Wednesday, March 26, 2008
But it also allows me to see how very far I still have to go in some areas, because I just CANNOT hide my frustration at situations like that. I had the 4 kids by myself, with a stroller that is 11 years old and is really starting to break down-both release latches and one brake tab have broken off, and so it is a MAJOR hassle to lug our stuff (lunches, bathing suits, towels, etc.) and the stroller (since with the release latches broken I can't fold it quickly) even with the kids helping out. I was convicted more times than I care to share today that I need to hold my tongue when I am frustrated, since what I say prejudices my kids to the situation too. If I took it all in stride they wouldn't learn to get upset at those things either. It was very humbling-although I am still thinking of writing a letter to complain about the whole experience. (The tram to the employee lot drops off where the taxis park- quite far from the entrance, although there is a second entrance gate there, but going in we needed to go to the main entrance to deal with our passes and by the time we left at 4:30, they had closed that gate, so we had to go out the regular entrance and then around...it's not that I don't need the exercise, but it took us 33 minutes to actually get from the front of the park to our car-a bit excessive I think.)
Anyway, had I NOT had my kids with me, today's blog would have been filled with pictures of all the underwear I saw today at Sea World. It was CRAZY. I read in the paper that somewhere they passed a law that undergarments meant to cover your sex organs could not be visible, and the NAACP was all up in arms saying it would discriminate against baggy pant wearers and result in more blacks in jail, etc. Here's an idea-don't wear pants that are so baggy that others can see your tidy whities. It's not discrimination-it's called modesty. At one point today I had 2 people from different enthnicities and different parties both walking in front of me with there undies in full view. One was a white guy in baggy pants (and comic strip undies) and the other was a black lady in low rise jeans but granny panties. They were light purple stripe with a yellow waist band. These are things I should NOT be able to describe about others. Only you, your spouse, and emergency personnel (should you ever be in a wreck) should ever know what your panties look like. A total stranger at Sea World should not. Worse was the young girl (14 ish) in daisy-duke shorts. Very sad. So then I checked out the rest of her family (again, they were walking in front of us) to see if the trend continued, but mom was wearing white walking shorts...then I noticed WHITE walking shorts...with very visible flesh colored cheeks showing...and a tiny PURPLE triangle visible just above, well, the place where the good Lord split ya, if you know what I mean. Are you kidding me? Does she own a mirror? A purple thong under thin white shorts? that's just NASTY.
Luckily, my kids are totally oblivious to those sorts of things. But we are definitely moving modesty to the top of the discussion list before we visit SW again. People always run around there in bathing suits in the summer. Very strange. It's not like they are swimming with Shamu or something. There is water for the kids to play in, but seriously, if you are an adult and want to wear your bikini to a theme park, visit Aquatica or Wet and Wild for that.
Sorry for the tangent. This blog really would have been funnier with the pictures, but I had the kids with me, and it just seemed wrong to take pictures with the kids in tow.
Beyond the crowds, we had a good day today. Scott held his own despite all the stimulation, and that made the trip enjoyable. We watched Clyde and Seymore-not my favorite at all, but the kids like it. We also did Wild Arctic, which Mimi did for the first time. Sari and I put them on board, then walk around and wait for them immediately as they get off. We have it down to a system now, and the kids get to do the simulator ride while I sit and enjoy a few minutes of (relative) quiet. We got home just in time for AWANA, and then Mimi and I started on her quilt. I also finished a skirt for Sari. Walmart had them on sale for $1, but they were a little short for my comfort, so I added a tier out of fabric I already had. It's cute, and more appropriate now :-).
Well, it's late and I'm off to bed.
Monday, March 24, 2008
Saturday, March 22, 2008
So we decided to change up Easter. Yes, they still get baskets, but they have minimal amounts of candy in them-just enough to say it's there. Along the lines of 10 jelly beans, 5 malted eggs, a few kisses, and a CHEAP hallow bunny (or this year a milky way bunny that is 3" tall and 1/4" thick). BUT, in the end this holiday is second only to Christmas in our house. Why? Well, because in lieu of hidden eggs or baskets, we have an Easter scavenger hunt. For Easter, the kids get those "stocking stuffer" type gifts that are summer appropriate. This year they are all getting sunglasses and new pool goggles (the straps on last summers have disintegrated), and individually they are getting sidewalk chalk, a jump rope, a frisbee, and plastic golf balls. They are also getting one fun thing-for the boys, a large basketball game-(the kind with real, but smaller than normal, balls and hoops that you shoot at and it has a ramp that returns the balls to you-it was $15 at Target marked down from $60 for Christmas) and littlest pet shop critters for the girls. I write clues, and they follow them to find their gifts and basket. Here are this year's clues:
It’s awfully hot in the Florida sun.
