Saturday, August 23, 2008

Wanna hear a dirty Joke?

Once upon a time, there was a family

And they all fell into the mud. Even the dog.

We went hiking today. Followed a creek. Swam in the creek. Watched the minnows and the crawdads. Got lost. Talked to a stanger who let us know we were way lost. Way way lost. Followed the creek back. Found a skunk. I mean, Heidi found a skunk. And now the whole house smells. Yuck.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Curiosity killed the cat.

Okay, so it's another post about my kids. Sue me. Ever since we put the house on the market, it has completely disinterested me. Who wants to write a post about decorating walls in white paint? Not me.

"Today I painted my walls white. Then I wiped down the bathroom mirror and made sure the garbage cans were empty. Oh, and I made sure the medicines in the medicine cabinet were obsessively lined up, just in case some nosey buyer opens it up to see what ails our family. Midrin, Tylenol, Advil, Aleve, Relepax. Hmmm. It's a headachey sort of family."

See. THAT was BORING. And my kids aren't. Maybe I should change the subtitle of my blog to "Toasty Toes: the adventures of surviving the insanely insane antics of my insane children"

Case in point: Weston just brought me this really cool picture. "Stop typing." he says. "Stop typing and look what I drew."
I took a blogging break and looked. He may need a shrink. I saw airplanes. And people. Very dead, very bloody people. All shot down by the firey rockets that were exploding from the belly of the planes.

How do you even respond to something like that???? "Very cool" just does not seem to do it justice.

Anyhow. That bit of insanity was just an interruption. The real insanity started this morning.

Marcus: What makes the fog?
Me: I don't know.
Marcus: Well can't you look it up? Get off your message board and find out what makes the fog.

Marcus: Wow, it sure rained suddenly. I wonder why? Oh, and what is salt made of?
Me: Sodium.
Marcus: What's sodium?
Me: Salt.
Marcus: You are unreasonable.
Me: ummmm.
Marcus: What does unreasonable mean?

Marcus: What is this? (he hold up a spoon)
Me: (cocking my eyebrow) A spoon.
Marcus: No I mean, it's metal. What kind.
Me: sil... (and the I realize I'm not sure I have even SEEN a real piece of silverware, much less OWNED one). It's just metal.
Marcus: I KNOW. Metal. yeah, Yeah. What kind?

Marcus: Why do we need to know how to write. And what makes the moon look white? And what is dog hair made of? And if I chew this piece of wood up can I make paper out of it? And does farts count as wind? What would happen if I drank pee? When will I die? What would happen if I dropped my pillow out of the window? What would happen if I droped Weston out of the window? What would happen if I rode on the roof of a car? Why do cars have roofs? What would happen if I rode on the roof of a car that did not have a roof?
Me: ummmmm.

Marcus: You are a bad teacher. Good teachers know stuff, or at least want to find stuff out. You are just lazy and don't care what stuff is.
Me: ummmm
Marcus: (Through peals of laughter.) Did I drive you nuts? Did I? Did I? I was trying to drive you nuts with all my questions. Did it work? Did it work?

We will be holding a memorial service for Marcus later this evening. All are welcome.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Oh so random.

I have a jumbledness of thoughts today. Let me vomit them out at you.

We have a new housemate. My cousin Lindsey has moved in after my oh so very successful attempt at matchmaking was oh so very successful. Since she lived two states away from the oh so successful match, she has moved into the toasty toes mansion. It smells in our house, very much like a young lady in love. Which, in case you didn't know, smells like room fragrance and perfume. Add in some hairspray and you have the smell of love. Or, maybe that is just the general smell of teenage/young adulthood.

I have rediscovered the joy of peanut butter balls. The food rage of 1980 government issue food has now arrived at my house. Equal amounts of peanut butter, powdered milk, and honey. Yummy. I was going to take a picture, but my kids ate them all, and besides that, I was feeling to lazy to find my camera.

I have two good friends who are grieving loved ones. Tara lost her doggy, Stan, yesterday to what was most likely a brain tumor. It was heartbreaking.

