Thursday, January 31, 2008

The only thing better than chocolate and the potato is a chocolate covered potato.

I think I have mentioned a time or two or ten that I have Fibromyalgia. I hate Fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is from the Devil; and while I say that in jest, I am somewhat serious as I am sure before the fall Eve knew nothing of the aching body that plagues me on occasion. Because, you know, no sin and whatnot.

I try new things from time to time to deal with it, some of them make some since, and some of them sound like snake oil, but hay, who am I to argue? Even if it doesn’t help, a little snake oil never hurt anyone, right?

So, last night I was doing a little more internet research on the disease that is Fibromyalgia; a syndrome that the powers that be have finally named and given some credence, even though it has been a thorn in the flesh of many, for a long, long time. Turns out the DR.’s think perhaps we are not all sick in the head, we may actually be sick in the body, or in my case…a bit of both. Hehehe.

So I started reading about toxins. Toxins that we put in our body. Bad. We should not put those nasty toxins in our body. One person likened our bodies to race cars. We need race fuel! Not this low octane garbage we are currently pumping into ourselves. Yeah! Race Fuel! I need Race Fuel!

I need to start avoiding toxins like, pesticides. Yeah! Those are bad.

And hormones…

And weird antibiotics that they give to cows…

Hummm, now this is sounding expensive. Do I have to buy free range, hormone/antibiotic free cows, and grow my own pesticide free veggies. Cause my veggie growing skills leave a little something to be desired, like skill.

I should instead eat things like wheatgrass and take many, many, many vitamins like Co Q 10, and ATP and Malic Acid (wait I think ATP is Malic Acid), and periodically get my colon cleaned out.

And I should avoid bad fuel, like potatoes, and sugar, and aspartame, and caffeine, and chocolate. Hummm, that does it. They had me until the ‘avoid chocolate’ part. And the potato. I love the potato. How can all that white innocence wrapped in that cute little round, brown package be bad for me?

Nope, can’t do it. I can take the vitamins; I can probably do the wheatgrass, though I’m not sure exactly what I am supposed to do with it. I could deal with no aspartame (Diet Coke, I would miss you dearly) And I might even, under the most dire and desperate of circumstances give up caffeine and get my colon cleaned out (I don’t even want to know what that entails; pun intended). But I can not possibly give up my chocolate and my potato.

Hummm, race fuel is for cars! I don’t need no stinking race fuel!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Just a small nap, please?

I think I want my own bedroom.

G is in the living room watching Mythbusters, again. E and her friend Hannah are in the girl’s room playing dolls or some other imaginary game. A is in the back room making robots out of paper cups, aluminum foil, toothpicks and pipe cleaners. B is in his room doing algebra, and D is working from home today. He is doing his work in our bedroom. So I have nowhere to lie down and I am tired! I just want a small nap, 15 or 20 minutes.

Perhaps I can go curl up on my washer and dryer…after I dump the pile of dirty clothes on the floor.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Brie taste on a Velveeta budget.

I have been turned onto a new and high-falutin’ snack.

I went to our local grocery, this afternoon, the one I don’t usually shop at. The one that has all the cool gourmet stuff that I can’t afford to feed this pack of wolves.

Anyway, I was hungry and well, one thing led to another and I ended up with this gourmet snack. It was so yummy, I just had to share.

I bought some of those Wellington wheat Crackers,

a block of brie

and a jar of raspberry preserves to dollop on the top.
Good Golly Miss Molly! That is a combination to die for!

Sadly the crackers were about $2.50 for one stack. One triangle of Brie was $6 and the Raspberry preserves cost about $3. That is $11.50 for a snack of cheese and crackers.

Sadly the kids loved it. It is all gone in one sitting. I didn’t even get a chance to take a photo of it for my post before the devourers ate it all up with only a little help from me.

Tomorrow we’re back to Saltines and Velveeta.


Reentry is often painful.

My friend S who was with me this weekend came home to two sick kids, vomit and all.

I came home to yet another failed algebra test and a son who is falling behind once again in his algebra. I think his tutor is considering cutting him loose. So, we had another come to Jesus meeting with him last night. We do this periodically and then he changes and gets his rear in gear, but then he gets lazy again and we start the cycle all over again. Sigh, I have always hated algebra. I hated taking it, I hate that my kids have to take it. I hate disciplining over algebra. I hate, hate, hate algebra!

We gave him several options as to how to rectify the situation; we showed him the plan for his ultimate graduation which will include several duel credit hours at the local community college if he can stay on track. We discussed a different tutor; we talked about stopping algebra right now and switching to geometry (he’s doing algebra 1 & algebra 2 in succession). We talked about switching to Teaching Textbooks and having him do it on his own, and we talked about public school.

We basically laid out the plan for him (something I must admit we’d neglected to do before now) and then showed him how he must get through algebra for this all to work. Then we laid out his options and told him to chose.

He choose to stay with his tutor and reapply himself.

We then went over the punishment for the failed test and unfinished homework and the plan for him to be able to earn them back.

It was reentry at it’s most painful.

Perhaps today will be better.

Monday, January 28, 2008

A Weekend Away!

D and I went away for the weekend to celebrate our anniversary. We went with our friends C and S. C and D are great friends and have been since high school. They love to ride their dirt bikes together. So we all packed up in C’s giant diesel king cab truck and headed to some great riding place in Oklahoma.