You need to wear these when you’re out having fun.
So to find these fancy “shades” don’t go too far,
look in a place that’s as COOL as you are. (sunglasses hidden in the fridge)
You need these for one “class” in school.
They keep your eyes dry when you’re in the pool.
But if you wear them around town, you might get funny looks.
To find them, look where you keep your school books. (pool goggles hidden in their lockers)
These next gifts are sure to delight.
You’ll need to play with them TOGETHER and not ever fight :-).
So all of you go to the back hallway floor-
Girls and boys find your gifts behind two different doors. (the basketball game/littlest pet shop)
One last thing to find this year .
Can you guess? It’s your BASKETS, so have no fear.
Be careful as you walk so you don’t stub your toes…
the baskets are hidden where we wash our clothes.
It's not award winning poetry, but they LOVE it, and even went to bed early tonight-at their insistence-so that they could be well rested for the hunt in the morning. And the "gifts" are mostly things they need and I would be buying anyway. It's also a great way to give them things you might have picked up over the past few months just waiting for the right time to give it to them (like clothes you bought on clearance or Usborne books, etc.).
So that's what we do, and now I need to go get the clues off the printer, and hide them and the gifts for the morning.
Happy Easter, Y'all. He IS risen!
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Once we got it home, it took about 10 minutes for it to have bitten TJ not once but TWICE. It's sooo small, it's really mouse size, and it has SPRINGS instead of legs. This thing can JUMP, so the only way to hold it is to cup your hands around it, and then, you guessed it, you get bitten.
The pet place has a 7 day replacement policy if your hamster croaks, but no contingency plan for biting, so I got the bright idea that maybe getting a second one would help. Or not. Well, besides the fact that they fought the first 12 hours (even though they shared the same small "cage"at the pet store) they have mostly settled in now. Yes, eventually we may need a second cage, but for now they mostly get along-kind of like siblings, LOL.
TJ has given over the original hamster to Mimi, and if she doesn't kill it (she's accidently dropped it twice-see the above referrence to the thin line between containing the hamster and getting bitten) it may just mellow out, and no one has been biten for at least a day.
The new one is named OREO- I'm sure looking at the pictures you can see why. The first one? It's name is
Canada Dry has a new Green Tea Ginger Ale- If you like both of those things, you'll LOVE the combination. YUM, and buy one get one free at Publix until, well, now, since their sale stuff goes Thursday to Wednesday-Sorry!
Starbucks Drinking Chocolate. It's in the candy aisle at Publix. This stuff is SERIOUSLY good. It's small pieces of chocolate that you melt with warm milk, and it is the best cup of hot chocolate you'll ever have.
And finally, Chocolate Croissants from Sunshine Mountain Bakery. Like a small taste of heaven on earth. Okay, I'm hungry now :-).
On that note, the monkey bread they sell at Walmart (it's where the speciality breads like foccacia are) is Da Bomb. A loaf lasts, oh, 5 minutes around here.
Now you guys can be fat and happy too :-).
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Friday, March 14, 2008
She also has been working on her sewing skills. She went to a friend's house last week on Sari's birthday, and she came home with a quilt that she made as a present for Sari that Presley promises Mimi did most of the work on. And as a bonus, Sari LOVES her quilt!
Today, Mimi completely her first tiered skirt. She really did all the major work herself. And, she learned how to make a small hand bag and a beaded barrette. I'm really proud of all the skills she is developing as they are far more advanced than mine were at her age, and I really believe that it glorifies God when we as women can be good keepers of our homes, and that includes being skilled in handiwork.
Finally, she has begun in recent weeks to do painting in art class. That is the next level after pastels. Her first work is shapes, and I think it's very good. She's working on her next picture, some strawberries, and hopefully will finish this week.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Or really, my wall sconce-the electrical kind.
