Sunday, August 31, 2008

Because it just seems right on Labor Day.

How long were your labors?
Will - 14 hours.
Bob – For-stinkin-ever! (I was induced with him and I think it took almost a full day for him to make his entrance.
Eve – around 1 ½ hours. (to say this was shocking after Bob would be an understatement)
Ann – 11 hours

How did you know you were in labor?
Kid #1, Contractions
Kid #2, because I was 42 and a half weeks and I couldn’t take it anymore and, oh yeah, the pitocin drip the dr gave me.
Kid #3, speedy and shockingly strong contractions
Kid #4, contractions

Where did you deliver?
Hospital, like Shannon so eloquently put it, where the drugs are.

Absolutely! Sadly, Eve made such a surprise entrance that before the anesthesiologist could arrive, she did. I believe I may have said some rather unchristian things about that man, and maybe his mother.

Nope, but I think Bob should have been, cuz he was just a tad BIG and his head was BIGGER!

Who delivered?
The dr for all, though he got there seconds before Eve made her appearance.

How long were you pregnant? (I am adding this one because if one has to be pregnant over 42 weeks 4 times, one should get credit)
Will – 42 weeks exactly
Bob – 42 weeks and 2 days
Eve – 43 weeks and one day
Ann – 42 weeks and 3 days.

Go check out Shannon's site for more laborious stories.

***Several of you have commented on the over 42 weeks thing. I was induced with Bob and it was such a horrid experience; I get twitchy just thinking about it. Because of that experience I DID NOT want to do that again. After 42 weeks my dr made me go in for a Non-Stress Test every other day. I was not really fond of that, but my dr wanted to induce again and I was not, no way on earth, going to go through that again. I would have chosen to be pregnant for 50 weeks before that pitocin was getting anywhere near my veins again. Just so ya know***

Thank you, Thank you very much!

See how this girl does that little thing at the end where she throws her hands up and turns to the crowd? The 'Stick the Landing' pose?

Well, Bob did that today in Sunday school.

The youth pastor was calling their names to tell them what Wednesday small group they were going to be in. Once he called their name they were to stand and go to the area where their group was waiting.

Everyone else in the large youth group got up and calmly walked to the area. Not my Bob.

He shot out of his chair, threw his hands up in the air and jumped to the right, then the left, yelling "YES!" Imagine, my giant teenager, doing the little gymnastic 'stick the landing' pose.

The whole youth group laughed, including the youth pastor who said he was glad Bob was so enthusiastic about small groups.

That boy!

Here He Comes!

This would be why I don't live anywhere near the coast!

Lawsey Mercy, people! Gustav is coming; batten down the hatches!

(and anyone else notice how it's coming to NORTH Texas? I am afraid Gustav is going to pick up the ocean and dump it on us inlanders!)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Where Are His Cape & Tights?

I really try to stay out of politics here on the Hilltop. This is not a Political Blog, there are plenty of those out there.

But here I go. I watched (because hello, EVERY CHANNEL!) the Obama speech. Did anyone else expect him to say, "...and then I will leap small buildings in a single bound and cure cancer, and save all the puppies."

I'm just saying.

As Good old Winston Says...

Never give in — never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.
~Winston Churchill
Speech given at Harrow School (1941-10-29)

So earlier today I was feeling a little glum and perhaps even morose.

I am having a lot of fibro pain which makes me mad, and then resigned to my fate, and then glum and eventually morose. It is a pattern I have perfected over time.

The Lord knew I needed a special word today.

As I was cleaning my bathroom, because the ick factor had reached a point where even I couldn't stand it. I was in a lot of pain but determined. I was frustrated that I had to do this in pain and how unfair that people all over the world can clean their bathrooms without pain, and woe is me and all that.

Ann comes up to me and watches me for a while. Then she says totally out of the blue, and also totally out of context but I'll take it where I can get it...

"Mom, I'm glad you are my mom and never give up on teaching us."


I think I could take those words and turn them right around.

"Father, I'm glad you are my Father and never give up on teaching me."

The Sea of Entropy

Ecclesiastes 1

Everything Is Meaningless

1 The words of the Teacher, son of David, king in Jerusalem:

2 "Meaningless! Meaningless!"
says the Teacher.
"Utterly meaningless!
Everything is meaningless."