And my friend Becki, who coordinates the TeenMops group has lost her daughter. Kari was young. My age. With two young boys. It is a sobering thought and my heart aches for Becki, as well as those two little boys. I would ask the question, "Why"? But the answer seems to futile, so I don;t even bother asking.

Esther wants to know when our Heidi dog will die. Weston wants to know if we can wave a magic wand over Stan and make him come back alive. All of them are now worried that I will up and die at any moment.

Homeschooling has resumed, and is no fun at all for anyone at all. I already want to quit. Marcus already has quit. He is a third grade drop-out. I keep reminding myself how many times I was a third grade drop-out myself. And how many times my own mother wanted to quit teaching me. And yet, here I am, with a great education (bad spelling and penchant for sentence fragments not withstanding...) and there my mother is, sitting in Ohio, looking at her vegetable garden and sipping hot tea.
I bet she does not miss the yelling, the constant search for the ever-lost pencils, or the chewed up erasers. I bet she is relived that she will never have to argue the value of multiplication tables or clear steady handwriting again.
Which is reassuring. I am only going to be a teacher for so long. One day I will have my own garden to sit in. one day I will never again have to hear two hours of whining about what would amount to thirty seconds of work.

And when I think of Becki, whose daughter has just gone to be the Lord. i feel guilty for wanting to speed along time. I think about all these random moments of peanut butter balls, new housemates, screaming and crying and ripping out of hair over the requirement of writing two sentences...and I decide to relish them.

At least for right now. At least for as long as I write this post.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Why didn't I think of that?

Remember the "I'm not touching you" game?

Come on, you remember it.
You're in the back seat of a volkswagon rabbit. There's three of you. Far too many to be squashed into such a small backseat. It's summer time and air conditioning either has not been invented yet, or your dad thinks he can save money by not running it.

It's so hot that your legs are slippery and your sister's slippery legs are rubbing up against yours. It's gross, and you realize that she has a millimeter more space than you do.

"MOM" you yell. "She's TOUCHING me."
Mom looks in the rearview mirror and sighs. "Stop touching her." she says.
And your sister gets revenge. She gets so close to your face you can smell her peanut butter breath and she pokes her finger- just almost touching you.
"I'm not touching you." she taunts, just under her breath. "I'm not touching you."

Last time you brought attention to her evil ways, mom took a mad swipe with her backhand, towards the back seat. When mom did that, there was no target. Her backseat handswipe was not punishment- just a point maker. It meant she had all she could take.
In this case, you realize that you would be the closest target and so you keep your mouth shut and ride the rest of the drive home from Mega Market with your sister's finger just a centimeter away from your face, and her continuing to taunt you.
"I'm not touching you." "I'm not touching you."

You remember now, don't you?

Anyhow. This scene played itself out in my van. Weston pokes at Esther's face. "I'm not touching you," he says to her.
I glanced into my rearview mirror, ready to scold him for aggravating his sister.
But she was already past the point of aggravation. I think she has a short fuse.
She walloped him. BAM, BAM, BAM.
All the while, screaming...

Anyhow, I am pretty sure no one is going to play the "I'm not touching you" game with Esther again.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

The meaning of compassion.

While at our missionary training, the idea of beggars came up. It's a hard subject. No one really wants to deal with it. No one really wants to talk about it. There are no real answers, only difficult questions, and so, everyone avoids it. Or speaks about it in vague language.
I can speak. I have no fear. Beggars. No matter who they are, are humans. Created, just as I am, in the image of the Creator. Even the ones who are scams. Even the ones who trade their pennies and dollars in for liqueur and cigarettes.

When I became a child of Christ, I became a new creation- with new eyes.

For so long I have not been able to explain why the talk of beggars as scum makes me so angry with my brothers and sisters in the Lord. No one wants to be a doormat. No one wants to be ripped off. Everyone has better things to do than to waste time thinking about the man at the end of the exit ramp holding up a sign. Everyone would rather focus on the fact that he is wearing name brand tennis shoes, and that he looks like he belongs on sexual offender list.

