
results I have---gaining 5 more pounds over the next year.  (I need a new
fitness routine!)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Keepin' It 1

If my house were more quiet,
I think I might diet.
But when squabbles won't budge,
I want to eat fudge.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A good excuse for today's laziness?

"The early bird might get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese."
Author Unknown

Hmmm...maybe sleeping in would be okay...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

When Being a Royal Doesn't Pay...

Have you ever heard how Edward II of England died?  I just did.  Apparently he was killed by having a red hot fire iron shoved up through what we'll call the back door.  This was done by his wife.  Just goes to show...if you're not a success at home, you're not a success anywhere.

By the way, right now my hubby and I are watching the BBC/History Channel multi-installment documentary called A History of Britian.  It's fantastic so far...really full of interesting tidbits, as you may have guessed.  They say truth is stranger than fiction...

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Word of the Week

Since it's fall, and all the food blogs are starting to hit the soups and stews, I thought I'd share a very multi-purpose word that has some pizzazz.

slumgullion: noun, a stew of meat, vegetables, and potatoes


a beverage made weak and thin, such as watery tea or coffee


the refuse of processing a whale carcass


a reddish mud deposit from mining sluices

Wow!  talk about a word worth learning...four definitions is definitely impressive.  How the etymology got from stew to whale carcass is a mystery, but hey, why not embrace it?   Let's see if you can guess which definition I had in mind for the following sentences:

"Here, dear.  Just a few more swallows of this delicious slumgullion and your throat will feel all better."  (If you guessed the whale carcass one, you're wrong.)

*** Spoiler Alert:  Don't read this sentence if you're reading Moby Dick!

Captain Ahab would have liked to reduce Moby Dick to a festering slumgullion, but alas, it was not to be.  (Yes, whale carcass fans, you've guessed right this time.)

When her husband asked her what was for dinner, the clever wife answered with  her newest vocabulary word, "How does some nice slumgullion sound?"  Needless to say, he was very impressed by her knowledge of both words and cookery.  (It does sound a lot more magnificent than stew, doesn't it?)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Every Girl Needs a Big Brother...

Those of you who have an older sibling, or in particular an older brother, will relate to this story.  I remembered it recently while my hubby and I were talking about how boys should look out for their sisters.

When I was in elementary school, we rode the bus home every day.  Since we all went to a pretty small local public school, all grade levels were in the same school, and therefore we rode the same bus home.  Ours was Bus #8, and was very rural, and was driven by Pete, the guy from whom we bought our farm.  (He should be the subject of another post!)

Anyway, one day I was haggling with another student on the bus over who knows what.  It was a boy near my age, and I don't remember much about him except he didn't like me.  He got nasty.  (I'm sure I was being a perfect angel and didn't give him any reason to dislike me so...).  He called me fat and ugly, and made me start to tear up.  Unknown to me, my older brother, Scott was sitting nearby listening.  We were near the back of the bus, so he slid to a nearby seat when Pete wasn't looking around with his eagle eye.  He got close to the kid and threatened him...may have even punched him a little...not quite sure anymore.  My brother is five years older than me, so to have an important high-schooler come to your defense is perfectly amazing.

I was on cloud nine.  I felt protected and loved and vindicated!  My quiet brother had been looking out for me even when I didn't know it!  The boy never made fun of me again, and my tears were soon dry.

We got off the bus...all four of us.  I sped to catch up with Scott, who could always walk really fast through the shortcuts.  I looked up at him in wonder and said, "I'm so glad you stuck up for me Scott.  You made me feel so special!"  (or something to that effect).

He looked at me without smiling, punched me hard on the arm and said, "Well, it doesn't mean that I like you."  Then he ran off.

Every girl needs a big brother to look out for her...but a brother is still a brother, no matter how heroic he can be!

Friday, November 11, 2011

My Haunted House

by My Mom after our visit

I don't want to wipe off the high chair tray.
I'll leave it go for just one more day.
Maybe that way Allie's face will stay
In my mind, with her toothy grin.