You should have seen us. The theme song from the Beverly Hillbillies was running through my head when we pulled out of the driveway! We had two dirt bikes, enough bags for 4 people for a weekend, not to mention the gear bags for the guys. (Huge bags holding riding boots, chest protectors, helmets and various and sundry motorcycle gear) But the thing was, it was raining, so everything was put in trash bags or under tarps. We looked very sophisticated, let me tell you.

We stopped on the way at a Wal-Mart in OK to buy groceries for the weekend so we added about 534 Wal-Mart bags to the other stuff in the back of the truck. I can only imagine what the owners of the place we were staying must have thought when we pulled up. We were quite a site.

We rented this one little cabin for the weekend, but we thought it’d be okay because it had two rooms, we’d have our privacy. Well…there were no doors on the bedrooms.

We did not think to ask if there were doors. We improvised…

While the cabin was nothing to write home about, the view was nice. It was a bit of a wintery view. I’m sure it would be beautiful in the spring or the fall.

Here is a view of the Cabin we were in. I was standing by the creek when I took this shot.

So while D and C went off riding their dirt bikes on Sat, S and I sat around and ate, and crocheted, and ate, and watch chick flicks. It was great fun. We also ate.

When the guys got home we watched a few guy movies. OH. MY. GOODNESS. We watched The Shooter and 3:10 to Yuma. Normally, neither of us watches R movies, but somehow we ended up with these. The Shooter was a good movie. I liked it. Other than a bit of language and seeing several people get shot (I can cover my eyes with the best of them) it was a pretty good movie. But 3:10 to Yuma? AWFUL! I could do an entire post on why that movie was so awful. But I won’t. Just trust me, don’t waste your money. While Russell Crow may be pretty to look at, this movie was still painful to watch.

We left the girls to spend the weekend with their cousins. We were not missed. In fact I think they were sad when we came to get them.

We left the boys home alone…sort of. They had stuff to do on Sat so they mainly stayed at home and B took them where they needed to go. But they had to report for bed at D’s other brother’s house by 9pm. So while they were home alone during the day, they were not alone at night. They also did not seem too happy to see us return. I left them enough junk food to keep them happy and I think they liked being on their own. So long as we left money and food, I don’t think we’d be missed.

So it sounds like a good time was had by all; the boys loved their parent free weekend, the girls loved spending the weekend with their cousins and D and I had a blast. I think the only ones who were really glad to see us come back were D’s brother & SIL who were watching our girls. 4 little girls from 8 to 10 can make A LOT of noise.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

I'm not here today.

I'm over at The Well Drained Mind. Here is an excerpt.

...I found myself walking behind them for quite some time as we both had been equally unlucky in our options for parking spaces, and found ourselves parked in the back forty. As I followed them I started to listen to their conversation. It was hard to miss. They were saying such hurtful and awful things to each other. They were raising their voices in anger and literally raining curses down on each other’s heads. The venom with which they were speaking to each other was evident in their tone and volume. I can’t imagine ever saying such things to anyone, much less the person I have promised to love and cherish for all my life.

As I began loading the Mount Wal-Mart that was my cart into the van, I continued to listen and watch this poor young couple...

Go here to read the entire post.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Deep Thoughts with Jorge Borges

‘I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library’
Jorge Luis Borges

This was the quote of the day on my homepage today, and Jorge, I couldn’t agree more.

There is going to be one serious library in heaven!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

I'm Trying to Persuade Them.

I can’t begin to express my joy at the current Masterpiece Theater series; Jane Austen. While I am thrilled beyond words (well, not really; in reality, I am rarely beyond words) the men in my family are less so.

Because I cannot convert my sons, I must work on my daughters.

Yesterday seemed the perfect day as it was cold and grey and no one really wanted to do school, least of all me. So while the boys were doing school (it is telling that they would rather do school than watch a Jane Austen movie) the girls and I finished up our three R’s and then started watching Persuasion, which I had waiting for me on my magic TV show remembering thingie.

I must say that it is easier to watch alone than with A, as A is full of questions.

“Who is that lady?”

“Is she going to die?”

“What does 'consolation' mean?”

“What is Bath? Is it like a bath, bath?

“Where are they now?”

“Why do the ladies always wear their hair up?”

“Why does he keep saying 'capital'? Is it like a capital city?”

“What’s with the weird hats?”

“Why doesn’t she just tell him she loves him?”

“Why don’t the poor people and the rich people like each other?”

And I thought we were taking a break from school.

Of God and Bangs.

Today while we were praying together before school, A made a special request of God.

After she prayed for her cousins who attending school to have a good day and be a light for God out there, she added, “And God, if you have time, could you please help my bangs grow out faster so I can have a pretty hairstyle?”

Such spiritual depth and then…not so much.

Gotta love the faith of an 8 year old.

Monday, January 21, 2008


My allergies are so bad right now! I can’t wander more than three feet away from my tissue source at any time or there could be dire and gross consequences.

My allergies have been doing so much better of late that it makes this latest sneeze fest so much harder to tolerate.

I am not the only one. Sarah is having the same problems. (While I don’t know Sarah IRL, I do know that we live in the same large city)

I started to devise a plan this morning to solve my allergy misery. I’m going to host a BYOA party!

Here’s what we’ll do; everyone show up at my house at the appointed time and we’ll take our axes and start cutting down mountain cedar trees!

We’ll start in my neighborhood and fan out from there until we get all the mountain cedar trees within a 100 mile radius cut down. Or get arrested, whichever happens first.