3 What does man gain from all his labor
at which he toils under the sun?

4 Generations come and generations go,
but the earth remains forever.

5 The sun rises and the sun sets,
and hurries back to where it rises.

6 The wind blows to the south
and turns to the north;
round and round it goes,
ever returning on its course.

7 All streams flow into the sea,
yet the sea is never full.
To the place the streams come from,
there they return again.

8 All things are wearisome,
more than one can say.
The eye never has enough of seeing,
nor the ear its fill of hearing.

9 What has been will be again,
what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun.

10 Is there anything of which one can say,
"Look! This is something new"?
It was here already, long ago;
it was here before our time.

11 There is no remembrance of men of old,
and even those who are yet to come
will not be remembered
by those who follow.

Psalm 31 24
24 Be strong and take heart,
all you who hope in the LORD.

I have to say that today I am relating more to Solomon than David. Sometimes this homeschooling/homemaking thing just gets me down. What is the purpose?

It is the same clothes I wash again and again. I clean them and fold them, only for them to be dirtied and sent back to the pile to be cleaned again.

It is the same dishes I wash night after night.

It is the same floor I sweep and mop, only to have a child tromp his dirty feet over it.

It is the same bed I make every day only to unmake it again every night.

It is the same bills I pay every month, only to pay again next month.

The same things I teach over and over.

The same character issues that crop up again and again.

The same bickering.

The same complaining.

It is the same hair I comb…

The same body I wash…

The same teeth I brush…

My house is a study in The Second law of Thermodynamics; entropy.

(The Second Law of Thermodynamics is commonly known as the Law of Increased Entropy, simply put, it states that order is always decreasing in nature.)

Some days, I would just like to sit back, stop trying, and let it all fall apart.

I’m like the little Dutch boy with his finger in the dike. I’m tired of standing here holding back the sea.

However, even though I’m tired I know there are dire consequences if I take my little finger out of the dike. The sea will come crashing it. The cost is too high.

So instead, I will choose to focus on what David said…

Psalm 31:24
24 Be strong and take heart,
all you who hope in the LORD.

I will simply Hope in the Lord. I will try to be strong and take heart while I stand here with my finger in the dike, holding back the sea of Entropy.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Someone's Sense of Humor is Skewed...

I don't get it.

My men watched this commercial over and over last night (God bless the DVR) and laughed their heads off.

What does a pilgrim, a Viking, a King from the Middle Ages, a Hawaiian and a Roman have to do with snickers?

Why does my whole family laugh uproariously while I scratch my head in wonder. What am I missing?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

She's So Shy

This photo just makes me laugh.

Every time I try to snap a photo of my older kids they hide and yell "Don't put me on your blog!"

Not Ann. She comes running!

Monday, August 25, 2008

And...We're off!

This is what the kids woke up too this morning.

Every year I try to get them a few new supplies, and a treat. It seems to soften the blow if I give them their assignment sheets with something sweet.

Here is the teenager backing out of the driveway on his first day of college.

And here he is driving away. I am equal parts proud and sad. He will be home before noon, though.

Here is Eve...

And here is Ann...

who both decided that because it was the first day of school they should dress like it was actually Fall. This will quickly promote a problem since it is going to be close to 100 degrees today.

We're going to do a half day, then go out for lunch and join a few friends for ice skating. I guess at least the girls will be dressed appropriately for that.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Pear Pie by the Most Favoritest

I split a bushel of pears with a friend of mine last week. That means I have half a bushel of pears. (nothing like stating the obvious). Pears have a tendency to go bad faster than even my pack of wolves can keep up with, so I had to be creative.

Today the girls and I made Pear Pie. It was quite yummy.

What? Doesn't everyone use the computer while baking?

Wanna see what the guys were doing while us girls were baking? Napping while watching soccer. I'm not sure exactly how one watches soccer while sleeping, but they were. Every time I tried to turn it off, cus you know, the sleeping they would tell me very grumpily to turn it back on.

Lest you think they are lazy bums, they were up LONG before I was this morning working and doing yard work, so they did earn that nap.

Back to my pie. It was YUMMY! so yummy that we actually had it for dinner.

Pear pie for dinner.

To quote Ann, I am currently the most favoritest mom on the planet.

Pear Pie Recipe

Cook Time: 50 minutes


4 to 5 fresh pears
2/3 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 1/2 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
3 tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon butter
pastry for 2-crust 9-inch pie


Line pie pan with half of the pastry.

Peel, core, and slice pears. Place pears in pie, mounding slightly towards the center. Combine sugar, salt, nutmeg, ginger, and tapioca; sprinkle over pears. Add orange and lemon juice; dot with bits of the butter. Cover with top crust; vent, trim edge and crimp all around. Bake at 425° for 40 to 50 minutes, or until pears are tender and pie is golden brown.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Or Maybe a Nutty Writer?