The plants to their regular stand repair.
No more blockade of basement door or stair.
No aroma of diapers to raise one's hair
Or show how full our home has been.

No toy cars to step on in the morn.
Coloring books the table no longer adorn.
The floor's swept clear of cereal and corn.
Every step on a crumb said, "Grandma, I love you."

Swimming laps is too quiet and boring now.
Where is my little man and his pal Kachow?
Does he like the farm because beef comes from a cow?
Reading books without Scott's help isn't as fun to do.

Silly giggles and hugs are Cara's cadeaux.
Absently calling ME "Mom" makes my heart glow.
Malicious butterflies should be avoided, as you well know.
There's no need to fear; Underdog is here!

The kids dressed up snazzy for church on Sunday--
Taking a walk or going out in the dirt to play--
A beautiful song, verse, or poem to say--
These missing things make my day too severe.

I'm glad Andy on the phone makes Hannah happy still.
Please take home an old movie and our extra dill.
(Now a dishwasher load takes two days to fill!)
Communion over chocolate and movies will keep

Till the kids are in bed, if I can stay awake.
I tried very hard for my dear daughter's sake.
Except for these memories, my clean house makes me ache.
The blessings of family take a lifetime to reap.

***Editor's Note:  What a great remembrance of our trip!  So many of these details could be changed by next year!  Maybe they'll be cleaner and not into cars and no longer scared of butterflies.  Well, at least Mom can count on me...blessings from chocolate are much more immediate.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Picture For Us Girls...

After girls grow up, get married, and have children, life changes a lot.  One thing that gets better with age is friendships.  There's nothing quite like the depth of a relationship formed through the ups and downs and dishes of family life.  This picture reminds me of my friend, Christine and a land without email and phones.  It's called "Chatterboxes" by Thomas Benjamin Kennington.

Nothing helps pass a dreary day of housework like some chat and humor with a buddy!  As a side note, I love the heap of 'stuff' piled in the corner.  Way to keep it real, Mr. Kennington!

Any other thoughts, readers?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Sense and Sensibility, as regards my children

It is an unusually warm and sunny November day today.  We decided to bask in the glory of the sun while we still could.  After school and lunch was done, we all went outside to enjoy the weather.  Allison busily began throwing leaves and trying to put dirt in her ear, I sat down in the sunshine and read four chapters of Anne of Avonlea, and Scott and Cara explored the deep recesses of our back yard.  Scott scrounged up some random leaves and sticks to "cook" with.  While his pie was baking, Cara found four small worms.  She cradled them in her hand, showed them to everyone, and decided to adopt.  They were well cared for...Scott came over to observe.  She petted them, told them she loved them, and tried to feed them.

This all went along for half an hour or so, when I decided it was time to come in for naptime.  Cara asked to bring her new friends inside, to which I said an absolute no.  She was distressed, saddened, disturbed.  She busily created an impromptu habitat for her beloved ones.  She stocked up a food supply, splashed water on them, and did everything she could think of to make them comfortable until the next time she can come out.  All the while, she talked soothingly to the worms, so they wouldn't be frightened.  Scott watched and listened silently.  About halfway through the emotional tumult of preparation, he put his ore in.

Hands on hips and no expression, he said to Cara, "You know what we should do with them Cara?  Mom won't let us take them inside anyway, so we should just kill them and put them in the garage by the fishing poles for next time."

Always thinking intensely practical.  Unfortunately for Mr. Sense, Miss Sensibility is as shocked by his suggestion as her six year old emotions will allow.  Good thing for her, Grandpa looks out for Miss Sensibility when she wants to go fishing...apparently Mr. Sense can look out for himself.  I sure hope he marries someone nurturing some day, or who know what will happen to his kids!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Word of the Week

Most people don't realize that when you become a parent, you also become a creator of words.  Nicknames are very common for parents, but occasionally they bridge the gap and adapt themselves for everyday use.  Here's one I made up...a combination of Pookie and Precious..

pookalicious: adj. squishy and cute, babyish, squeazeable.
                               n. baby Allison

Did you know that you can adapt almost any song to use the word/name pookalicious instead of lyrics?  We consider it a challenge here. are a few sample sentences to try out.

