Tuesday, July 31, 2007

A mom can tell....

....the differences in the screams of her children.

Today, we were going to speech therapy for J-man. I was reading some of my bloglines reads and was just logging off to get ready, when the scream erupted from the bedroom. I knew it was Mini-Me. I just assumed she had been bonked by a sibling but I knew she was hurt from the tone of the scream and following cries.

I enter her room to find her lying on Mini-E's bed. The other kids were looking at her cry. First glance told me: No Blood. She was crying and looked at me, "I broke my arm."

I think my chin hit the floor. She said it so matter-of-factly and I wasn't expecting to hear those words come from her mouth. I was expecting a "he hit me" or "so&so did it".

I sit down on the bed and ask her what happened. She was going over the top bunk to the bottom bunk. The bottom bunk is at right angles to the top bunk. The do this all the time, except I don't want them to...because the bottom bunk is Mini-E's bed. They don't want her on their beds, they shouldn't be on hers.

I thought she hit the bed rails we have on the bed for Erica. That was the only thing I could think of that would make her think she'd broken her arm. She said, again matter-of-factly, that she did not hit the bed rails.

She's not entirely sure what she did. All she knew was that her jump ended up being a fall.

My mom was on her way to the house, anyway, to watch the kids for speech therapy time. So we waited. We put ice on the elbow. We laid hand son the elbow and prayed. We propped it up.

I called The Professor. He concurred that an x-ray needed to be done. Just in case. So I called up our pediatrician. Do they want me to come to them or the "Doc-in-a-box" (aka urgent care center).
They want us to head to a radiology lab.

Mini-Me says, "Can you pray over it some more? It really hurts."

So when Grammas arrives, we break the news that our plans have changed. We get shoes on. Mini-Me is afraid that she'll hurt her arm and we show her how to move without hurting it. And off we go. The tears have stopped - but she won't move her arm.

The radiology lab tells us that they'll get us back as soon as possible but the machine was down and it might take an hour.

I think my very short prayer consisted of: "God?" In a "can you fix this?" kind of way.0

It didn't take an hour. More like 20 minutes.
The x-ray tech was VERY nice. she saved us about 5 x-rays by the way she took the first two.

Then she showed Mini-Me the x-rays because she wanted to know. The x-rays were digital and we got to see thm right away. I could tell there was no OBVIOUS break which made me happy. So we head home to await the doctor's phone call.

Picking up McD's for lunch for the kids and Subway for mom and me.

We have lunch. At this point, I'm tired of watching Mini-Me hold her right arm with her left arm. So I get her a pretty red scarf and tie it like a sling for her.

I ask her if she wants a bow in the front. She replied: "I want my pretty necklace to show."
She's such a girl.

About 2 o'clock and I'm getting impatient. I know the doctor returned from lunch about 1:30. So i call a bit after 2pm. I call the nurse's line and leave a message. 10 minutes later, I call the front desk to see if they can help expedite things. A good thing I did, too. The nurse had to go home due to a death in the family.

The receptionist told me that the x-rays had come through because she'd looked at them. She said that there weren't any breaks that she saw, but she did see an injury at the elbow. She'll get the word from the doctor and call me back.

The other nurse (someone I like better than the first nurse, anyway) tells me that it's an effusion. Which I looked up, and pretty much it means that there's water in the joint.
I guess.
That's what it means in theory. I'm still not sure what it means to me.
They want her to see an orthepedic specialist. The orthopedic specialist , the designated elbow guy, was booked for wednesday but could see us Thursday.

While not optimal, I will take what I can get. What do I do in the meantime.
Keep it elevated. Put ice on it. And don't let her get into a situation where it gets bumped a lot.

hmm..think I. I say, "You've met my boys..."
She plays along and says, "Yeah..I thought about that..." and we both laugh.
So we'll not be swimming until we hear from the Elbow Doctor.

Here she sits, elevated and iced:

She's still very pale from her morning injury. I tried to get her to straighten it (this was before I talked to the doctor). I wanted to see what range of motion she had. I was trying to figure out how immobile I needed to make her elbow. Her arm straightened out to a certain place and then stopped and she started leaning her body instead.

We'll be wearing the sling until Thursday.

I called The Professor and asked if he'd be able to take off work Thursday morning. I didn't dare ask mom again, she'd already been up twice. He said, casually, "Sure. I should be able to do that. My training was postponed."

I"d forgotten about the training - but how nice of God to rearrange things for me.

While, I'd really rather He have healed Mini-Me completely, I'll take these kisses from today.
It's not broken.
The x-ray worked
We got an appointment on Thursday when the Professor could take off work.