But. Christ himself was not afraid to talk about this issue. He was not afraid to see it for what it is, and not afraid to do something about it.
Matthew 25:41-45
"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.'
"They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?'
"He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'
but the righteous to eternal life."

My friend Val posted this video on her blog. My heart leaped for joy, because it illustrated so perfectly what I hold to be truth.


The way we see things can change the world.
Who is a beggar?
Just a chance. For us to practice our new vision.

It's a beautiful day. And I can see it.

Blackberry Communication

We set off to pick peaches. I try to freeze enough every summer to last us all winter. It never works.
So this year I started early.
"Sure" they said. "Peaches are perfect right now."
So, I pushed my luck with blackberries.
"Well, ummm" they murmered. "You can pick if'n you want, but they ain't quite ready yet."

They obviously didn't have a clue. It was far too early for the peaches. They were massive in size, but hard as rocks. Anything that was ripe had been picked by people who had arrived with the first glint of the sun.
We barely picked enough to make it through the day.

But the blackberries! Oh my! They were black as tar and literally bursting with sweet/tart juiciness. There was no one else picking and so the kids and I had the run of the vines. We ate blackberries until our teeth were full of seeds. I think the whites of my eyes took on a purple glaze.

I don't freeze the blackberries. We enjoy blackberry jam FAR too much. So we came home and spent the morning canning.
Like my arrangement of jars? I was out of canning jars and made do with what I had. Since it was freezer jam, I could do this. They don't look pretty on the outside, but I am pretty sure no one is going to care.

Monday, August 04, 2008

How to make dinner from nothing: and a side of whine

Actually, I went to the store, but didn't plan out tonight's dinner before I went so I was left scrambling last minute to figure out what to feed the family. What I actually wanted to feed them was dogfood. Why?
a. It a kazillion billion degrees hot in St Louis and I didn't want to cook
b. It's not like they would actually APPRECIATE whatever I decided to make.
c. I am grumpy. see points A and B.

Some kind woman gave me a link to THIS WONDERFUL LIFE SAVING SITE and I was able to type in everything I had on hand, and it pulled up recipes for me.

Here is what I landed on. I would have gotten a picture but:
a. It was too hot to hang a camera strap around my neck
b. It was eaten far to quickly to even locate my camera
c. blog readers should not be so picky about pictures, and learn to use their imaginations. Imagine this: Shredded chicken, can of corn, ranch dressing, and cheese. Rolled up in a corn tortilla. Oh, I added to the recipe. It seemed a bit plain.

The dog ate one. He loved it. The kids ate three. Without complaining. Until after dinner. After dinner the griping ensued.
"I want to play wii"
"Can I have ice cream?"
"Why can't I have icecream?"
"You are the meanest ever mommy in the widest whole world."
"Why do the adults get to be in charge and make all the decisions?"
"Can I have a piece of bubblegum?"
"WHY can't I have a piece of bubblegum?"
"Why do YOU get a piece of bubblegum?"
"Marcus hit me!"
"Esther hit me"
"Weston hit me."
"Mommy, why do you look like you want to hit me."
"Esther is picking her nose. It's gross. make her stop."
"It's so boring. SOOOOOOO boring. There is NOTHING to do. Life is the most boring thing in the world ever."
"Can't I pleeeeaaaassseeee have icecream?"


I have yet to duct tape the kids to a wall, with a sock in their mouths. Though, I have threatened it. Bedtime will be here in a mere 60 minutes. And I am going to play wii. While eating and icecream. And chewing bubblegum.

Saturday, August 02, 2008


1 Computer geek who is serious and shy + 1 drama queen who can't keep her mouth shut
1 neat freak who loves order and schedules + 1 messy woman who flies, always, by the seat of her pants
1 lover of finance who ENJOYS getting bills + 1 crazy mad woman who loses interest as soon as a number is even mentioned
1 man driven by duty and responsibility + 1 girl who follows the sound of fun and the noise of change

eleven years of crazy happiness.
eleven interesting years... for sure. You just can't be all that boring with that kind of a pair.

So, Dustan. Would you do it again? Why the raised eyebrow? You better say yes or I will put snot in all your socks.