Lucinda teared up as she looked in the mirror; her bulging gut was anything but pookalicious.

"Ah, my Pookalicious, I just have to squeeze you and smooch your fat cheeks all over...(commence smooching...)".

"Did you see baby Titus?  He was absolutely pookalicious!"

Monday, November 7, 2011

Gossip From the Home Front

My home town is very interesting.  It's kind of a real life, German version of Mayberry.  It's neat and quaint and full of exciting tales that run through the barber shop, then the local paper, often in that order.

Here's an interesting tidbit I heard about while I was visiting.  This was actually in the paper.  A man had been arrested on suspicion of breaking into the local pharmacy.  Apparently, before he could even get to the pharmacy, several trusted citizens called the police to report him as suspicious.  The reason, you ask?  He was wearing a hoodie.  (giggle, giggle...seriously!)  Yes, what would here in Cincinnati probably be called fashion profiling was praised in my home town by the local police chief.  Can you imagine?  My husband wears hoodies all the time when the weather gets cold...I better purge his wardrobe before his next visit.  Wouldn't want him being arrested on suspicion of stealing from an antique shop or anything...

Friday, November 4, 2011

A Rhyme for my Homecoming...

Upon my return
I really did strive
Some poem to write
Of our brief westward flight.

Our great tale of travel,
Swell places we've tread
But now that I'm home
My poor brain's half dead.

Oh well...maybe next time!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

We're Back!

Hello readers!  We've officially returned from our long trek out west to visit my parents and brother's family.  I had these great intentions of writing something interesting, but I'm afraid that the mess in my house has reached fire hazard stage, so I'd better not ignore it.  I have been trying to clean up and unpack, but had to take that last morning to party with my Dad before he returned home.  Hopefully, my blogging will be back on track tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Look at this...

Do you see this cute baby?  He wants to meet his aunt.  My own sweet babies, my superman Dad, and I are heading out to see him starting tomorrow, so there will be a short hiatus in posting.  I plan on being back a week from Thursday, so be on the lookout for a new post then.  Thanks so much to everyone who is a regular reader of my means a lot to me to have people appreciate my odd sense of humor!

On another, more important oldest baby is six today.  I'm still in shock.  Sure, she's started in school and she's in ballet and she likes to write and try to read and can make her own bed and fold her own clothes and brush her own teeth and clear the table, but she's not really ready to be six...I'm sure of it!
She has a thing for getting her picture taken with flowers.
Happy birthday to you, my sweet flower princess girl!  May life always be as magical and full of excitement as it is today!

Monday, October 24, 2011


I think for Halloween this year, I'll just try to turn on the vacuum.  That's terrifying enough to get my kids screaming and jumping up on furniture.  Practical, too.  My floors always need a good cleaning.

****Editor's Note: Getting me to scream and jump on furniture isn't hard, either.  All it takes is one small mouse.

"The Turnip Lantern" by William Henry Hunt

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Last limerick, I promise...

There once were a few readers dear,
Who did not think this blog was queer.
They got terribly sick
Reading each limerick
every week for what seemed like a year!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Mystery of the Blue Train

I finished another book this week.  It was an Agatha Christie--The Mystery of the Blue Train.
Doesn't it look exciting?  It was.  Poirot mysteries are one of those things I return to on a regular basis when I've overwhelmed myself with too much non-fiction reading.  I've read many of them in my time, but I have to say, I can still never guess who did it!  It's part exciting and part shocking.  I am honing my skills, however, to be able to identify who the killer is not...I was able to successfully eliminate two of the candidates fairly quickly, but was still horrified when I discovered the real killer plus accomplice.  Seriously?  That's what makes her mysteries so timeless!

For those of you who have never read an Agatha Christie novel, you definitely should.  They're easy to read, and very suspenseful without being dark or dwelling on evil too much.  It's all a very civilized type of villiany.  The real charm, however, lies in the sub-plots of the stories.  This one had a paid companion, just turned rich, who stumbled into love.  The books always have a good share of good virtues also.  For every dastardly villian, there is usually a loyal and kind character as well.