She's wondering how things are going to work for her until the elbow heals.
How will I sleep? (With your eyes closed.)
What about church? They said they'd play games. (Let's deal with that AFTER we see the Elbow doctor)
Hey mom!! I can hold a playstation controller!! (Yay!)

It's the small things.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Schmoozer - a respected profession..

Kathleen aka CoffeeMom has awarded (aka recognized) my schmooze talent. Which I didn't know I had, I figured I was just chatty.
Here's what this is about:
“As it goes, schmoozing is the natural ability “to converse casually, especially in order to gain an advantage or make a social connection.” Good schmoozers effortlessly weave their way in and out of the blogosphere, leaving friendly trails and smiles, happily making new friends along the way. They don’t limit their visits to only the rich and successful, but spend some time to say hello to new blogs as well. They are the ones who engage others in meaningful conversations, refusing to let it end at a mere hello - all the while fostering a sense of closeness and friendship.”
I'm honestly flattered. Thank you, Kathleen.
I feel like I should say something...kind of like an acceptance speech.
All I can think of is that, really, I type just like I talk.
So that makes this award all that much more special.
So now I get to pass it on? In following with the description above, I pass this on to:
Melanie & her Happy Happenings - always drops in for a quick comment! And I've seen her all over the place. I'm either following her around, or she's following me. :-D

The melding of two opinions...

Mini-Me likes this a bit more structured than I do.

I prefer a day where I can just say, out of the blue, "Time for math", and we all sit down to do math. She gets bummed at me. Typically because "we were about to " and I'm interrupting.

My thought was, "we weren't doing anything anyway. What's the big deal?"

But apparently, it's a big deal to her. She likes to know what's coming next.

And preferrably, the when it's coming.


I'm structurally deficient.

Or maybe it's structure challenged.

I never learned it growing up. I'm a pretty good Random person (queen of it, for the most part) - so having a schedule for the days events is a pretty foreign concept to me.

But we had to compromise.

Okay - I had to compromise. Especially with school work about to start back up in full-swing (as it's in half-swing now).

I needed to come up with a schedule but one that would give me wiggle room for tending the babies - or distractions that might come up. Here's what I came up with:

Our giant white-board is fantastic for so manythings. And I'm not using it a lot for school right now, so I'm putting it to use as a schedule board.

They've already gotten used to seeing the day's schedule. In fact, they're loving it. G asked me the other day, "what's for breakfast?"

When school hits full swing and I need the board more often, I'm not sure what I'll do. Maybe get a smaller board? Or print it off on paper. I'm not sure - but it looks like the schedule is here to stay.

Is it possible to have a random schedule?

Tagged - a career Q&A

Melanie, over at Happy Happenings, tagged me with a "What if" question...and I had to give it a bit of thought..and I still don't have an answer. It's still fun to think about though...

Here is how to play:If you had the opportunity to do a 1-year internship in a company or field completely unrelated to your current career or specialty, what would be your top 5 choices?

I thought it would be easy to pull from my many daydreams as I was growing up. I was so wrong.
I wanted to be everything when I grew up. Interior decorator (don't laugh if you've seen my house), actress, spy - I'm sure I've wanted to be (nearly) everything - except maybe a jockey. Or a nurse.

So what would my 5 answers be?
Something other than my current career..so music and mommy-ness is out.

1. I'd like to apprentice with a published author. Because I'd really like to write. And I'd really like to write well.

2. Newspaper reporter - one of my favorite movies was "His Girl Friday" with Cary Grant and Rossalind Russell. I wanted to be Hildy Johnson.

3. Archeologist - discovering something new...

4. Interpreter. I think that would just be too forkin' fun.

5. Writer - again. I keep coming back to this because one day, it will happen.

So, there you have it. My answers to the What if...
I did have that terrible realization that I'm all grown up. Despite my best efforts to not to. So I can't even answer that question in a "What do you want to be when you grow up?" sort of way. Because I'm there.

I'm supposed to tag some other people - but I don't know who to tag. It would be fun to see your 5 career options...so if you play let me know.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Today - We Celebrate!

Today we "celebrated" our anniversary - celebrate inasmuch as we went out.

Without children.

We went to our favorite museum and discovered that they've again changed the current exhibits and we really didn't see much we liked. They had a special exhibit on Antoine-Louis Barye which was, to say the least, interesting. We overheard one mom tell a dad that "this man needs serious therapy. How many ways can one envision an animal killing another?"