So, who will come to my Bring Your Own Ax party? (You might want to bring your own bail money too, just in case.)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

The post in which Tricia gets philosophical

The Road Not Taken
By Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Do you ever play the what-if game? I’ve been doing that a bit lately.

I love that poem by Robert Frost. Life is full of diverging roads. We make choices every day, and once a path is chosen, as he said, we rarely get to go back and choose the other one.

Lets look at a few for instances.

What if…I’d said no the first time D asked me to a movie?

What If…I’d said yes to that other guy?

What if…I’d chosen to finish college (okay, let’s be real here, start college) instead of getting married and having kids?

What if…we’d chosen Public School right from the start?

What if…I’d chosen to be a working mom?

What If…We’d stopped having kids after G?

What if…D had taken that job in Porto Rico when I was pregnant with E?

I could go on and on and on. There are so many key decisions that I made that have led me to where I am today; some on my own and some with D.

I just can’t help but wonder what life would look like if I’d chosen differently in just one of the above instances. This kind of thinking will mess with your head just a little bit, but for me I think it is a good practice.

It makes me more thankful when I realize that just one small decision, made differently, and my family could look markedly different. If I’d finished college would I have felt like I needed to not “waste it” and gone into the working world, still to be there today?

What If I’d said no to D when he asked me out, he did still have a girlfriend at the time (what can I say, we were teens and young and stupid) would I be with someone else?

What if we’d stopped having kids after G? We were flat broke and it would have made the most since. I simply can’t imagine my life without my daughters.

What if we’d chosen public school? We most surely would be living somewhere else as our local schools stink. I’m sure I’d be very involved, or would I have decided to use those hours with the kid gone to work? Would I know my kids as well as I do if I’d sent them to school?

What would life be like if we’d chosen to move to Porto Rico? Would be still be there? I can’t even imagine how my life would be altered if we’d chosen differently on that one.

In all honesty, I believe strongly that the Lord orders our steps, but I also believe we have free will. I know that in all of those decisions, we sought God for direction. (Okay, the ones we made when we were adults, I’m not sure I was thinking about God at all when I said yes to D when he asked me out!) But somehow when you let your mind wander down that other path Robert Frost wrote about, it leads you to appreciate the one your on.

Don’t get me wrong, I do have regrets. I do wish I’d gone to college. That is something I may never get the chance to do again. I am surrounded by highly educated, very intelligent people, and I will always feel, somehow, beneath them.

Even as a writer (and I use that term VERY loosely) I feel as if I could be so much better at it, if I’d had the education to bolster it. Maybe some day I’ll go back and take some writing classes, maybe someday the Lord will present that path to me again. But for now, I must choose to be happy on the path that I am on. I must choose to appreciate its beauty.

Somehow, the older I get, the more closely I examine both paths I have to choose from. I am more intentional, I know that you can’t go back and un choose later.

I also have learned to appreciate the beauty and uniqueness of the path I am on. The Lord allowed these choices to be presented to me, He allowed me to be on this path at this moment in time, with the people He has put on this path with me. It’s not an accident I’m here.

I choose to appreciate it, no matter what choices and what paths led me here.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

My Man and His Head Covering

A few of you have asked why D is wearing a helmet. I hate to leave the three of you in suspense, so here you go. I aim to please.

D is very weird about Internet security. To say he is a bit obsessed on the topic is not far off. He simply cannot believe that I put things on the Internet for anyone and everyone to read. But he lets me do it.

I suspect the first time he can google my full name and get my blog, will be the last day I have a blog.

Anyway, he saw that I had a photo of him and said he was not totally happy about that, but he did not tell me I had to change it. So out of deference to D and because I am such a submissive and compliant wife I covered his face with a smiley face.

Then there was this post, where I referred to him as my knight and shining armor. In a comment of that post Renee suggested I should give him a knight’s helmet instead of the silly smiley face I had him covered with at the time. And viola! The idea was born.

So there you go. Internet security. The Story of Two Princesses, One Evil Queen, Two Knights in Shining Armor, A Mama Bear and an Irate Neighbor, and Renee, all lead to D’s current covered state.

Now that you know this information, you are free to move about the internet.

Happy Saturday!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Crazy Mom

I have two phones on my plan; one for me and one for the boys. D has his own plan because he uses 3,467, 271 minutes a month and he won’t share with us.

Now, notice, I didn’t say I have a phone and the boys have a phone. No, that is not how it works. They are both MY phones and I magnanimously let the boys use one.

The other day I called my other phone that was in my boy’s possession, here is what I heard.

Ring, ring, ring.

G ~ “Hi”

Me ~ “Hi, G, I need you to” …insert whatever I needed him to do… “can you do that?”

G~ “uh huh”

Then beeeeep. The answering machine. That is the greeting on his voicemail!

“Hi” Long pause, “uh huh”.

UGH! I can’t tell you how many times he has gotten me with that! It has been like that for weeks. Every time I hear it, I tell him to change that rude voicemail greeting on MY other phone, or I’ll do it myself and it won’t be so funny!

So finally after he keeps “forgetting” to change it, I did it.

Here is what it says now.

“Hi, this is B and G’s crazy mom. Since they cannot be responsible enough to leave an appropriate message on their voicemail, I will do it for them.”

“If you need to leave them a message, please do so after the beep.”

“Thank you, and have a nice day”

This has to stay on there for one month.

I thought this would teach them a lesson about appropriate phone etiquette. Do you think it has? NO. They think it is hilarious! They are telling their friends to call the phone so they can listen to the message their Crazy Mom left as their voicemail greeting.