And now, for the most important bit...if you're reading an Agatha Christie for the first time, start with an Hercule Poirot novel.  I sometimes wish I knew him in real life...although he would be entirely horrified at the state of my housekeeping.  He's intelligent, tries to be modest, a neat freak, Belgian (not French), and has a magnificent mustache.  He's everything a private investigator should be.  Miss Marple is pretty good, too, but in more of a Cranford meets crime sort of way.  I enjoy her adventures, but I LOVE Poirot's.  You'll probably find copies of Agatha Christie novels in any used book store or library...try one out and let me know what you think.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

What can $100 do for you?

I had a recent makeover of sorts.  For me it was a real game-changer.  I got my hair cut...the same way I always do, then the next week, I had an eye exam.  My hubby got me contact lenses again after a five year-baby stage hiatus. (If your eyes freak out during pregnancy, you'll know why I didn't bother for a while.) 

Then the next day, I looked in the mirror and had a startling recollection...I have a really interesting eye color.  Is that completely pathetic, or what?  I had forgotten all about one of my most unique and attractive features!

To make a long story short, that $100 made me mentally go from this...

(No, I don't usually have an axe handy when watching the children)
To this...

Yes, that is a chocolate cake! 
In other words, it got things back to where they should be.  

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Word of the Week

Here's a fun one.  It adds a little gusto to an every day problem for many of us.

Paunch: noun. stomach, pot belly

Where to start, where to start...there are so many pleasant alternatives when you're thinking up sentences about a pot belly...  How about this...

Grandma Jessie was tired of the backhanded insults; when the boy bagging groceries snickered at her bladder leakage supplies, she punched him right in the paunch.


The speedy toddler stumbled through the room, fat cheeks jiggling with every step, paunch bared to the world, dismantling all sense of order the mother had so strategically worked to achieve.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Hurricane Season is Here...

Yes, I know those of you on the coastlines are hunkering down to survive a few months of suddenly horrifying weather.  In our family, we have reached the season of hunkering down as well...but not because of Mother Nature.  Our baby is almost sixteen months old.  Those of you who have had children know what I mean when I call her Hurricane Allison.

The MoonPie girl can successfully whirl through any room in the house leaving it in shambles in a mere matter of minutes.  She loves to unwind toilet paper and splash in the toilet.  She unloads and tries to eat the trash.  She pulls dirty dishes out of the dishwasher and throws them on the floor.  She loves to eat crayons and color on furniture.  She basically leaves us in a perpetual state of terror from the moment we release her from her bed to the time she returns.

The thing about having a baby this age, though, is that she's so cute and cheerful about it all.  You can't really be angry...what a mystery it is!  She's exhausting, but when she toddles over with her fat cheeks smiling, holding out a dirty diaper she just fished out of the trash like it is some great treasure she found just for you, you can't be mad.  God really knew what He was doing making them cute.

This stage will pass.  In a few months, she'll remember all the no-nos.  I can't say I'll miss the messes...we have plenty as it is, but it's still a precious time.  Each child has their own special biggest mess they made during Hurricane's fun to think of when it's over!

Friday, October 14, 2011


Unsuspecting was I
and without a care,
When I was affronted
by my Tupperware.

Blithely smiling, cleaning
post-dinner rubble,
Collecting clean dishes,
Unaware of the trouble.

The trouble which lay
all hidden and stored
In that spacious and handy
corner cupboard.

I, with great care drying
my plasticware tall,
When opened, it gushed forth,
and upon me did fall.

The river of plastic pooled
up round my feet.
I shoved each back in...
till next time we meet!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Just because it was cute...School Update #2

We were reviewing our letters yesterday during school.  We reviewed what capital B looks like, then moved on to little b.  Cara said...

"Mom, it looks like you before Allie was born!  It has a big, fat belly, too!"