Which made me laugh. Because my thoughts run along the same thing.
The nifty thing about Barye's work was that he really never saw it in action. He never saw one animal kill another. He studied most of his subjects in a Paris zoo. But his attention to detail was amazing. On one sculpture of a lion, we could see the detail of the rib cage...

When we were done looking at the special exhibit, we wandered out to the gardens.

Shall we say it was hot - but the gardens were beautiful.

Here we are at the "bottom" of the gardens.
Sitting here, looking out, this is what we saw:

It really is quite pretty.

I was playing with my camera, and took this picture:

I thought about it - and decided it's really rather symbolic.

We've been walking together for 10 years.

He's always worn black sneakers, by the way. How fantastic to take a picture of our feet as we embark on the next leg of our journey.

Then we went to dinner and to the bookstore.

I got a new copy of Ivanhoe, though, I'm really wishing I'd found a copy for younger readers, so that I could read it to the kids. Our wonderful friend & babysitter said, "You guys always end up at the bookstore."

I guess we're creatures habit. It was a nice anniversary outing. I'm so glad we went.

We got home and were greeted by great big hugs from the kids all in their pajamas. It was nice to be home. 10 years. I'm still getting used to saying that.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Practice makes perfect

Practice makes perfect in music - and in going places with your children.

I finally have figured out a system for taking my kids to the pool. By myself. If you'll think back with me when I nearly made a pool of myself...you'll remember that I had no system. I also discovered that I'm not a completely random person. Going to the pool, with 4 kids, randomly simply became a definite "no."

I discovered that I needed to be prepared mentally.

We went yesterday and again today. And it was in these two outings that I realized I had a system. It works best if I can get J-man & Mini-E down for a nap. And then just before we wake them up - we get ourselves ready. "We" being Mini-Me, G & me. (That could be a song, I think).

If I'm really lucky, I get a small nap out of the deal, too. Today I was really lucky.

So we three get ready.
Swimsuits on.
Towels for everyone gathered.
Pool bag packed with swim diapers. bandaids. Tissues. and sunscreen. The spray on kind. Very much worth the money. Pool passes. A pull-up & diaper.
We pack snacks to eat in the car on the way there.
We pack juice pouches & waters (for me) for the ride home after.
The bigs get their sandals on. I spray them down with sunscreen.
Today we got the little kids up and Mini-E wanted to be squirted with sunscreen. So, that only left two to squirt. or screen. Or ... um... uv protect.
Sandals on the littles.
Off we go.

It takes us 30 minutes to get to the pool.
They have "Adult" swim at the top of the hour - which is a guise to make the kids get out of the pool and rest. It last for 15 minutes. We got there yesterday during the adult swim...today we got there right after.

I got j-man into is swim suit. And got him sunscreened.
Got Mini-e into her swim clothes.
Got G sunscreened.

We checked in. Got 2 life jackets. 1 of Mini-Me in case she wants to jump off the diving board.
1 for J-man so I know I won't find him on the bottom of the pool.

The bigs go for the slides and the deep end to practice their swimming.
J-man has this one ladder that he loves to play around. up and down he goes.
Mini-E is still not sure what she likes. She doesn't want me to hold her...but she does.
She doesn't want to get wet...but she does.

She does like it when other kids come up to her. She just Smiles at them and jabbers at them and says "hi." She does know she doesn't like to get her face splashed.

So I end up carrying her around. She can be bold at times and a chicken at other times.
But so far the system is working. I'll watch her and J-man at the same time.

I'm glad I've finally got a system. Just in time for the pools to close for the summer. *L* They close the week before school starts. That's about 3 weeks away.

The only glitch in my system - spraying sunscreen on myself.
It's not a bad sunburn - and it won't rob me of my joy at my new found system.
And that sounds funny to say, too. I - the Queen of Random - have a system. Does that make me a semi-queen?

TV Contest from 5 Minutes for Mom

I've put the link under the Title.

But pretty much 5 Minutes for Mom and BestBuy are giving away a forkin' cool TV. Go Check it out. I'm entering - even though there are 101 entries already. :-) I might get lucky. Who knows...

Crossing my fingers (which makes it really difficult to type)

Who knew?

Jane had this up (and got the same answer) & CoffeeMom had hers up (and is going to Paris)so I thought I'd give it a try...

You Belong in Dublin

Friendly and down to earth, you want to enjoy Europe without snobbery or pretensions.
You're the perfect person to go wild on a pub crawl... or enjoy a quiet bike ride through the old part of town.

But what if I want to go to New Zealand?

To Quote the daughter..

