Monday, January 30, 2012

So naiive!

Scott's monster truck sped up and ordered Rapunzel to "get to work and do your chores!".  It was in his growling tough-man voice.  Rapunzel refused, then Cara explained with this classic:

"Scott...once you get married and become a Mommy and Daddy you don't have to do any more chores!"

Rapunzel had had yet another wedding this morning.

If she only knew...if she only knew...

Becoming a Mommy is when the REAL work begins!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Mommy's Little 'Helper'

by Hannah, inspired by real life, of course!

I think I'll help out my Mommy today.
I won't play around, I'll just help her all day.

Here's what I'll do first to show her I care.
I'll put this grape jelly all over my hair.

My Mommy loves when I stand on the table.
I'll drink from these cups; I know I am able.

These crayons are so pretty just lying around.
I'll use them to color the wall and the ground.

This paper goes in the potty...pull out a bit more...
Uh-oh, she's coming...dump it here on the floor.

These blocks are much nicer spread out in Mom's room.
These petals smell nice when they're picked off the bloom.

Hmmm...there's something smelly coming up from somewhere.
It feels kind of squishy on my back, but I don't care.

I don't think I'll trouble my Mom for a snack.
I'll grab my own from the trash, and then put it right back.

Poor Mommy's so tired and smelly today!
I bet she's glad I could help her instead of play.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Now for the real pro...

I've previously posted at least one of my Polack exploits.  Although I exercise my clumsiness and irrationality on a regular basis, my skills are nothing when you compare them to my Dad's.  He's 100% Polack, and boy does it show!  Now, just so you know, clumsiness is not the only symptom, er, skill we Polacks have.  There's also this strange sort of jimmy-rigging, make it work, survival mentality, too, and this is what gives us a clever edge...until we trip and fall flat on our faces, that is.

Anyway, I'll mention this exploit of my Dad's, because I'm secretly very proud of it.

For those of you who don't know, my Dad had lung cancer and had most of one lung removed.  The rest of it's full of asbestos damage, courtesy of an active working/military life.  He is on regular nebulizer treatments to keep himself breathing, which can be really inconvenient when you have to come see your daughter in Ohio ten hours away.  Here's what he did...he somehow rigged up an electrical outlet which connected to his lighter.  That way, he could run his nebulizer machine in the car while he was driving.  Can't you just picture him, trucking down the highway with his nebulizer pipe in his mouth, condensation clouding up the cab?  That just kills me!  Why settle for what a normal person would do...stopping and plugging in for a few minutes at a time?  If you're going to waste your time keeping yourself breathing, you might as well do it as you drive down the road.

I drove his truck the day after he showed up...something I love to do because it has a clutch.  (I miss my clutch car!)  It was awfully handy to have an outlet while I was out, just in case I needed to curl my hair at a stop light or something.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Motivation for today...

Here's a quote by a guy who really knew how to sacrifice for his country!

"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give."
Sir Winston Churchill

That's a great reminder for us parents!  So much of love is giving to others!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Bearded Elegance

I'm pretty used to beards...not on myself, of course, but on my loved ones.  My hubby is growing a goatee, a move initiated by Hurricane Allison's confiscation of his razor's charger cord.  My Dad has always had a beard since I can remember.  The weirdest part of him having chemo was losing his facial hair.  I don't know if I would have recognized him walking by on the street.  Of course if he had driven by with his Casey's coffee cup on top of his car, I would have known him right away, but that's beside the point.

Anyway...this labored introduction is meant to bring about the comment that I just read of an interesting reader's poll at  I, thanks to my bearded Pops, am a faithful subscriber to Smithsonian magazine where they cover all manner of interesting things.  The poll had eight rebs and/or yanks to vote on according to who had the most likeable beard hair.  Who comes up with this stuff?  Isn't the Smithsonian supposed to be really intelligent and staid?  Hmmm...Maybe I could get a job as a Smithsonian blogger...

I've always been fascinated by the uniqueness of the facial hair during the Civil War.  You can almost always place the soldiers in the correct era by that alone, and I should know, because I've seen Ken Burns's The Civil War multi-volume documentary not one, but two times.