...At least she didn't say it looked like me now!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Gentlemen of Baseball

Okay, I've done some posting on some of the more erratic players in baseball history, and now as promised, I'll cover some of the guys who were actually nice and worthy of being a boy's role model.  It may surprise those of you who are a little sports-biased (I at times fall into this category myself, I must admit!), but there are actually quite a few who were great guys!  Here are three more players which I consider note-worthy:

Christy Mathewson:

He was actually called "the Christian Gentleman" by players and press alike because of his courtesy and public stand for God and country.  He was an amazing of the first in the hall of fame...who wouldn't pitch a game on Sunday, in honor of his beliefs.  He enlisted in WWI, along with the less-than-Christian-non-gentleman Ty Cobb, and inhaled poisonous gas.  This ended his pitching career and ultimately took his life, but he never regretted it.  He was one of the first five inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Lou Gehrig:

I have to say, through the Ken Burns series, Lou Gehrig was one of my personal favorites, although he was largely overshadowed by his flamboyant teammate, Babe Ruth.  He was just as talented as Ruth, but was completely opposite him in character.  He was a quiet, modest, family man.  He never sought the lime-light.  He spent years in the shadow of Ruth, being largely overlooked, yet always kept a kind and gentlemanly attitude toward him.  It's actually he, and not Ruth who holds the grand slam record!  Even when he had to leave the game of baseball at the age of 36 due to what would eventually be called 'Lou Gehrig's Disease', he bravely faced a devastating illness without complaint, instead being grateful for the time he had lived and played.  He is a great example of how to win and keep a humble attitude.

Ted Williams:

I suppose I ought to include a Red Sox player since I've had a Yankee. :)  Seriously, Ted Williams is a good role model for a young man.  He was an absolutely amazing hitter,  and much of his skill was acquired through hard work and observation.  He really studied and worked hard to become didn't just happen naturally for him!  Some people even consider him the greatest hitter who ever lived.  His stats, though, may not seem as impressive as you'd expect from an all-time great.  There's a reason.  He took years away from his career (stats) to serve in the military in both WWII and the Korean war.  How many sports players these day can you think of who wouldn't be too self-serving to step away from their sport while at their prime to serve their country?  I think it was amazing...what a great example.

I've really enjoyed learning some of the ins and outs of baseball, courtesy of Ken Burns.  I understand why Brooklyn Dodgers fans are bitter, I know about the Red Sox curse, I know how to calculate a batting average, but most of all, I enjoyed the stories.  The game of baseball is an avenue to learn about some very interesting lives.  They say truth is stranger than fiction...who would have thought I'd have enjoyed the Baseball documentary so much?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Word of the Week, Toddler Terms

I'm afraid I'll forget these some day, as they are quickly disappearing from the vocabularies of my five- and four- year olds.  If you're ever around my kids for any length of time, you'll spot a few of these!

mowlawner: lawn mower

rockamole: guacamole

dit dew: Allie baby speak for "love you"

and theng, and theng...: and then (this one can go on forever...until she remembers the next part of the run-on sentence!)

busketti: spaghetti

dinner: Scott speak for every snack and meal

I wanember: I remember

wish-wee: Cara's word for lotion (don't ask why!)

wah-ner: to really imitate Scott, you have to speak kind of nasal, at the top of your lungs.  This means 'water' or any other drink.

Here's something sad already...they've already eliminated a lot of these from their speaking since I first wrote this post.  Sniff, sniff...I should have written more down at the time, but I was probably chasing a child.  Being a mom and blogger isn't for wimps.  In fact, at times it's an aerobic activity.

What are some of your favorite toddler terms?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Stages of Diaper Bagging...

The longer I've been a Mom, the more I realize that you can generally monitor the age of a baby simply by observing the diaper bag his mother uses.  Here are my very unscientific findings:

Stage I:  Enormabag
     This stage is reserved for the very small baby.  Especially first time Moms tend to want on hand several outfits, about a jumbo pack of diapers, a wide array of bottles, burp cloths, and just about every cream and lotion ever labeled for infant use.  This stage lasts for about 5-6 months for first-time Moms and 2-3 months for professionals.