I guess if I can’t be thought of as Worlds Best Mom, Crazy Mom is the next best thing.

Dude, I so have to have this!

Sorry, my inner teen is coming out.

I’m telling you though; I would be the envy of my kids with this thing. I currently have a, well, let’s just say a not so nice and sleek MP3 payer. It is an old one but it still works so I keep it even though it is a dinosaur. (And how sad is it that dinosaurs had many, many hundreds of years to become dinosaurs and technology becomes a dinosaur in a few short years. How very sad for poor little technology)

So go check out this cool MP3 at Best Buy, and then go sign up to win it at 5 Minutes for Mom, or not. If you don’t sign up it is better for me. So actually, don’t go there and sign up. Yeah, forget I said anything at all.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

It seems Parenting 101 is no longer a requirement.


Seriously folks, this is what is going up on billboards all around my town. There is a huge new add campaign going on in DFW. Many of the cities and suburbs have banned together to ban bagging. (That was a fun sentence to type! I just love alliteration.)

I just can’t help but roll my eyes and worry just a little bit about the youth of America. And the parents, where are the parents?

Why do we have to have the city government spending tax money to tell kids how to dress? Isn’t this parenting 101. Pull up your pants. Wash your hands. Don’t use your sleeve as a napkin. These are things we as parents teach our 2 year olds. How did these kids get to be teens without being taught that their underwear is supposed to be UNDER what they WEAR.

Next we’ll be seeing signs that say “Don’t forget to flush!”

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

There are no holes to crawl into in our Church gymnasium.

We were at a potluck luncheon this Sunday put on by the youth group. The purpose was for the youth pastor to talk to ALL the parents at once about all the things going on this year for the youth.

I love our youth pastor; he is a MAN with a wife and 4 children of his own. One of them is in college. He knows how hard it can be to raise teens. He has the wisdom of an adult, but he has the fun loving heart of a youth. I really appreciate him immensely.

Here I am sitting in the gym surrounded by my nicely cleaned up family all still dressed in their Sunday finest. I even got one of my teens to wear his Sunday shoes. I was feeling pretty proud of my nice looking, good mannered, and all around spiffy family (are the words pride goeth before a fall running through your head?)

The pastor begins speaking about the youth camps that are coming up this summer. He starts to explain why it has gone up $40. His reasons make a lot of since, food, gas, everything has gone up. It is not wholly unexpected. I know the church tries hard to keep it as low as possible. He says he feels he needs to explain it as he has already been asked why it has gone up. (the flyers went out just that day)

So he looks into the crowd. Speaks loud and clearly right in to the microphone, and says…”So G, that is why it is going up this year.” Insert big laugh from the croud.

This is when I noticed the significant lack of holes in the gym floor to crawl into.

And just in case you were wondering he did not of course say “G” he said “G_ _ _ _ _” His whole name, while he was looking directly at him and laughing.

D, was quite proud. Our kids are aware of $ and how it does not grow on trees; a good lesson to grasp.

Of course the reason G is so hyper aware of camp is that he is required to pay for half if he wants to go. $20 is one more mowing job he has to do in order to go to camp.

The thing that baffles me is that he can remember exactly how much camp cost last year, but he can’t remember our trash days are Tuesday and Friday. Hummm?

Monday, January 14, 2008

Tea For Me, A Fish or Two For You.

I’m going to start off by showing you the cup of tea I am drinking right now.

Usually I drink a cup of tea in the afternoon, a little pick me up to make it through dinner and the bed time routine.

But yesterday was a day and half, and today was, well…here is the cup of tea. This is my Super-Sized, only gotta make it a few more hours, mug.

I had to drive the Scottish Rite run today, taking 4 children downtown for their dyslexia remediation. In order to keep the kids calm, quiet, and entertained, we listened to The Incredible Worlds of Wally McDoogle: My Life As a Broken Bungee Cord. I think four unquiet, uncalm, and unentertained kids would have been easier to tolerate. Charlotte Mason must have been rolling over in her grave.

Then when we got home, because I am a glutton for punishment, I took G, E and A to the local pet store for yet another try at fish ownership. I think if we kill these fish I am going to have find a new supplier, as this one is starting to wonder what we are actually doing with these fish. I think he is imagining some sort of cult rituals or black market fish operation. Sadly, the truth is much less glamorous. We stink at pet ownership as I have previously stated.

So, this is what we got. Betas. Betas are the easiest fish to own. The pet stores themselves keep them in little tiny containers barely big enough for these fish to turn around in. It’s sad really. I feel strongly that even if we do kill these fish, I can at least say we allowed them to live out their final days in paradise as opposed to the tiny cramped quarters they were subject to at the pet stores.

Surely the fish understand, right? I’m only trying to improve their quality of life, even if it is a short one.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

I Know How Frogger's Mom Felt.

Who knew it was possible to experience immense elation and abject trepidation at the exact same time.

This is the emotion felt by mothers all over the world the first time they watched ALL of their children drive off in the same car together…sans any adult presence, AT ALL.

I have now joined their ranks.

A few minutes ago D told the kids, “Hay, it’s time for AWANA, get going.” And they all hopped in the truck with B and went.

I feel gleeful with freedom, and paralyzed with dread.

Only having a teen driver can elicit such a dichotomy of emotions.

WHOO HOO!!! And exactly how long till they come back?

Saturday, January 12, 2008

A Moment (or two) of Silence.