"M-O-M!" Said Mini-Me as J-man followed her around this morning everywhere she went. He sat where she sat. He tried to wrestle her. "M-O-M! I'm being tormented!!

Even though I don't know what it means. What does it mean anyway? Can you stop him?"

To agitate or upset greatly.
To annoy, pester, or harass.

She used it correctly.
I'm impressed.
She was impressed.

Now, to stop a 3-year old (gleeful) tormentor....

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

10 +

Wow. I can not believe it's been 10 years. Where does the time go?

It seems like yesterday that the man I married, The Professor, called me on the phone for the first time.

He called me at the suggestion of a mutual acquaintance. Actually, it was the pastor's wife at his church. She worked in my building - which is an odd story in and of itself. I'll summarize by cliche-ing that "It's a God thing."

He called me and sounded very nice...and wanted to go out.

Like on a date?? I'm thinking and remembering the nuts I'd met (my motto then used to be "What am I? Flypaper for freaks?"). I suggested that maybe we should write letters first.

Okay. He told me later that he almost didn't write the letter but write he did. He still doesn't know what it was that made him write - he thinks it was just to "give it a shot". It was a nice letter. He told me about him and his life and I wrote back.

In my letter, I told him that some friends, some family & I were going to a hockey game on Valentine's day and would he like to go? He called me.

I was thrilled.

He agreed to meet at the hockey game. I told him to bring back up ... I mean friends. Because he was going to meet some former co-workers of mine, some cousins and my brothers. He should bring back-up -- I mean friends.

He came alone and maintains to this day, that it was the largest chaperon party he's ever seen.
I maintain that it wasn't. It was a public meeting place. I can't help it if he came without
back-up ... I mean friends.

The next meeting we had was at my favorite local museum. He brought me a rose and won my heart in the very same gesture.

I hadn't considered it a date, as it was more of a get to know you time...but he brought me a rose.

(Years later, he bought me a crystal rose to replace the first one because I had dried it and it was covered in dust and looked tacky. )

I'm not sure we "hung out a lot". We'd go out on dates at least once a week. Sometimes twice a week. We'd meet my great-aunt's house to park my car, as we lived an hour apart. Then we would go off on our adventure.

Once he brought me an Easter basket to brighten my day.

I'll never forget the day he and I were going to an amusement park and we actually, unplanned, wore matching "Brain" t-shirt from "Pinky & the Brain". It was great meeting someone that liked the same cartoons I liked. Especially if they're willing to buy the paraphernalia that goes with it.

We went to the local Ren-Faire in May. Then to the park after. It was sitting at the park watching the paddle boats that he said, "I have a question for you." and his hand shook.

It was so sweet.

He asked me to marry him. My first response, when I saw the ring, was "Oh my gosh" - and then I said "Yes."

Yes..that's 4 months. Feb - May.
We got married 10 years ago July 26th, 1997.
It seems like yesterday.

We've had our ups and downs.
We've had those moments where we've looked at each other and said "now what?"

Then there was that time in the OR when they were going to perform an emergency c-section and The Professor threatened the OB that if I felt any pain while I was in there, security wouldn't be fast enough.

We've had 4 kids.

He supports the call on my life (and less importantly, my blog habit) And Homeschooling.
I support his computer games (most times) and his woodworking.
Both of us want to get to know the God who put us together.

We're a lot like the odd couple.
I used to tell him that He was Jack Sprat and I was the wife.

He brings logic to my life.
I bring the randomness to his.

I can't believe how much of a team we've become over the past 10 years. Sometimes it doesn't feel like it because we still have work to do - but I can't imagine not having him in the big picture of my life.

So with that - I'm glad that it's my anniversary. I feel like I won the grand prize in a contest I hadn't realized I'd entered.

Happy Anniversary, Professor

Monday, July 23, 2007

How far apart do you plant them?

The Professor was walking out of the house this morning, innocently heading for his day at work, when he stopped at the door, his hand on the door knob and asked me "Why are there forks all over the yard?"

I was grumpy. I did not take his tone well.
I was checking e-mail before feeding the children breakfast.
I was a bit curt in my reply, "Well, I. don't. know."
I mean, really. Why would I know why cutlery was all over our yard. The last I saw of our yard yesterday, he was mowing it. I was toting in a Mini-E.

I got up to see. Because I thought, maybe the trash had spilled or someone else's trash had spilled. I saw a few forks and thought maybe a storm had blown trash around.

Ours was the only yard. And Praise God - it was only Forks. No trash in the mix.

The forks were only in our yard. On both sides of the driveway.