Stage II: Multi-pocket Big Bag
     As a newborn progresses, the need for all the gadgets starts to diminish.  At this age, Mom is fascinated with many pockets to quickly organize the still somewhat abundant baby storage receptacle she carries.  If the Mom has other children, this is compounded as the family is feeling more up to going places with a baby that is a little farther into the infant years.  When you have other children, you need pockets for little boy cars, snacks for the toddlers who are jealous seeing baby eat, potty training outfits and/or diaper products, and sometimes also miscellaneous stuff for your husband.  This stage lasts until the baby is 9 months for new Moms and until 5 months for returners.

Stage III: Big Bag with Purse
     This is the stage where your baby gets so heavy, you're getting tired of lugging things around.  Moms shove only a moderate amount of baby gear into the bag (no pockets's always a mess anyway).  You strategically leave enough room on top of the baby things to stuff your purse in on top, thus creating one less thing to keep track of.  Amazingly, you can get everything you need for an eight hour period in one large bag!  This is where the ages begin to vary according to the mother's muscle tone and ability to remember where things are.  Returning Moms are stronger, but have shorter memories than newbies!

Stage IV: Large Purse
     This is the stage where I currently am with my daughter.  Moms reach this stage whenever their pride/tolerance level tires of looking like a pack mule all the time.  You gradually enter this stage, dipping in an outing at a time, then progresses to full time.  The trick to this stage is to have a purse large enough to hold everything you need normally, as well as 2 diapers, a ziploc bag of wipes and a small snack. 

Stage V:  Stray Diaper
     By the time a Mom gets to this stage, her baby only needs to be changed a few times a day.  Mom also is laid back enough to assume there will be wipes or something you can use as wipes around most anywhere you go.  Baby is usually on full table food at this don't usually see stray baby food jars laying around.  Stray diaper quite often stays in the glove box of my car, sometimes in my purse, or I simply let baby hold it until we get to the church nursery or wherever we are going.  Here's a note...Moms stay in this stage until potty training begins, at which time they revert back to Stage II or III temporarily and retrace the journey through to stray diaper.  At the end of potty training, it's more of a stray underwear/pullup thing, but after that, you're home free...until you have another baby, that is.

Friday, October 7, 2011

A Lady Who Thinks She Is Thirty

by Ogden Nash

Unwillingly Miranda wakes,
Feels the sun with terror,
One unwilling step she takes,
Shuddering to the mirror.

Miranda in Miranda's sight
Is old and gray and dirty;
Twenty-nine she was last night;
This morning she is thirty.

Shining like the morning star,
Like the twilight shining,
Haunted by a calendar,
Miranda is a-pining.

Silly girl, silver girl,
Draw the mirror toward you;
Time who makes the years to whirl
Adorned as he adorned you.

Time is timelessness for you;
Calendars for the human;
What's a year, or thirty, to
Loveliness made woman?

Oh, Night will not see thirty again,
Yet soft her wing, Miranda;
Pick up your glass and tell me, then--
How old is Spring, Miranda?

****Editor's Note: You know, Andy was just calling me 'loveliness made woman' the other day.  This poem is to officially wrap up my birthday week  Turning 31 wasn't nearly this traumatic, but I could relate and laugh over this one...especially the first two stanzas.  Have a great weekend all!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Having enough faith to rejoice...

I ran across two verses in my devotions that seemed to really jump out at me lately.  It's found in Psalm 5:

But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them:  let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.

For thou, LORD, wilt bless the righteous; with favor wilt thou compass him as with a shield. see, I've been praying that the Lord would help my family out in a few difficult decisions we have brewing.  I worked through the fear that often comes with a life-changing decision, I worked through the impatience of the extended waiting that came up, and yet I was still not quite satisfied.

I knew God would take care of us.

I knew God was in control.

I knew God would give us an answer in His good time.

These verses showed me what I was missing...yes, God wants me to trust.  Yes, God wants me to know He'll  'defend' me, but He wanted me to learn something else.  He wants me to know how to rejoice in Him...even when things are still hard and uncertain.  He wants me to know He's in control, and be joyful.  