I am giddy with excitement. It is a Saturday morning and I am…ALONE! D and the girls went with D’s brother and his boys to look at a new truck for B, (D’s brother B, not my car hitting teenage B) and my B and G are out working on their lawn jobs.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I love my kids. I choose to keep them home all day to educate, so really, I don’t have this burning desire to be rid of them.

But sometimes…

One of the downfalls for me of homeschooling is the complete lack of solitude. My kids haven’t napped in years so that mid afternoon peace is long gone. And in the evenings when they are all in bed (which is getting later and later with teens in the house) D is home.

Now don’t get me wrong. I love D. I choose to spend my life with him after all. But oh how I long for the occasional quite moment; no one speaking, no one clomping, no one screeching, weather in glee or pain. Just peace.

AHHH, peace perfect peace.

I am going to go now and ‘Be still and know that God is God’.

Enjoy your Saturday, and may you have peace too!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Two Thousand Dollar Day. Minimum.

Today D went to the dentist and got his 3rd and 4th temporary crown put in, and paid for all 4 crowns.

B backed up the van at co op and backed right into a brand-spanking new Mazda, complete with dealer tags still attached.

That is going to cost.

Needless to say, because I drive a Sherman Tank,there is nary a scratch on it. I shudder to think what is going to happen to our insurance premiums when we call and confess that a mere 2 weeks after getting his drivers license, he drove right into a parked car.

Interneting and a Toe Check.

What does this say about us?

D and I were sitting in the living room last night watching TV and interneting on our laptops(yes, internet can be used as a verb) when I noticed a new email. It was D from the other side of couch. It said…

“Do you know you wiggle your toes involuntarily? If I ever have to check to see if you’re still alive, I won’t check for breathing, I’ll just check to see if your toes are moving.”

I did not email him back.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

From One 'Mean Mom' to Another

'Meanest Mom on Planet' Sells Teen Son's Car After Finding Booze Under Seat

Right now this teen boy thinks his mom is 'The Meanest Mom on the Planet' but I think one day he will appreciate that she cared enough to be perceived as the 'The Meanest Mom on the Planet'.

I say a hearty WELL DONE!


Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Winter Reading Challange

Winter Reading Challenge

I am taking part in the Winter Reading Challenge over on Trish's Blog. I did the Spring Reading Thing and really enjoyed it.

I am going to do the Winter Reading Challenge a little differently.

See I love to read. I can sometimes read 2 or 3 books in a week. The thing is, they are fiction. I get sucked into someone’s story and I can’t put it down. Not so, Non Fiction.

I have several Non fiction titles that I have had on my shelf for a while and I have not read them.

So, for the Winter Reading Challenge, I’m taking all those Non Fiction books off the shelf and I’m going to read them or die (or go cross eyed) trying.

The List…

1. So You Don’t Want To Go To Church Anymore by Jake Colsen

2. The Mom Walk by Sally Clarkson (this will be an easy read because I really just love her stuff and it is not the hard reading that non fiction typically is for me, but I do want to finish it soon so I am adding it to my list.)

3. Making Peace With Your Mom by H. Norman Wright

4. Age of Opportunity by Paul David Tripp (I currently have a 16 year old and a 13 year old. I have had this book for a long time. I’d like to actually get it read before I no longer have any teens in the house)

5. The Shack by William Young (I know, I know, this is actually a fiction book. But it is not my normal choice of light fluffy chick lit so it is like Non fiction for me!)

The Story of Two Princesses, One Evil Queen, Two Knights in Shining Armor, A Mama Bear and an Irate Neighbor.

I am 75% Irish and 100% Mama Bear. Despite my unfortunate DNA, I am a rather calm person. My middle child-avoid confrontation-must have peace at all cost side, usually wins out.

Yesterday a man came to my door and hit my Irish, Mama Bear nerve. Actually, he didn’t just hit it; he did a little jig on it.

My doorbell rang at about 5 pm and there was my neighbor with his sobbing 8 year old daughter. He began to tell me how one of my children had done something to his child. He was using a very forceful, gruff, just-this-side-of-yelling voice.

I replied by telling him that was strange and did not sound like my child but I would definitely investigate the matter. Apparently this was not sufficient for this man, and he proceeded to tell me exactly how I needed to handle the matter and what restitution needed to be made and what punishment should be meted out to the offending child.

It was at this point that the steam started building. I then told him that when my husband gets home, I will discuss the matter with him, thankyouverymuch!

At this point in the story, I must tell you where we live. We live in a neighborhood across from a missionary base. It is a small neighborhood (5 streets) and most of its inhabitants are Missionaries. So this type of thing is rare. Usually we can handle minor neighborhood squabbles easily.

Back to the story; after he stomped off with his sobbing daughter I went and found the offending child for an explanation.

Here’s what happened, Girl 1 (his daughter) Girl 2 (my daughter) and Girl 3 (not so innocent bystander) were playing some sort of Evil Queen/Princess game, and the Evil Queen (Girl 1) captured the two Princesses (Girls 2 & 3). In order to keep her captives, well, captive, she devised an intricate system; she tied them to the tree in my yard, with her jump ropes. The Evil Queen then ran off to her castle to decide what types of torture to inflict on her hostages. When the Queen left, the two captives began screaming for help.

Now enter 16 year old boy who is not so much into fantasy play by 8 year old girls. His bedroom window is right next to said tree which now has the screaming captives attached to it. So he went outside to find out what all the ruckus was about.