Sticking up out of the ground.
Spaced about so that they covered the smallish expanse of our yard.

Like little forkish tombstones.

Or maybe like little pikes sticking out of the ground....

My first words were, "I don't know what this is - but I rebuke it. In Jesus' name."
Remember, I was grumpy.

The Professor set to in picking up the forks immediately, which is why I have no pictures. So Mini-Me and I helped him. The Professor did tell me, later, that he was afraid someone would step on them...

We picked up roughly 52 white, plastic forks. That's an entire package. They apparently tried to stick them in the ground tine-side down, because we picked up a few that had broken tines. So most of them were implanted in the ground handle side down. It didn't take us long to pick them up.

I'm really glad, though, that they didn't use a package of forks from Sam's. They hold 200 forks.
It would have made a fantastic picture, though. Since that's where I buy my forks, if I find out who did this, I might just have to get even. Or better.

My mom thinks someone might have gotten my house mixed up with someone else's house - because, really, who would want to do that to US?

Which was my thought - we're pretty peace-loving. We don't even call the police and tattle when the neighbors are shooting illegal fireworks from 10pm - midnight!

The more I think on it the funnier it seems. Forks. I just makes me laugh.
I actually feel rather special. It's not everday I can say "We've been forked."

As my friend in Minnesota said "Stick a fork in it..."
Anyone need plastic forks?
I've got a few lying around...

Teachable moments..

The emotional day I had Saturday was coupled with a slightly hectic day on Sunday. I went to bed with oodles of things on my to do list. I was thinking of children. Thinking of schooling. Thinking of trying to make sure I enjoy them.

I'm not sure why, this current season seems especially difficult. I'm not sure why it's difficult nor do I know when it changed. I just know it's new - and that means I need to change my course of action.

I was picking up something off the floor and thinking of something I'd read about keeping the younger children entertained. I thought of my method of keeping the youngers entertained - I teach the older children one at a time. While I'm teaching one, the other one plays with the youngers - if they're not doing school work.

I was thinking something along the lines of "I can't seem to teach the olders at the same time....." I can't remember where that line of thought was headed - but the Holy Spirit whispered to me "That will come in time."

With that single sentence - I realized that my expectations of myself were WAY too high. Which, I think, had been a contributing factor in some of my emotional grumps on Saturday.

I don't want to waste valuable time (which is quite silly because I just watched more than half a documentary on John Wayne and John Ford) - but I don't want to wish the children to be too old. Because then I would miss the cute head tilts from Mini-E, the puns from Mini-Me, G's tape creations and J-man's laughs.

It was nice just to have encouragement...

My other teachable moment came today.
G decided to be difficult today. He decided to question all authority in different sorts of ways. It made for a difficult time with the youngers and a slightly difficult time with school work. I'm praying that it won't happen again tomorrow.

By the time we got to 11:30, I was fed up. Wishbone has been on for the summer and I've been letting the kids watch it while I make lunch. I've enjoyed it, too. Because of the difficulties, if G had asked to turn on the TV, I'd have said no.

As it was, Mini-Me asked. She asked politely and quietly. She had been obeying and listening. Because SHE had asked, I said yes.

Immediately, I thought of the scriptures that speak of God blessing his covenant to the thousandth generation. What I might be doing now, will definitely effect future generations. I know this will preach because I've heard TD Jakes preach on it.

He used Timothy's grandmother in 2 Tim. 1:5 to illustrate his point. If Eunice hadn't passed down her faith - Timothy might not have been what he was.

So because Mini-Me had been obedient, they all were blessed and got to watch Wishbone. I want my children (& Grandchildren & great-grandchildren if they come ) to be blessed because of what I do NOW. So I need to be obedient and watchful now.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Bloggy Creativity - a brain overflow

My bloggy creativity has been low.

It's been a crazy week but when I sit here and ponder what to write, I can't picture one event or item to write about. There were also a couple of events that I thought to write about but they almost seemed too personal.

Or maybe life was just too "lifey". And I should be folding laundry or doing dishes or painting the kitchen. But I didn't want to abandon you forever.

So, my dear blog, here is the overflow from my brain. Just for you.

J-man has been improving in his speech therapy. There are still times we don't understand him at all...but our comprehension of him is getting better. For instance, his back seat driving. Then there was the day we went to visit a friend and he was singing in the back seat "Oooo-ye-ah Ooo-ye-ah".

One day at his therapy time, the therapist showed him a picture of a brown teddy bear. And he obviously recognized the shape. She asked him if he had a teddy bear like that. J-man said "No. But it's got feet, though." I nearly rolled on the floor.