It seems I will be writing an article monthly for the Homeschooling Association I belong too. I have been thinking and praying about what to write for that first article for a few weeks now. Should I write about this, or maybe that, or that other thing? Humm? I don’t know.

Last night I did not sleep very well. I was kinda achy and sore and just couldn’t sleep. Today I had lots to do which included yet another trip to Wall mart (I know. I’m like a dog eating grass, I know it’s bad for me and yet I continue to do it.) and a stop off at Sir D’s office.

Once I got home I was tired so I decided to lay down for a nap. I started to drift off to sleep and right then, WHAM! Just like that, the article came to me.

It is so weird how my mind works. The whole article was just there, like someone was reading it to me in my head. I know how this works. I knew there would be no sleeping till I got it down on paper (virtually of course), so I got up and started typing.

In a matter of minutes I was done. Boom, just like that. It’s like I have no control over it. It comes when it wants and leaves when it chooses.

How do people write on a deadline? The thought freaks me out. What if ‘it’ chooses not to come in time?

Are all ‘writers’ (and you know I use that term very, very, loosely) like this or am I just nuts? On second thought, don’t answer that.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Volleyball Cheerleaders? Really?

Have you been watching the Olympic beach volleyball? We’ve not had it on too much because, well, I have teenage boys and there is just too much jumping and bouncing in too few clothes, so we just kinda avoid it.

I thought male beach volleyball would be okay. Did you know they have cheerleaders for Men’s beach Volleyball.

I’m crying foul here! I don’t recall any men in Speedo’s jumping around on the sidelines during women’s volleyball.

I’m just saying.

That’s so…Walmart

I’d like to meet the marketing genius who came up with this idea.

See Raven in person at the following Walmart locations!

I might need to add here that when I asked what all the commotion was about, I was told by several giggly girls, that “‘Raven’ was here!”

“Raven?” I ask. “What the heck is a raven? Like the bird?” (Yes, apparently I do live under a rock.)

I had to come home and google her as I was pretty sure all these people were not here to see a black bird. And anyway, all the black birds were in the parking lot feasting on discarded French fries.

Really, isn’t Walmart, two days before all the major local school districts start, crazy enough? I mean the place is filled with baffled moms carrying around pages and pages of ‘must have’s and wandering around the place wondering why the American brand pencil, model #334, is only acceptable for 5th grade, but not for 2nd. And really, how much hand sanitizer can a classroom full of 7th graders use anyway?

But no, that is not enough chaos for Walmart. They thought they should bring in a celebrity so everyone under 13 MUST GO SEE THE RAVEN AT THE WALMART!

The line snaked up and down several isles, and out the door.

I mean! For all that is good and holy, why? Why torment the mothers? We are your bread and butter! WalMart, without the preteen idol of the minute, is like hell only with air conditioning. Must you make us descend to deeper and might I say, more chaotic levels of hell?

I know I’ve said this before Walmart, and your cheap prices always woo me back. But Walmart? I think I really do have to break up with you. You wound me too deeply for me to continue in this self destructive relationship.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

An Apple A Day

Well, I did it! I made the Apple Outfit.

Here is my Eve in her new outfit. The applique was a little more difficult than I thought. Turns out there is a reason they tell you to use interfacing. Who knew?

I hope she'll wear it. She did not like the feel of all the seams in the skirt, and they are many. I told her she could wear a slip under it.

I hope I did not spend all afternoon on this for no reason.

Tomorrow I have to make Ann's.

I also got some more fabric to make myself a skirt or two, but I think it's going to take me a while to recover from this project.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

"Look at the pretty fabric!" she says to avoid thinking about school starting Monday.

Look how cute this is!

I think I am going to try to make this skirt (with only two different alternating materials in cute red patterns) and then use one of the materials to make this appliqued shirt for the girls.

I am doing this in an attempt to avoid getting ready for school Monday practice my newly learned skill.

Finished product photos to come, if I actually finish.

And on the school-starting-Monday front. Yesterdays, despite the fact that it was a rainy Monday, I did actually get their journals all ready and quite a bit of our history materials ready. Math is on the computer (two of them still need to be installed), so we could potentially start Math, Language arts and History on Monday.

See, it’s all good. (she tells herself over and over and over)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Rainy Days and Mondays

Things that must be done today.