Oh, yes, welcome to my life.
So 20 minutes before I'm supposed to head to Sari's 3 year well check at our Dr.'s (50 minutes away), Mimi comes running to declare that there is smoke coming out of the hall light. Luckily, Marie's husband had just arrived to pick up M, and so he helped me get the breaker turned off (in an old house, finding the right breaker takes flipping every one until you just hit the right one-this one light switch, near our master bedroom, shares a circuit with ONE outlet in the kitchen, our phone outlet, and the washing machine, LOL).
He also gave me the number for an electrician that would not break the bank, which was good because my husband was down in O-town, and couldn't get back any time soon. We have such OLD wiring that it is knob and tube (I think that's what it's called) and it is wrapped in HEMP. Yep, so I could have left the light ON, stood in the hall way, and inhaled deeply and not cared that my house was burning down OR I could have turned the light and breaker off, had the hemp wrapping smouldering in the wall even with the breaker off, and have it spontaneously combust at 2 AM. SO, I opted for the third option, which was cancel the Dr.'s appt., say some ridiculously cruel things to my husband (NOT advisable, by the way...boy do I have some apologizing to do) about the fact hat he wasn't able to come home and deal with this, and call the electrician Marie's husband recommended. The electrician was wonderful. Originally, he wanted to come tomorrow, but when I explained that I needed to know there wasn't a fire lurking in our wall, he LEFT THE JOB HE WAS ON, and drove to our house right away. He found the problem, fixed it as best he could without pulling all new wiring to and from that outlet, and then REFUSED TO BE PAID. I'm still floored. He left his card, and I'm happy to pass on his name. We will certainly use him in the future for our many "to-do" electrical things. THAT was an answer to prayer from a faithful God even when I am behaving poorly, and that's grace, pure and simple.
Here I was angry with my husband about how much calling an electrician would cost us when my husband could probably fix it himself if he would have put the family needs first and just come home. But God's plan is so much better and bigger than ours. He had it all under control. My husband's job keeps the roof over our head, and I know that, but having grace in stressful times is something I really struggle with, so God gives me the opportunity to practice it frequently. Sadly, I'm dense, and I will probably take a long time to mature on that front.
Kay Arthur just had a tidbit on our local radio station about wives and husbands and I heard it 2 days in a row. I know God needed me to hear it and really learn it as truth, but I am a little (okay-a lot) hard-headed in that area. So instead, I live it out with an almost-fire in my wall.
But we can sleep well tonight, and have bought ourselves some time to fix the larger "ancient wiring runs throughout our house" problem. And the electrician had some heat shrinking wire wrap that my husband would not have had that he was able to use to coat the wiring that had begun to smoulder. (Here's proof that God is in the details-the electrician did not have his heat gun with him to use that heat shrinking wrap, but WE had one-our friend loaned it to us a few weeks ago to work on our floor project. SO he was able to use that product, and it was a much better solution than electrical tape would have been.)
Anyway, I'm off to bed for a smoke-free night. Praise God!
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Camera Loaded and ready to go? CHECK
Great Weather for a launch? CHECK
Clouds in the sky that totally obscured the view? DOUBLE CHECK
ARGHHHH. 30 minutes of REM sleep gone for nothing :-). Even at the Cape they could only see the launch for 10-15 seconds before the clouds obscured the view. Us? We couldn't see anything :-(.
But it's up in the sky without a mishap thus far and these onboard cameras are AMAZING-so we can still see, we just can't see.
If I'm a little tired in the morning...well, you know why!
Monday, March 10, 2008
Saturday, March 8, 2008
It's hard to believe, but my baby is 3 today. She is such a blessing to us, and I wanted to share a little about her.
Sari was a bit unexpected. Not unplanned. Not unwanted. Just beyond what we thought possible. We used fertility drugs to conceive our first two children. Then, I had my appendix removed, and within a month I was pregnant-no drugs necessary. Weird huh?