No, our problems aren't resolved. Yes, we still have enemies and hardness--sometimes on a daily basis--but I know that I can rejoice because I have a God who loves me.  Through the easy times and the hard times, He'll solve my problems, and give me joy along the way.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Do you want to see a lovely painting?  Sure you'll brighten your day.  Take your mind away from the laundry and dishes and small creatures yelling your name and look at this...

This painting is called "The End of Dinner" by Jules Alexandre Grun.  Isn't it lovely?  Perhaps some day after the kids are all married off and chasing my grandchildren, I'll throw elegant dinner parties like this one.  I LOVE the lighting of this!  Not to mention the lace and flowers and stylish updos.  <<Sigh>>

Actually, what charms me most is the tone of formal, yet comfortable conversation.  I can almost hear the men chuckling and the ladies chit-chatting and admiring the china.  Some of them probably do useful things like painting china in their spare time.  What a happy thought...if I lived in another time, I'd probably be able to  paint roses on china...or violets...I love delicate teacups.  They're not too well adapted for all the bulls who live in my china closet, though!

Here's a secret...I love thinking of china and flowers and elegant dresses, but when it really comes down to it, I'd rather be here in my pajamas with my ugly mugs watching the ones I love tearing around the house, playing and giggling...but don't tell anyone.

What do you think of  the lovely conversation piece?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Word of the Week a la Linda

Here is a word suggestion from my bloggy friend Linda, at Encouragement From the Hill.

  kerfuffle: as a noun...commotion; disorder; agitation
                           as a put into disorder or disarray; ruffle or disarrange

For some reason, this word reminds me of Anne of Green Gables.  Does Rachel Lynde say this a lot?  Or am I just dreaming?  At any rate, this word should be easy enough for me to use in a sentence, since my life is quite often in a kerfuffle!  Here goes:

Despite their positive affirmations of cleanliness, when the children brought their beaming mother into their room, she was greeted with a large kerfuffle of toys, books, and (most shocking of all) soiled garments from wall to wall. (yes, I am writing from experience...quite consistent experience, actually).

The naughty boy could think of no better vengeance upon the prima donna than to sneak up behind her and kerfuffle her hair and garment immediately before she walked on stage for her solo.

Oooh...I think I like the verb usage best.  I'm going to try to kerfuffle your minds with more random posting tomorrow!

Monday, October 3, 2011

I'm Officially Older!

Yesterday was my thirty-first birthday, so I'm officially entrenched in the middle ages now.  I'm trying to decide when exactly you become officially twenty-nine forever. Hmmm...maybe whenever I have to start dying my hair...

Anyway, I thought I'd post a quick run-down of my birthday highlights, just so I'll remember everything in the years to come.  Sorry to those of you who really don't care!

My hubby started off my day with a groggy rendition of "Happy Birthday" right before my shower. My babies belted it out for me shortly after my shower. We had the normal Sunday morning eating/dressing/cleaning rush before church, where during the main service, my hubby had the whole church sing to me, too.  There are definite perks to being the song leader!

My family treated me to a sit down Sunday meal out after church...a pretty rare treat for us.  Now the babies eat a ton, so it's pretty pricey and also logistically difficult...I spent the first ten minutes there shuttling people back and forth to the bathroom.  We went to Quaker Steak and Lube, which was really yummy...we got loaded fries as an appetizer which was horrible for us, but so so SO yummy!  Then we went home where we heartlessly put all the kids down for a nap while we enjoyed an afternoon of laying around, watching TV, and reading the was lovely!  So lovely, in fact, that we overshot the timing a little and had to scramble to get back to church almost on time.  After a quick choir practice, I joined Andy with the teens where we played frisbee golf.  I was the comic relief for the group.  My first attempt went the opposite way I intended and got stuck behind a fence guarding the AC units...RATS!  The teens kindly didn't exclude me in the team picking.  Thanks for not picking me last on my guys are the best!

We went to pick up the babies from Olympians where we got to watch Scott and Cara playing football with the big kids.  Scott didn't realize that it wasn't tackle football. :)  He also should have been penalized for a few late hits, but luckily he's the smallest kid out there, so they had mercy on him because he's just cute.