1. Make attempt at meal plan for the family that eats like a pack of wolves

2. Back room organization - the back room is the overflow room. It is the size of a postage stamp and yet holds the tv, some kid toys, the computer, the game closet, and 3 bookshelves holding all last year’s curriculum, and next year’s curriculum. It also has a couch bed in it, as it doubles (or triples?) as our guest room. Because of these things I could have subcategories from a to z. But I won’t. We’ll just leave it at ‘backroom’ and move on.

3. Make at least 20 phone calls that I have put off for some unknown reason to make appointments, confirmations, check status of…, and check up on…

4. Do laundry (I have enough loads of dirty laundry to climb to the moon, NASA, you don’t need a shuttle, give me a ringie dingy.)

5. Put away the laundry that is collecting dust in the baskets in my bedroom

6. Go find the place that sells diesel for The Tank and listen to it guzzle hundreds of dollars.

That is not all, there is much more I need to do. The thing is…it’s raining. And it’s a Monday. And we’ve been up really late many nights in a row (thank you Olympics). And the kids are all quietly watching the Olympics (amazing!) And I am still in my bed on the computer with no plans to move.

Something tells me today is not going to be one of the more productive days of my week. But if we’re going to start something that resembles school on Monday of next week I’m going to have to get my rear in gear.

But probably not today.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

All Alone

I am home alone.

It is the strangest sensation.

I am sitting on my couch, drinking coffee and playing reading very important information on the computer.

And it is quite, because I'm alone.

No one has asked me a question since I got out of bed because I am alone. I think that is some kind of record.

Sir D and Bob went to a track to ride their motorcycles, Will is at a soccer scrimmage. The girls were at a sleepover last night and are not home yet.

It is weirdly quiet in here, because as I may have mentioned, I'm alone.

Soon, however, two very silly, tired girls will be here and they will want to tell me ALL ABOUT HTE CAKE AND THE SWIMMING AND THE MOVIES AND THE POPCORN AND THE FUN!! and the quiet will be gone.

I am going to absorb as much quiet as I can right now...ahhhhh.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Bird Bag

I must say that this sewing thing is fun! I made this bag today for my niece. It is her birthday and she like my Eve, loves birds.
(Do you see the pocket? I totally sewed on a pocket! Go ME!)

She has a bird room; painted green with various birds nests and birds hanging around. I think she'll love this gift. I filled the bag I made with this stuff.

I used this tutorial to make the bag. If I can do it anyone can do it and I am so very serious! I had to look up how to make a french seam on You Tube to do it.

How did we learn anything before You Tube?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

New Post Up.

I have a new post up on The Homeschool Review Blog. I'm reviewing the Digital version of The Old Schoolhouse Mag.

Go Check it out.

Recipe for Disaster

Am I the only one who thinks this had potential disaster written all over it?

I walked down to the hall and peered into The Teenagers supposedly clean room, to see this. (mental note, have Teenagers look up definition of clean in the dictionary)

I asked Bob if he saw the inherent danger in his golf putting set up.

"Uh, no." says Bob

"You don't think the window made of the highly breakable substance known as glass right at the end of your little putting green might be a problem?"

"Nope, I won't hit it that hard."

Humm, we'll see.

I am waiting for the sound of shattering glass...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The New Hair...Sort Of.

I have experienced some technical difficulties here on The Hilltop with the picture portion of The New Hair.

The Sister and I went out to her hair magician and it was wonderful. We took before photos of the When Blond Highlights Go Bad look I was previously sporting. We took photos of the transformation complete with foil on the head. We took after photos of Cassandra the Hair Magician's work of magic with my hair.

Then I went to upload them onto my computer when I got home and they were eaten by cyberspace. Truly. They were deleted from my camera but not uploaded by my computer. They disappeared into thin air. It was very sad.

The Sister even took some photos of the ceiling of the salon because there were large polka dots painted there, and while that sounds tacky it was really tasteful and nice. You'll have to take my word for it as I lost the photographic evedence.

Because I could not stand the thought of backing out on my promise to my 3 regular readers of after photos of my new hair I devised a plan.

I went into the bathroom and took photos of myself in the mirror. It was a long process of trial and error. Mostly error.

And now for your viewing pleasure, my attempt at self photography...

Whoops, this works better when the flash is off.

Whoops, guess that is not the button that turns the flash off.

Whoops, forgot to take my glasses off.

Whoops, don't want to show the entire world wide web that I have given up on pretty matching towels and just let the kids hang any old thing in the hooks.

Hay, that is pretty good.

That one is too. I think I got the hang of it...right before the battery died.