He has a teddy bear. It's red. Not brown. And it's got feet, and ears, and hands. We lost him somewhere in there because he got excited and started talking really fast.
He got stung by a wasp - on the finger - at the house of said friend. He crawled into my lap. My friends made up a paste of baking soda and water. And J-man and I prayed over it. It was gone by the next day. But he described the "attack" to The Professor something like this - I shall paraphrase: "Going down the slide. The bumble bee stung me and then flew away".
And he'd flap his hands to show the "bee" flying away. Of course, we can't tell the story in front of my logistics officer Mini-Me because she corrects us everytime - it was a wasp.
Yes, we know - but he doesn't care. Nor does he know the difference.
We've started school work, nearly full time. The kids don't realize it, though. Because w'ere not doing paperwork every day. I'm realy enjoying our Adventures in My Father's World. The other day we learned about Vikings and Leif Ericsson. The kids retained the story, at least for a day.
The rain has seemed to stop. And I miss it.
It has allowed us to use our pool memberships a litte bit more.
But the humidity is sticky and I'm really glad I don't live in Florida and Houston where it's nasty sticky. But it's still not pleasant.
Saturday was an emotional day, and I'm not entirely sure why.
For some reason, everything seems harder lately. Relationships, housework, children, finances...it's just weird.

Because of that, I'm still pondering over what was going on on Saturday. Today was better. But I really wonder if my expectations are misaligned. Am I expecting something from The Professor that he can't give me? Am I expecting too much from myself?
I'm sure I'll get to post more about this. Because it's just another test I think I failed.

I think I'm going to get some Picfolios from Creative Memories - or maybe the generic kind from Walmart and get my pictures scrapbooked like that. Taking the time to get them into a book doesn't seem to be happening.
And I'd really like to be able to look at the pictures. :-)
I thought, for journaling, that I would just cut some 4x6 paper.
The difference with the Picfolios and the generics from Walmart - the picfolios have some slots that go vertically and some that are positioned horizontally. The Walmart kind (From 3m) are just positioned horizontally.
They are acid/lignin free, though.
And cheaper.
I could probably make them work.

Well, look at that!
The overflow seems to have stopped.
Just in time! J-man has awakened from his nap and wants to rock.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Faces painted...

There was an outreach event at our church this last weekend. I painted faces and while I can't do SpongeBob - I can come up with some really cool looking princess stuff. Bindhi's are my favorite things to paint. None of them look alike.

This last weekend, I tried something on myself that I saw on the internet...

Hopefully, it comes through. The Professor couldn't get a good shot of it. It's a dolphin I painted on my own leg. It was fun to do it - and it looked so good. I had several requests for it. I'm going to have to figure out the trick to getting face paint to go on smoothly. There's a trick, I just haven't found it.

But when I got home, I got to do some fun stuff with my two favorite test subjects.

A Gecko For G

And Tulips for Mini-Me.

Of course, I look at them and think: I should have added this - or that - but it's fun to play around with....each face is different. The funny thing that I've noticed about face painting, especially when looking for patterns, I've noticed more tattoos than ever before. I find myself thinking, how would that transfer through paint??

Tape flows freely

G has been creating. He has always loved creating things. His favorite things to create with are straws and tape. I threw a fit at finding teensy bits of straws all over the floor so the straw usage is way down. So he's been using paper.

And tape.

Lots of tape.

And anything else he can find.

This creation is a sword fighting robot. A pencil in his hand. A broken yo-yo for his head. The rest is paper and tape.
You know those plastic ball-type containers that hold things in those gum-ball machines? He took several of those, some paper and more tape and made a Harrier-type jet. I say type because he didn't k now what a Harrier was...but I was really impressed with the tail fin on the plane.
He would play with tinker toys and legos, but his younger siblings get to those way too fast. And destroy all his hard work. Paper and tape can be grabbed and moved quickly. One of the best things I ever did was to buy him his own tape dispenser.
Of course, I have to keep us both stocked with tape.
Gotta love Sam's for important purchases that need to be done in bulk.

Booster Seat Driver

Allow me to introduce you the current driving expert in the mini-van:
Yes, that's correct. This is J-man. He's 3. He apparently knows all there is to know about driving. I currently hear the following comments coming from the back seat. Sometimes loudly.

"Stop, Mama!"
"Mama, GOoooo!"
"Let's go home!"
"Watch out, mama!"
"Look at the truck!"
"What's that? Watch out Mama!"
"STOP, Mama! Stop!!"
"Go THAT way!"