(And if you’re wondering where the parental unit was during this time of screaming, she was in the laundry room with two running machines, giddy with the success of the day, unaware of the storm brewing just outside the window.)

When B got to the tree, girl 2 & girl 3 begged him to untie them. Since Girl 2 is his sister, he did what any good big brother would do, he began to untie them.

Sadly, the ropes that were used to tie up the captive princesses were of the beaded variety, with the string running through the middle of the beads. There was no untying these ropes. So he did what any good 16 year old boy faced with two screaming 8 year old girls would do. He got them loose in the fastest way possible; he whipped out his pocket knife and cut them loose.

Girl 2 & Girl 3 ran off yelling thank you’s to their knight in shining armor, and the knight went back into his bedroom to finish his schoolwork in peace.

It was about this time Girl 1 (the Evil Queen) came to check on her captives and found them no longer there. What she did find were her only 3 jump ropes cut up on the ground. The Evil Queen quickly morphed back into an 8 year old girl and ran home to tell her daddy how Girl 2’s mean teenage brother cut up her jump ropes.

Next thing I know there is an irate father and a sobbing 8 year old girl on my porch.

Now I have heard the story, I’m even angrier. This man’s daughter tied MY daughter to a tree, then he comes to MY house and yells at ME? HUH? Idon’tthinkso!

I began pacing my house like a good Mama Bear, muttering under my breath about the GALLOFTHATMAN! etcetera, etcetera. Then I called my husband. He did not answer. I called him again and he did not answer. I think I called him 5 times and he did not answer. The steam was starting to cause an eruption. I had a GOOD MAD going, let me tell you!

(And just in case you are wondering, I was not angry at the kids. While I don’t think tying each other up is something I want to encourage, for the kids it was all in fun. I like to encourage imaginative play in my kids; although we have since told the kids that tying people up is not a good idea, as a general rule.)

I was just about to go and give that man a piece of my mind! How DARE he come to MY house and shoot daggers out of his eyes at me and tell me how to discipline MY child? Who did he think he is? You don’t just go yelling at someone’s wife! And Furthermore…and I would have gone further and said more. But providentially, D called before I stomped down the street to do and say things I would have later regretted.

I explained the situation, in some detail, to D. D listened, then began to chuckle. Not wise. I accused him of not understanding the seriousness of the situation. Was he going to let some man come and talk to his wife like that? To which he replied, “Honey, I’ll handle it. Honey, I’ll handle it. Honey, really, I’ll handle it. Honey, I’ll stop over there on my way home and handle it, I promise. HONEY! Calm down! I. WILL. HANDLE. IT.”

So I decided I’d better let him handle it.

He went and spoke to the neighbor and kindly suggested that perhaps he should have used a calmer voice when speaking to me. The man was calmer and did not speak to D in the tone he used with me. He did however suggest to D how he should punish B. D responded by reminding the man that we had not suggested how he should discipline his daughter for tying our daughter to a tree. That quieted him. Also D said he would not have come over and spoken to that mans wife in the tone and manner that the man used on me.

D then gave the neighbor man his business card and strongly suggested to the man that if there are any more neighborhood issues that need to be dealt with in the future, he should call D and leave me out of it. It will be better for everyone that way.

Ahhh, this Mama Bear has her very own night and shining armor.

Monday, January 7, 2008

A Little Twilight Zone-ish

So our first day back this semester went better than I thought.

B, the little buzzard, did indeed tumble and fell just short of getting all the algebra done on time. He had 3 problems left. (and I did give him 5 extra minutes because I’m week). He does have to pay the $40 tutor fee. He was decidedly unhappy, but he did not get in any further trouble by letting his unhappiness vomit out on me or his siblings as occasionally happens when you are a teen (or, you know, alive).

A got most of her work done and then caught her ride to Scottish Rite for her dyslexia remediation class. And T is back living with her parents and had her first day at Public School.

So once A left, I looked around. B & G were both on their beds reading from their Sonlight readers, and E was sitting at the table in her room finishing up her math.

It was eerily quite.

We do our together stuff first thing, so A can get in on it but since she left I have spent much of the time helping a child out here and there, and just wandering around my house aimlessly. Is it possible I might actually not be needed every minute of the day this semester?

I managed to get the menu for the week figured out, the grocery list written, the snack sign up list for my bible study and Sunday school caught up, (This is my contribution, snack organization, it is a vital part of any Christian gathering!) two loads of laundry washed, folded , AND put away.

Wow! This might just be a banner year for me. Maybe my house won’t look like a stuff bomb went off a mere two weeks after we started school back up!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

If You Give A Mouse A Paintbrush...

It took a wee bit longer than I anticipated to paint, we started out well enough, you know, taking off light switch plates and prepping the living room.

Here are the results. I know, I know; you’re thinking it looks exactly the same! Really it doesn’t, if you look at the white blinds and the ceiling, which are a true white, you can see the obvious color change. The walls in the living room are a more creamy white now. We chose this not quite the same color white because color apparently frightnes me.

Now, have you ever read the book If You Give A Mouse A Cookie? Yeah, that is kinda the way the weekend worked out. We painted the living room, but then the dust, Oh My Goodness Gracious! So I had to dust everything we own because everyone knows you can’t place dirty, dusty things back in freshly painted room. And do you know that you can’t really dust a candle in a glass jar? Instead you have to scrub it with a serious scrubbing brush to get all that black sootie stuff off, because you can’t have a sootie candle in a freshly painted room either.