We went home, put the kiddos to bed, reheated our leftovers and enjoyed the quiet of the evening before bed time.  I didn't have to cook anything the whole day!  I didn't do any dishes the whole day!  It was wonderful!

The older I get, the more birthdays are about taking a break and being appreciated for what I do every day, and less about what I get...although I'm perfectly thrilled with the immersion blender Andy got me.  If you read my cooking blog you already know about that!  Some people would be pretty bummed out to have their birthday on a Sunday, but I was excited.  Even though it's one of our busier days, I was happy because I get to spend almost all day with Andy, which is a novelty I don't get on the weekdays.  What's better than spending your birthday with the one who loves and appreciates you best?  Thanks to all who made my day special!

Now I have to go start on dishes and laundry...sigh...maybe it wasn't such a great idea to do nothing all day!

Friday, September 30, 2011

An Ogden Nash Baseball Limerick! Talk about bringing a bunch of writing themes together for one post! This will be great review...

AGrover Cleveland AlexanderA is for Alex
The great Alexander;
More Goose eggs he pitched
Than a popular gander.
BRoger BresnahanB is for Bresnahan
Back of the plate;
The Cubs were his love,
and McGraw his hate.
CTy CobbC is for Cobb
Who grew spikes and not corn,
And made all the basemen
Wish they weren't born.
DJerome "Dizzy" DeanD is for Dean,
The grammatical Diz,
When they asked, Who's the tops?
Said correctly, I is.
EJohnny EversE is for Evers,
His jaw in advance;
Never afraid
To Tinker with Chance.
FFrankie "Fordham" FrischF is for Fordham
And Frankie and Frisch;
I wish he were back
With the Giants, I wish.
GLou GehrigG is for Gehrig,
The Pride of the Stadium;
His record pure gold,
His courage, pure radium.
HRogers HornsbyH is for Hornsby;
When pitching to Rog,
The pitcher would pitch,
Then the pitcher would dodge.
INash, the authorI is for Me,
Not a hard-hitting man,
But an outstanding all-time
Incurable fan.
JWalter JohnsonJ is for Johnson
The Big Train in his prime
Was so fast he could throw
Three strikes at a time.
KWillie KeelerK is for Keeler,
As fresh as green paint,
The fastest and mostest
To hit where they ain't.
LNap LajoieL is for Lajoie
Whom Clevelanders love,
Napoleon himself,
With glue in his glove.
MChristy MathewsonM is for Matty,
Who carried a charm
In the form of an extra
brain in his arm.
NLouis "Bobo" NewsomN is for Newsom,
Bobo's favorite kin.
You ask how he's here,
He talked himself in.
OMel OttO is for Ott
Of the restless right foot.
When he leaned on the pellet,
The pellet stayed put.
PEddie PlankP is for Plank,
The arm of the A's;
When he tangled with Matty
Games lasted for days.
QConnie MackQ is for Don Quixote
Cornelius Mack;
Neither Yankees nor years
Can halt his attack.
RBabe RuthR is for Ruth.
To tell you the truth,
There's just no more to be said,
Just R is for Ruth.
STris SpeakerS is for Speaker,
Swift center-field tender,
When the ball saw him coming,
It yelled, "I surrender."
TBill TerryT is for Terry
The Giant from Memphis
Whose .400 average
You can't overemphis.
UCarl HubbellU would be 'Ubell
if Carl were a cockney;
We say Hubbell and Baseball
Like Football and Rockne.
VCharles "Dazzy" VanceV is for Vance
The Dodger's very own Dazzy;
None of his rivals
Could throw as fast as he.
WHonus WagnerW is for Wagner,
The bowlegged beauty;
Short was closed to all traffic
With Honus on duty.
XJimmie FoxxX is the first
of two x's in Foxx
Who was right behind Ruth
with his powerful soxx.
YCy YoungY is for Young
The magnificent Cy;
People battled against him,
But I never knew why.
ZZenithZ is for Zenith
The summit of fame.
These men are up there.
These men are the game.