Here are the pictures of the nominees.  I've pared the list down to the six most magnificent and striking candidates.  They also had free pictures to use on Wikipedia, an added benefit. Cast your vote below for the beard hair that makes the biggest impression on you...I'll announce the winner in a week or so and do a brief biography, with the help of my historical buff hubby. (I thought about putting a comma between those modifiers, but didn't want to get too seedy.)  And if you're rolling your eyes right now and thinking that I'm just plain weird, remember that this was the Smithsonian's idea first, not mine.

All disclaimers covered, we'll get to the nominees.


Nominee #1:

George Crook
Quite Impressive

Nominee #2:

Adelbert Ames
A sophisticated way to hide an incisor gap.

Nominee #3:

Alpheus Williams
A bird lover's built in perch.

Nominee #4:

Ambrose Burnside
He'd have been a better barber...
Got a great story about his bridge at Antietam, but I won't tell, in order to protect the know who you are!!!
Nominee #5:

Christopher C. Augur
Whiskers of wispiness...

And finally, Nominee #6:

J.E.B. Stuart
I'm sure there is a pistol hidden in there somewhere.

Add your vote to the comment section, I'll tally and post the results next week along with a bio...really, this is educational!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Keepin' It Real, part 4

I am not sure my scale can survive-ah
Another dose of anything Godiva.

...but I'm willing to give it a shot!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Girl After My Own Heart...

We've begun studying a little bit of geography in our social studies time recently.  Today we finished up talking about Mexico.  Since I was a little too cheapie to purchase the kids each their own book to color in, we've been doing some drawings after looking at the pictures.  Today they were drawing a pinata (no, Spanish doctorate brother, I can't figure out how to put the symbol over the n, but I do know that it's missing at least!).

Cara's drawing, as usual is very detailed and colorful.  She really loves to draw and makes simple drawings really come to life and have a story (unlike her minimalist brother who draws a few strokes in black and calls it a day).  She drew a lovely pinata with her arms and hands swinging a large bat.  Small circles of brown were spewing forth from the damaged pinata.  I was a little puzzled why she didn't color the candy brightly, since she's a rainbow-colored type of girl.  I asked her about it.

She looked at me and smiled a demure little smirk.  "Mom," she said, "That's my pinata.  It's full of all chocolate of course."

Of course.  I really should have known...after all, the pinata of my dreams is also full of chocolate.  That's what is known as generational sin, I guess!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

More Gossip from the Home Front

There are some very interesting neighbors to be had in the country.  When I was growing up, the farm next to ours had a sign at the end of the driveway warning, "Kep Out!".  No, that was not a typo.  On a side note, the farmer has a son who lives down the road.  So frugal is he, he doesn't mow his lawn all summer long, because he can usually get two cuttings of hay out of bales of hay over the course of many long bladed months.

My Dad told me this story recently about this neighbor, Sheldon.  My Dad had followed his truck into town, when he noticed to his surprise, Sheldon was not alone in his truck.  Next to him...and I mean middle seatbelt next to him, my Dad could make out long blonde haired head resting on Sheldon's shoulders.  (I mean the hair was long, not the head...just thought I'd clarify).  Now, if you'd ever seen this guy, you'd understand his surprise. He's not the type of guy to sweep a girl off her feet and get her to snuggle up next to him in a truck.  Interesting.

Some time went by and my Dad again followed Sheldon into town.  Again he spotted the blonde cutie right up next to him in the rusty truck.  Unbelieveable!  How does he do it?  For all we knew, he didn't speak to anything more feminine than his angus cows.  Hmmm...

Then, at last, the mystery was solved.  My Dad spotted Sheldon's truck...this time from the front.  The blonde cutie was there, licking Sheldon's face and panting in the sun.  Yes, it was a new dog.  All I have to say is, I'm sure glad my Dad didn't tell the old men in the barber shop.  Can you imagine how many womanly hearts would have been broken for nothing if the misleading romance were whispered about the town?  Phew!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Drumroll, Please...