So after TJ was born, my husband felt called to go to seminary, and we began the "discernment process" necessary in the Episcopal church. Becoming an Episcopal priest basically requires you to go back to school full time to get your Masters in Divinity. For 3 years. Did I mention I was a stay at home mom, and he was the breadwinner? But we trusted God to provide for our needs, and so we moved forward. What we didn't think was prudent was for us to purposefully, actively try to get pregnant with another child when we would basically be living on the kindness and generosity of others for the next 3 years. (Silly us for not just TRUSTING GOD to work all that out or for thinking we had any hand in family planning to begin with.)
The rest of that story is for another day, but needless to say my husband did not become a priest, and we are not even Episcopalian anymore. God truly had His hand on that one, as the Episcopal church went way off the scripturally sound deep-end just after that, and thankfully we had not uprooted our lives for nothing. BUT...We had pretty much resigned ourselves to having 3 children. After all, our first 3 kids were 2 years apart, and that spacing was totally blown. And TJ was the easiest "baby" in the world, and he was so independent at 2 1/2 that we had really gotten good at things being easy-even going to Sea World for the day. So it seemed that we were to be a 3 child family.
I just never felt "complete". Friends would get pregnant, and I would find myself jealous. I longed for one more child, and really felt a "hole" in our family.
But...it seemed like another child just wasn't to be.
Well, one night God changed the plan. Or really, He enacted HIS plan. His timing is perfect, and that night I KNEW I was pregnant. I KNEW it was a girl, and I KNEW what her name would be, even though it was never a name we had considered any other time we had been pregnant.
And Sari is the result of that night :-).
She is amazing. She has been a wonderful baby since the moment she was born (at home, but that's another story too). Not to be corny, but Sari completes us. She brings out the best in her oldest brother, and they share an amazing bond. She is the little sister Mimi always wanted. She is the play mate TJ prefers most. She's the one we all compete to spend time with and love on. Her daddy loves nothing more than falling asleep with her, and I love that she is the biggest cuddler, and she loves to cuddle with me. I can't imagine our lives without her.
I wanted really good pictures to post, but my husband is camping with TJ in 35 degree weather, and so I can't ask him where to find the pictures on my new computer (they are not in the photo program). The pictures at the top of the post are from the Science Center a few weeks ago.
Monday, March 3, 2008
I now have 3 full jars and a fridge container full of Strawberry-Pineapple jam and 4 jars of plain Strawberry. I'd love to have more put up, but we'll see if I get that far. Right now I am stiff, and hot, and DONE, so I'm not really enthusiastic about more jam, but if we go pick more maybe I'll make some more.
I'm off to bed.
Or really, to finish my Maeve Binchey book, which I am thoroughly enjoying.
Sunday, March 2, 2008
Then after that, we came home to find a list of things I needed to go to Lowes to get so my husband could work more on the loft bed. His sanding belt for the belt sander broke, and we needed stain too, so after Aunt L brought Bam-Bam, and after Mimi left with R for the night (in TAMPA) I went to Lowes. Of course, I saw EVERYONE I know there, and it took FOREVER. But I got red stain for TJ's loft, just like he wanted, I bought some plants for the front bed, and I found (with help) the belt for the belt sander, and got a new mailbox, since ours was HIT a week after we got it, and the broken door that resulted has finally given up and won't stay on.
When I got home, Bam-Bam, Sari, and TJ all helped me plant the new plants (and got FILTHY dirty, and TOTALLY stressed me out since there are stairs 2 feet from that planter, and it is a very narrow work space for so many little people.) My husband went to set-up for church. After we got the plants in the ground, I brought the kids inside and ran bath water for the little ones. Laur had asked me to cut Bam-Bam's hair, so I stripped his shirt off and started cutting while Sari was in the tub, then he joined her (looking a bit like a small Yeti with all the hair that was covering him from the hair cut). I got Sari washed up, and had just gotten Bam-Bam's hair lathered with our Shampoo Soap (which is not no-more-tears, but rather "bring-a-grown-man-to-tears" if it gets in your eyes) when TJ comes running from across the house.
And dripping copious amounts of blood on the CARPET outside the bathroom door.
So I scream at him to come in the bathroom, and he comes and drips copious amounts of blood into Bam-Bam's bath water.
Yeah. It was gross.
Nothing like hairy, bloody water. YUCK!
So now Bam-Bam, who hates baths anyway, is freaked out by his screaming, bleeding cousin, and his pink-ish bath water. And I'm right there with him on that one, but we have to wash the soap out of his hair.