Also, you can’t really enjoy a freshly painted living room when it is attached to a dirty, dingy dining room. So you must paint the dirty, dingy dining room. Then the dust, Oh My Goodness Gracious! So I had to dust all the tea cups and tea pots and photo frames on my decorative shelf. After we put all the shelves back on the walls in the dining room, and all the nicely dusted things back on the shelves on the wall in the dining room, we stood back to enjoy it.

But then we noticed that the kitchen, which is attached to the dining room, which is attached to the living room, was in dire need of a touch up; as it was the first room we painted several months ago and there were spots, and wear, and yuck! So we got out the kitchen paint and touched up/repainted the entire kitchen.(The shelf next to the window holds my teacups, which are still in the dishwasher)

So, 48 hours, and several paint cans later. This mouse has her cookie, (and an intense amount of pain) to start off the new semester! Whoo! Hoo! Bring on the schoolwork! But first, my bed and my heating pad please.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

A Fresh Coat of Hillbillies

Today we paint.

I took some before pictures so I’ll be forced to do the actual painting so I can post the after pictures.

And yes, that is The Beverly Hillbillies on the TV. It has been playing on a constant loop since New Year's Day when D had our DVR record them ALL. We’ve enough Beverly Hillbillies episodes to last us till the second coming. As soon as my girls start talking like Ellie May, I’m cutting them off.


Coming soon, check back in a while; a good long while.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

A Tumbling Buzzard

I like the idea of reality discipline. The idea that kids need to be able to experience some of the natural consequences of their choices, weather they be good or bad.

In the past (among other things) we have not replaced a stolen bike after that particular child had been reminded over and over to put it away, and we have not allowed children to go to parties/activities when chores have not been done.

Conversely, we rejoice when our children are allowed special privileges because of their good behavior, or wholeheartedly agreed when people complement us on the good behavior of our kids.

I really, really believe that learning how to handle natural consequences is an important part of growing up.

But sometimes, for a mom, it is hard to watch.

To say B has been unmotivated about his algebra would be a bit of an understatement. He’d rather do just about anything else.

Over the holidays (4 weeks from his tutor) he has had 9 lessons and a test to do at home. D and I decided we would not nag him to do it. I have spent MUCH time over the last semester micromanaging him and his algebra. I have given him systems; I have given him calendars, spreadsheets, graphs and powerpoint presentations (okay, maybe not that last one). And still it is like pulling teeth. I feel like I am the one taking the class.

After much discussion and prayer, D and I sat B down at the beginning of his holiday and told him we would NOT nag and or remind him about his algebra requirements. We would be happy to help him whenever he may ask, but we will not spend our holiday worried over his algebra. We also explained that if he is not done with EVERY LAST PROBLEM by the time he sees his tutor on Monday, January 7th at 1pm, he will be paying the $40 tutor fee. And as usual, if he fails the test he will be grounded (including the loss of his new car which he is now able to drive on his own) until he gets a passing test score, whenever that may be.

I must admit to gently reminding him a few times over the holidays, but for the most part I’ve left it alone.

B has 8 lessons and one test left to do before Monday. He plans to go play soccer on Sat afternoon, he has a mowing/raking job on Sat morning, and he will be required to go to Church on Sunday. It’s not looking good for him.

I really think this is one of those times that I, as the mom, am going to have to get out of the way and let him experience the inevitable failure coming, due to his own bad choices. It’s going to hurt. It’s kinda like watching a train wreck. It’s coming and there is nothing I can do about it.

Being a Mom is really hard sometimes.

Here is a little excerpt from one of Dr Leman’s books. (he is my favorite parenting “expert”)

“In order for reality discipline to work the first thing that must happen is the child must feel loved,” said Dr. Leman. “Reality discipline uses guidance and action-oriented techniques. Action-oriented discipline is based on the reality that there are times when you have to pull the rug out and let the little buzzards tumble.”

I know that B is loved. I hope he feels it because the little buzzard is about to take a tumble.

It's A Complicated System.

I cleaned out my closet on New Year ’s Day. And my dresser. And the pile of papers off my bed side table. And my desk. I don’t know how things get so bad so fast.

Here is my organization plan. When something comes into the house, I look at it and if it must be dealt with immediately I do that. If it can wait I set it on my bed side table or my desk. They sit here until they become completely unimportant or irrelevant.

It is a complicated system, but it hardly works for us.

Adding to the problem is that the kids and D do this also. Don’t know what to do with it? Put it on mom’s desk or bed side table. She’ll deal with it, or not.

Here is my closet now. Minus 4 LAWN AND LEAF garbage bags, you know the really big kind.

And here is my bedside table minus all the unimportant papers.

Here is my desk with all the papers neatly filed in the new filing system D bought me to fit where the computer tower once stood back in the day before the laptop.

But here is the top of my dresser. I do still have some work to do.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Out With The Old, In With The New! (I love new!)

What is it about having a bare cupboard that stresses me out? Very few things make me feel more content than having a full pantry and fridge. It’s weird. It’s not really about me so much as it is about providing for my family.

My kids seem to be constantly hungry. Someone is always asking for a snack, and you can tell from the photos of my kids that they are not overweight; they burn a lot of calories running amuck as they do.

Over the last few days we’ve been eating leftovers; a little of this, a little of that, and little by little it has all run out.

So this morning I went to the store and spent the equivalent of the US National Debt buying food. I bought fresh fruit, fresh veggies, and meat. Lots of meat. My men love meat.