I have just officially drawn the winner.  I awoke this morning with purpose, and since the kids aren't awake yet, I was able to draw a winner at a decent time!  By the way, the receptacle I chose was a borrowed tupperware container from the avalanche cupboard.  I took my life into my hands to do this for you all!!!

Without further ado, the winner is Lindy!!!!Hip hip hooray!

Send me your email address and I'll send you your very own copy of the Praying Proverbs 31 (

Thanks to everyone for participating!

Time to make some coffee...

Monday, January 16, 2012

Head's Up!

Okay everyone, today is the last official day to comment on last Monday's post for the giveaway.  (Review of Praying Proverbs 31).  If you haven't yet, read the review and enter...except you, Christine.  Enough already!  I'll be posting the winner tomorrow morning as soon as I can get my kids fed and dressed, and all those other blog-interrupting things I normally do!

Meanwhile...I'll be taking care of my Cara.  I think she may have chicken pox or some other ghastly infection, poor thing.  Looks like we'll be hunkering down here at home for a while.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Keepin' It Real, Part 3

It would be really nice
if I'd fix up my hair.
But it's just me and the kids,
and they really don't care.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Our Christmas Miracle

Christmas is always a time of reflection for us, well, probably for everyone.  It's amazing to look back on all the things that have happened in the past year, and anticipate what could possibly match it in the year to come...or if you're a parent, stand in awe of how fast an entire year just vanished.  This year has gone incredibly fast.  Our 'baby' is already 18 months, which is so sad and unbelievable!  It's been a difficult year for us in many ways.  We've had a lot of big decisions to start thinking of them being my husband's back surgery.

He has a broken back and is in need of a very serious and difficult surgery.  We made the decision to pay the extra to go with a competent surgeon, instead of having the surgery done immediately and pay very little with the HMO allowed surgeon.  It's been a rough seven months or so of waiting and saving, but we're finally coming into the new year when we can schedule the surgery.  Hooray!

The finances of the thing are not something we're celebrating.  We're hoping for the surgery to cost around $5,000 with enormous amount of money considering my husband's salary.

We haven't really told people about our finances...we do have the savings to cover it, but it'll hurt.  God chose this year to show His love to us in a very tangible way...through money.  Let me just say, we almost never get money for Christmas...certainly not large amounts of money, but through several different sources, He's given us around $1,000 toward the surgery!  God didn't have to do that for us!  It has meant so much to's not even the money in and of's the fact that He chose now to show that He cares and will take care of us.  

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Protecting the Girls

I thought this was a cute an interesting quote that happened this morning from my little guy.  He and Cara were quietly coloring when I came out, so I decided to grab a quick bath before the action started.  I told them where I'd be and Scott said,

"Don't worry, Mom.  I'll watch out the window and if any bad guys come, I'll lock up the door and won't let them in to get you."

Interesting.  To be honest, I was a little taken aback by this one.  We don't talk much about bad guys or watch anything with bad guys in it.  For him to be thinking that way first thing in the morning was a little shocking to my delicate morning sensibilities, but then children often do shock me in the morning.  It did delight me, however, that he wants to use his toughness in a good way.  It's making me wonder if he thinks every time Daddy leaves to go to work, he has to protect those three helpless girls.  It's a lot of responsibility for a four-year -old!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Word of the Week

Okay, I have to disclose where I got this word of the week.  You girls will think it's lovely, you boys will probably roll your eyes and stop reading this post immediately.  I heard this word first while watching Wives and Daughters.


(insert girlie oohs and aahs here).

Yes, I heard this first when the new Mrs. Gibson yells at Cynthia that she has gotten them all involved in an imbroglio, and "now I am being blamed for your misconduct!!!!"

Naturally Mrs. Gibson wouldn't think of causing an imbroglio with any of her actions.  

That was sarcastic.  If you didn't know that, you need to see the miniseries and read the book...they're fantastic.  Here's a spoiler for you...the nice girl wins!

So anyway...back to academic pursuits...

imbroglio: [im-brohl-yoh]  n. an intricate and perplexing state of affairs; a complicated or difficult situation; a confused heap.

Boy, the day I find a vocabulary word that doesn't  have confusion in the definition somewhere is the day I give up chocolate.  (Not really, just being dramatic.)