He's having none of this "lean you head back" stuff. So out of desperation, I grab a handful of hair, pull his head back, turn on the water, rinse his hair with COLD (but fresh) water coming out of the tub, and,with the painful-soap-in-the-eye-crisis now averted, I turn my attention to...
MY bloody CARPET.
I quickly run for the Resolve, spray the spots with the blood, scream for Scott above the din of Bam-Bam and TJ also screaming, and then scream AT Scott for the details while he protests adamantly that it was an accident. (And I mean scream...like the "can't talk in a normal voice later because you screamed so loud" type screaming. It was not pretty)
At this point, "accident" or "on purpose" is irrelevant. What I need to know is a) is there blood on the rest of the carpet? and b) what happened?
I get from Scott that it involves Scott's sword from the Renaissance fair, and TJ's mouth being int he wrong place at the wrong time. Oh, and yes, there is more blood. So I give him the Resolve, the paper towels, and the fear of GOD, and he goes off to clean the mess.
Then I finally turn my attentions to TJ. All of the above has taken maybe 3 minutes so far, so he's still dripping blood over the tub. It turns out, he has a gash on the outside of his lip, a small section on top of his lip that's intact, and then a matching gash in the inside of his lip. Oh, and the tooth he broke horribly as a baby? There's a gash in the gum above it and at the gum line. He's bleeding everywhere, did I mention that yet?
And, then, there's a knock at the door. It's Laur, Bam-Bam's mom. I give her the cliff notes version, and lead her to the bathroom where poor Bam-Bam is still sitting in the nasty tub. Yep, some Aunt I am. We get him hosed off and out of there. Laur takes over comforting him, and I turn back to TJ. I get him some ice in some paper towels, and we get the flow of blood staunched. It looks yucky, but not really deep enough for a trip to the ER. (I'm not really reactionary...for my kids to get a trip to the ER, their lip would have to be dangling off.) That's all good because, did I mention, my husband and I were trading babysitting services with Laur so we could go out to dinner? Yep, all this chaos was HERS to deal with. And then she wants to know what I have planned for supper...
It is God's providence that we always have boxes of Mac and Cheese in our house :-).
So we did go out. It was about 30 minutes later, the mac and cheese was made, the bleeding was mostly stopped, and my husband, who had missed all this, was home again. He and I went to Red Lobster, and as a bonus, the meal was free since I had some gift cards for donating blood. Better still, we had more than enough to cover the meal, but not enough to come back again, so we left our waitress a $9 tip on a $30 meal. It feels good to pay it forward :-).
I had the BEST fish I have ever had. Really. YUM YUM. Almost better than chocolate. Equal with the best steak I've ever eaten. It was that good.
While we were gone, Laur had my mom and step dad (she's and RN, he's a PA) come look at TJ's lip, but it really was fine, and didn't need stitches. It just took it a while to finally stop bleeding. Today, TJ looks a little like the walking wounded, but he'll make it. He says his tooth is loose, but they told us 5 years ago when he broke it at church on Easter morning that with the crown they were putting on, we might get 3 months or we might get 3 years with the tooth, so really, we are in bonus territory, and at 6 1/2 he can lose that tooth with no problems, so we'll see what happens.
And that is just a day in the life of our family :-). The loft still isn't finished, my computer has no more memory, but my kids are alive, and they are all healthy, so life is good. All my kids are back under my roof (Mimi had a blast in Tampa, and she was totally missing R, so it was good that they got to visit). The mouth injury really was just a horrible accident. Scott was hitting a box with his sword (which is wooden, and not really that sharp, but he was not supposed to have it anyway), and TJ bent down to pick up his apple off the floor just at Scott swung the sword back to attack the box again. Sword tip met with apple filled mouth, and the rest is history. They've reconciled, and the sword has a new, safe, hidden location for a while.
Still, I look around me and see all the things people are suffering from, and I know I am blessed. Even if, worst case scenario, I were to have something terrible and life threatening, I have eternal life, and that is a source of great comfort. I don't know how people have hope if they don't have a relationship with Jesus. I KNOW I will be healed...some day, in God's perfect timing, maybe in the next life, but I WILL be healed. I can hold out because I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.