I know how to drive. But convincing a 3 year old expert is not so easy.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Cattle dog...

This is Shadow, the Avalanche Ranch cattle dog. She was our mascot yesterday. She reminded us that "God is With Us". I have to say, I like her hat.

I wish I had a follow-up quote from the first grader of Tuesday, but I don't. I have 37 first graders in this group. Actually, they're GOING into the first grade. All in one group.

I feel like a cattle dog sometimes. Luckily, I'm not the only Cattle Dog. There are 3 of us and at times we have Teenage helpers.

37 firstgraders. It just blows my mind.

Over the last few days, I've only really gotten to know a few of them. Today, at one of our "centers" the center leader asked for the kids to go give their teacher a big hug. It was sweet, I was mobbed. I felt special for that one giggly group hug because I haven't been able to have that one-on-one time that builds relationship. So it was fun to have so many hugs. You just never know when you're shining a light.

There have been interesting learning moments over the last few days. My Father-in-law told The Professor that our kids would have to learn about the real world one day. I watched the "real world" this week, in two little boys. They met up with some kids that have obviously been to church much! The two worlds didn't quite mix. For instance today a little girl came and said "Everytime I talk, he ....." and she mimicked him moving his mouth in a hateful way.

That's when it would have been nice to have less people around to talk about why we don't do things like that.

I also thought about school teachers. It is no wonder that at school it's sit down and hush and don't move. If you let ONE kid free, others will follow and soon you lose control. We start with one end of the line quiet, and by the other end of the line gets going, there's noise. It felt like cattle herding. Or maybe herding cats.

I'm so glad that I can have the one-on-one time with my kids. I don't feel like I'm getting enough into their hearst and heads, but I know that what I am getting in - it's sticking. Because there aren't 36 other kids that have to be "herded".

I'm sure this could preach. But at the moment, I'm afraid it's turning more into a rambling than cohesive post.

I'm so glad that God is Strong!

Even for 37 First graders.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Kids say the darndest things....

~Otherwise entitled, Overheard at VBS ~

Today was the first day of VBS at a church that we attend. I'm a group leader (1 of 3 leaders) for a large group of 1st graders.

This is a rotation VBS from Group Publications. So there are various "centers" that we visited. First, We had music and a Story about Rahab. We learned our Bible Point of the day - that God is Real.

Our buddy for the day was Buc the Bronco. He reminded us that "God is Real". Every station we visited reminded us that many things are fake....but God is real.

Our snack reminded us of the story of Rahab. Rahab helped the spies because she believed that God is real.

At our last center, the video story, we were reminded that God is real.

A little girl, a first grader in the fall, turned to me and said, in a rather tired voice. "I already knew God is real. And now I have to hear it all day long." *SIGH*

I just wanted to laugh. The more I think about it, the funnier it gets.

I wonder what she's going to think tomorrow when she hears "God is with us" - all day long.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

A simple story? I think not.

There is a story that is often told of an older couple in a pick-up truck driving down a road. In my mind, it's a country road. He's driving. She's in the passenger seat looking out the window as one would do in a pick-up truck on a country road.

It's been a long time since I've heard this story but she turns to him and says something like: "You know, when we were younger, we'd sit next to each other. You'd hold my hand. We'd talk. Over the years that stopped. What do you suppose happened?"

I'm guessing he would have thought about this a little bit, then he answers, "Well, I never moved."

This story is often used to show our relationship with God. I've heard it preached before....
I. Hate. This. Story.

And I've given it a lot of thought lately. I really hate it. It's a strong emotion, I know, but I'm beginning to get passionate about it. So I'll go with hate.

I'm really not sure what started this all - but it's been on my brain and shall now be downloaded here.

This story is often used to show our relationship with God. It shows that we often move away, while God remains right where He is. Therefore it is our choice to move closer or to move more distant.

This story uses humans to get the point across. Emotions in a relationship wax and wane. Sometimes we have strong feelings for someone and sometimes we really don't like them very much. Let alone sit next to them in a pick-up truck.

You see, unlike the husband in the story, God is every pursuing us. He is ever chasing after us because He WANTS a relationship with us. He is so much more reliable, faithful, diligent in His pursuit of us than we are in our earthly relationships.

The husband in the story was probably just enjoying life and never even considered that his wife missed the hand holding and the nearness. He apparently didn't pursue her...or maybe even say, "Hey, sit here today."

God is not like that He pursues to the ends of the earth. I love that about Him.
If I get still I can hear the callings, feel the draw of Him. "come to me" it almost seems to say. It's rather poetic and romantic.