Here are my sentences:

Arthur quickly typed the address to Crazy Creative Magazine into his search engine, then waited nervously while it loaded; he needed to read the Editor's latest chocolate post before his Mom caught him in what would be a very unmanly type of imbroglio.

Editor's Note:  Little did Arthur know that his Mom would have respected him even more for his incredibly intelligent choice of reading material.  The magazine holds no gender bias...even if you are a zarf.

A sudden imbroglio occurred when the children busted into the living room during naptime and spotted their Mom, not cleaning, but eating bon-bons and watching BBC movies!  (Horrors!)

It was Monday morning, and the acute mother mentally braced herself for the wild imbroglio that awaited her in every room of the house.  It took nerves of steel to emerge from the warm cocoon that was her bed. (And again...personal experience is my inspiration.)
Add your sentence in!

Monday, January 9, 2012

A Review of Praying Proverbs 31...and a giveaway...really...

I've just finished reading my first e-book...yes, I'm that far behind the times.  If I had to wait until almost 2012 to finally read an e-book, I began with a bang.  The book I read was written by my friend Tracy, my former bridesmaid, college chum/coworker extraordinaire, and author of one of my favorite thoughtful blogs, Homekeepers.  (I wish I could have crammed one more thought into that sentence...)

So without further ado, here's what I thought of Tracy's book...

Product Details

The premise of the book is how to pray for and instill Biblical virtue in our daughters.  Although this book is specifically written as prayers for daughters, it was not a hard leap toward praying for the character of my son as well.  In fact, it's the type of book that causes you to really stop and think about your spiritual goals for your children.  So, if any of you are thinking this book wouldn't apply because your children are grown or you have no children or you only have boys, you couldn't be more wrong.  It's a great read for anyone who cares about the spiritual purity of another.

The introduction features a quick look into what exactly Biblical purity is and why we as Christians should desire it for our daughters.  I love that Tracy focused more on the heart attitude than the outward conformity.  Who doesn't know someone who did everything right and seemed like a perfect little Christian through the teen years, then promptly dropped all hint of faith once they left home?  I do, and I have to say that my children having an actions-only type of faith is one of my biggest fears.  The real reason for all the study and praying is to ask God's help in instilling a real love of the Lord in our children...teaching them to fear God rather than man.  I have to say the content of the book has been absolutely spot on for me as I think through what my children need to stay close to God.   It's been very timely for me especially as my children are all young right now.  It made me analyze my own motives and attitudes for what I do every day, and caused me to begin praying not only for my daughters, but for my own purity.

One of the things that surprised me about this book was the format.  I'm not sure why I didn't expect it to be in more of a devotional format, but for some reason I didn't.  For those of us who have small children everywhere especially, it was so helpful that Tracy divided the prayers and verses up into a month's worth of study.  Every week she highlights portion of Proverbs 31.  On a daily basis, she wrote a thoughtful prayer that relates to the weekly passage/concept, along with some prompts to get you thinking.  The questions were ultra-helpful in making the prayer seem relevant to my daughters, rather than just reading the thoughts of someone else.  It has been a built-in devotional for my month of reading...and it's not so much reading that you feel like you can't get it done in a day.  It's a brief, daily point with which I could relate.  It's just the type of devotional that is really practical and sustainable for a busy Mom.

It's a great book and you should try it.  You can order a Kindle edition for less than $5 off Amazon via the link in my side bar...this edition is also readable on your computer.

And now, the moment you've all been waiting for...the giveaway.  I will randomly select (or have one of my kids randomly select) a winner out of a hat, box, or other name-concealing receptacle to be announced one week from today.  What are your spiritual goals for your son or daughter?  Leave a comment on this post to enter to win your free copy of Praying Proverbs 31:  Prayers for a Daughter's Virtue!

PS--no matter how many times you comment, I'll only put your name in once (that means you, Christine!).  That'll make it fair for all you who won't be back to my blog every day this week...not that I'm discouraging that!

Friday, January 6, 2012

After the holidays...

The family has gone,
now naps are required.
I ought to get cleaning,
but we're ALL rather tired.