I got healthy popcorn, pretzels, cheese sticks and 3 gallons of milk.

We cleaned out the pantry and threw out all the cracker packages with only one cracker left in it and the chip bags with only chip dust. (We’ll tackle that top part later; a girl can only take so much in one day)

See how nice it all looks? This makes me happy. E and I organized the fridge and threw out all the old leftovers, and cleaned it up.

And look at all that fruit!

Sadly, it’ll all be gone by this time next week and I’ll have to do it all over again, but it feels good to throw out all the old and bring in the NEW!

We Have A Winner!

This morning, right as I was about to hit the ‘publish’ button, my internet went out.

I am sorry for the delay, now on with the show!

I used the list randomizer from, and commenter #3 came in 1st.

You Win Halfmoon Girl!

Somehow this seems fitting as you were one of the first to leave a comment on my blog when I first started it.

So, email me at and give me your address and an email you’d like the Amazon gift card sent to and I’ll get them on their way.

I just know you’re going to love Susan May Warren’s books!

***I tried to figure out how to post a photo of the list randomizer thingie like I have seen others do, but I apparently don't have that much brain power this morning so you'll just have to take my word for the authenticity of this random drawing.***

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

A Give-Away!


It’s time for my first ever Give-Away! Because I am a book worm, it seemed only appropriate to have a book give away.

I am a big fan of Susan May Warren’s books. The Josey series is my favorite. Everything is Coming Up Josey and Chill Out, Josey! Which I just finished today.

It is obvious that Susan (I’ll use her first name like we’re friends and so I don’t have to type so much) has spent much time in Russia. She has details and a feel for the place that you just can’t make up; you have to have experienced it.

Her Mission Russia series (In Sheep’s Clothing and Sands of Time) are some of my all time favorites. Sadly I already gave those books away to friends.

So, finally…The Giveaway!

I have the first book in the Noble Legacy; Reclaming Nick and the second book in the Josey series, Chill out Josey. I’ll also email the winner a $10 gift card to that you can use to buy the first book in the Josey series, Everything is Coming Up Josey. It appears it is out of print, but they have several used right now. Or if you wish you can buy the second in the Noble legacy series, Taming Rafe, which is coming out in Jan. (Or really it’s your gift card and you can do with it what you please. :o)

Here are the rules.

1. Write a post on your blog linking to this post; we want to share the love don’t ya know. (If you don’t have a blog just leave a comment)

2. Then leave me a comment on this post. (one only please)

3. Go to CBD and check out all of Susan May Warrens books, because they’re so very good!

I’ll close comments on Tuesday at Midnight (or I’ll stop counting any after midnight, because I don’t actually plan to be awake on Tuesday at midnight).

Then I’ll use the random number generator thingie to pick a winner. I’ll post the winner on Monday, and tell you how to claim your prize!

This contest is for those residing in the US, Canada or Mexico. (Sorry if any of you 10 readers live abroad, but I'm on a very limited budget here, D would freak if I sent books to say, Cosovo.)

So, let the fun begin!

And just in case you were wondering, I don’t actually know Susan May Warren, and I get no benefit from this giveaway other than the joy of helping you, my wonderful 10 daily readers, find a new author that I just know you will love!

And now to figure out how to make this post a sticky…

Don't miss this amazing opportunity! Time is running out! You must act now!

The Give-Away ends tonight, so don’t forget to sign up to win some good books from a great author and a gift card to Amazon!

I'm out of breath from all that yelling and exclamation point using. Perhaps I should not have taken the ques on advertising from the ginsu knife commercial.

Life Is great, in 08! (do I sound like a highschool cheerleader? READY? OKAY!)


Happy New Years Day! It’s the first day of 08, and…I’m tired. But I spent a lot of 07 tired. I think I need to drink more coffee. Or maybe exercise more, but I like coffee so much more than exercising.

D and I slept late today, which was nice; nothing like starting the year off being lazy.

I have to say that I am looking forward to the next semester of our school and I am giddy. The last semester was a hard one. We had my niece living with us and I was homeschooling her as well as my own. Homeschooling 5 was harder than I thought.

Also, the kids had a lot of places they needed to get to last year. I try very hard to limit our outside activities but last semester it seemed that all the kids had places to go.

A has Scottish Rite dyslexia school 4 days a week for 2 hours a day, right in the middle of the day. We had a carpool set up but still that is a lot of running around. I have Thursday co op where I teach and the kids attend classes, then B has an algebra tutor one a week. Then of course AWANA on Sunday night.

This semester, T is living at home with her parents again and attending public school, and Bryce is driving. That means I don’t have to take him to his activities. WHEW. I feel bon bon’s and couch time in my future. Ha, just kidding, maybe I’ll actually get to keep my house a little cleaner.

So I am looking forward to the New Year. I feel like some things have been taken off my plate, and after last semester, I’m relieved. Last semester was hard, really hard.
Last semester we had…

B broke his jaw

I got shingles (that had me in bed for about a month)

The boys got Chicken pox

Everyone but me got a cold from the dark side that made it sound like I was living in a smokers den.

We had various other health related issues that I won’t go into, because some of them were just, well, eeew.

So I see good things happening this year. God brought us through some hard times, but we are stronger, only because we’re leaning more heavily on Him.

I can’t help but think about how different my friend D’s and E’s life will be this year without Katie. I will spend much time praying God’s blessing for them this year. But I do know that this year for Katie will be amazing!