That's why I hate that story. I don't think it accurately portrays the depth of the relationship God wants to have with us. I don't think it touches, at all, the desire of His heart to have us sit next to Him.

While we might move away, like the lady in the pick-up truck, He never stops pursuing. While we might turn our back, He never stops wanting us. He's always faithful to welcome us home when we return. It's like we've never left. I love that about God.

When we stop, and listen, I think He let's us catch Him.
Even though, He's been in pursuit the entire time.

A Grandpa & His Posse

First let me say that this picture was taken after Mini-Me doused herself in salsa.

Second, It was great seeing Grandpa.

The 3 big kids and I ran to Wal-mart to pick up a few oddities. We were expecting Grandpa at 11am or so. It was just barely 9am when we got to WalMart. The Professor called the cell phone. Grandpa had arrived.

We picked up our items, ran to the bank, stopped by the post office (that was our errand list) and arrived home to find a silver motorcycle in our driveway.

"Who's that belong to?"

I really wanted to casually say "Oh, it's Grandpa." but I said, instead, "you'll have to go see." Let me tell you, it took ever bit of restraint that I had.

They ran in. G & Mini-Me came back out. G was excited, "It's Grandpa!!"
Mini-Me said, "I thought I recognized the motorcycle from Grandpa's picture." I was not ready for her reaction. She was NOT expecting to see him - and it threw her. She wasn't happy and it was all because she wasn't mentally prepared. (I'm so going to have to pray against a reasoning and intellectual spirit) Once she got used to the idea, she was fine to see him.

He only stayed with us during the day. G showed off something fierce. J-man even wanted to show "PawPaw" that he could play a computer game. Mini-Me tried to figure out a way to relate to him...and eventually warmed up to him. Mini-E....this girl warmed up so fast that she gave him her juice cup and asked for more.

The only member of the house that didn't appreciate Grandpa's visit was Maggie, the cat. She absolutely refused to leave the master bedroom. At night, Grandpa slept in the recliner (which was best for his neck) and Maggie went as far as the end of the hallway to...well... um... stare at him. I physically picked her up and carried her to her cat box - and she scurrried, as fast as she could - as low to the grounds as she could get, back to the bedroom.

Grandpa left at 5. The Professor and I were sitting in the front room, listening to the scratches in the cat box by 5:05. I guess she had to be sure he was gone.

All in all it was a good surprise visit. And Grandpa has over 1000 miles to drive - roughly 16 hours - to get home -- and to get his Iron Butt award.

Thanks for coming by, Grandpa!
G'journey home.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Don't tell the kids...

....tomorrow might bring us a visitor.....

This is Grandpa. He lives in Arizona. He should be arriving tomorrow. He's only staying 1 night, though. I know the kids, especially G, will be so excited to see him, that I haven't told them he's coming.

I've been trying to catch up on things that I've neglected to make the visit pleasant. It's kind of a bummer that he can't stay more than a day or so, but he has to get back home and back to work.

Can't wait to see their faces when he "ding-dongs" the doorbell. so .... shhhhhhh....

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

God Bless the USA

Tomorrow's the 4th...

I came out of my cave for just a bit - I'm feeling patriotic.

We Americans are about to celebrate our National "Birthday". While there is a rise in patriotism on that day - it is, pretty much, temporary.

We, as a country, need to return to the God who blessed our nation.
So where do we start?

Have you heard about "THE CALL"?
And if you catch the fire but can't make the trip check out Burn777.

Happy 4th Of July!

Happy Independence Day!

I watched the flag pass by one day,
It fluttered in the breeze.
A young Marine saluted it,
And then he stood at ease..

I looked at him in uniform
So young, so tall, so proud,
With hair cut square and eyes alert
He'd stand out in any crowd.

I thought how many men like him
Had fallen through the years.
How many died on foreign soil
How many mothers' tears?

How many pilots' planes shot down?
How many died at sea
How many foxholes were soldiers' graves?
No, freedom isn't free.
I heard the sound of Taps one night,
When everything was still,
I listened to the bugler play
And felt a sudden chill.
I wondered just how many times
That Taps had meant "Amen,"
When a flag had draped a coffin.
Of a brother or a friend.

I thought of all the children,
Of the mothers and the wives,
Of fathers, sons and husbands
With interrupted lives.
I thought about a graveyard
At the bottom of the sea

Of unmarked graves in Arlington.
No, freedom isn't free.

~author unknown~

Cave Dweller

I'm becoming a cave dweller - at least for a couple of days.
Picture: From Trekearth.com