The candy was mounded
in piles for consuming.
I stayed in my pajamas
with only minimal grooming.

With love and affection
my family is blessed.
We live in a house
very merrily messed.

Linked with Friday Favorite Things!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

What I Did For Vacation...

There are times when the Christmas season doesn't quite feel like vacation, like when you look at your calendar and there is something written on every day of December...<<sigh>>.  I still haven't gotten over the enormous burst of activity, as you can tell.  Vacation does bring some relief, schoollessness.  Here's what I did just for the fun of it for vacation...

1. I read and finished book five in the Anne of Green Gables series.  I loved far in my reread, it's my favorite.  Before, book numbers two and three were my favorites.  I wonder if it's because that was where I was in my life...the teen years.  Maybe I am growing up with Anne Shirley as my companion through maturity.  Hmmm...that's a rather pathetic thought.  For those of you who haven't ventured past book one, cozy up and read the series through.  It's a lovely, relaxing read, and you'll appreciate the changes in Anne's life because you'll totally relate.

2. I consumed an ungodly amount of peanut butter balls.  And I didn't exercise at all.  Well, if you don't count December activities as exercise enough.  Come to think of it, I didn't gain any weight at all.  Maybe the busyness has its perks after all!

3.  I went out with my hubby and babies.  My hubby was able after all to get a Saturday off work...hallelujah!  We went to the mall, even though we rarely buy anything there and wandered around and had fun together.  Then we came home and put the kids in bed for nap time and sacked out on the couch to watch a movie.  Doesn't get better than that.

4.  I sloughed off my mantle of responsibility and let my house get pretty messy.  Well, I never did that enough to become irrepairable, but I was consciously lazy many many many times...and now for the consequences...

5. I practiced piano.  I know that sounds like a dull holiday activity, but I've really had a hard time getting piano practice in with school sucking up a few hours a day.  I practiced Christmas carols a little, choir music a lot, and played through a holiday piano book just for the fun of it.  (Church members rejoiced!)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

An Almost Fond Farewell...

I ought to have streamers in my house today.  I have officially survived another season of college football.  Although watching football is not my natural bent, I have a certain fondness for some things about it...especially celebrating after beating Ohio State...Hooray!

Farewell to cheesy Cheez-its commercials that make me giggle.

Farewell to watching my kids chuckle over Lee Corso's headgear pick.

Farewell to Kirk Herbstreit, for whom I have a grudging semi-respect. (You're almost always logical and fair, DESPITE being a former Buckeye.)

Farewell to that other guy who interviews the interesting guys on game day.

Farewell to the Heisman-winning, smiley, nice-guy, snazzy dressing, Wolverine legend Desmond Howard and his thought-provoking reasoning.

Farewell to lousy commentators, of whom I can tease and mock the rest of the day.

Farewell to unlimited blogging time every Saturday night.

Until Next Year!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Okay, we made it through the holiday rush!  Even though the Christmas season is merry and lovely, we're very ready to settle into the cold winter doldrums.  Even the weather participated by giving us our first snow...of course, that was rather not lovely for our poor relatives trying to get home on the sheets of ice they call roads in Tennessee and Kentucky, but here it's only rather pretty.

I was planning on starting school again today...really I was.  However...I have learned something during my first few months of schooling.  Once school starts, I can kiss any big jobs goodbye for awhile.  So, I consider it very important to tackle the piles of rubble all over the house and actually clean out the kitchen and bathroom really well.  Once school starts, it'll be just keeping my head above water housework-wise anyway.

Of course, the children began to weep softly when I told them.  They begged, "Mom, we were really counting on being able to put the new toys away and get back to learning something each day!".

Not really.

In fact, it sounded like the ball just dropped when I told them.  Jumping, screaming...if they'd had confetti, it would have been flying, too.  They don't know yet that they have to clean their room today...even under the beds!  (Cue devious music).

The break has been lovely, but getting things back to normal is also lovely!  I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and holiday break.  Now let's raise our glass to the return of the routine...really, I still have some sparkling grape juice to use up.  C'mon kids!  Special juice for breakfast!