Thursday, December 29, 2005

Reading Readiness

Part of the fun of having an elementary education degree is that I get to watch and analyze Emmy as she learns and grows. It's fascinating to watch her go through certain pre-reading stages. Today she was retelling a story that she just heard for the first time yesterday. She would look at the clues in the pictures on a page and tell what she remembered from that page. It was great! She got all the main points and some of the special wording and phrasing. It's so neat to see her do these things.

I had fun at Half Price Books with my Christmas gift card. I like to go to the paperback picture book section because often they are only 2 or 3 dollars (opposed to $15 if it was a new hardback) and sometimes you can find actual good literature in amongst the Star Wars storybooks. I found 4 or 5 really good ones. The only problem was then they were closing and I didn't get my adult fiction. But there's still $$ on my gift card for later!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

My sweet boy


Almost 1 year old, and getting cuter by the day.
I'm glad kids get more cute rather than less, because then you always get to look ahead rather than to the past.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Christmas Day...

Well half the presents have been opened- we're waiting for my sister to get here before we do the rest. The trash has almost all been picked up, and I think Emmy came out ahead of the game.

I got new cordless phones for the house (very cool considering our old one had punch spilled on it and was never the same) and a fondue pot. I got chocolate for the fondue pot and yellow towels for the upstairs bathroom. I got stamping supplies and a puzzle. I got a book and walkie talkies. Woo hoo! Pretty cool.

Anyway I think I need to go brush my hair and teeth. Y'all have a blessed day!

Friday, December 23, 2005

Did I mention?

I'm also supposed to be leading caroling tonight for a nursing home, and my voice is sore and hurting. Hmm. That will be interesting.

Tooth #3 and other things

Another cold is making its way through our house, making baby miserable and everyone else pretty yucky too. I was underdosing him for a couple days and couldn't figure out why it wasn't helping... Silly me. But I think he's on the mend, and if I can just get more than 5 hours of sleep a night I probably won't get much more sick.

Tooth # 3 cut the other day so now Denali has 2 on the bottom and 1 on the top, but they are SO SLOW at moving that you still have to look pretty closely to see them.

My youngest sister Ruth is visiting this week from CA. We've had a nice time, although I wish we had a better front to present than a sick children one. She's very good at cleaning kitchens!

Tomorrow about 20 people will be here for a party, so today's goals are:
do all the laundry
clean the whole house
buy corn syrup (who knew it could get mold?)
make 2 pecan pies

I don't think it's too optimistic, do you? Luckily Joel is off work so maybe he can help me with some of that.

Ruth's Christmas present is not going to be ready by Christmas. It's a T-shirt quilt, and it will just have to wait. I just don't have the time.

The weather is pleasantly cool, perfect for raking and cleaning out flowerbeds. I wish I had more time for my garden. I have a halfway-dug bed in the back that I really want to plant wildflowers in. But there just isn't time.

Joel got to work some more on his website yesterday and it made him very happy. You can now enter things other than books and videos. If you have a minute, go check it out and see what you think about the whole idea.
borrowingcircle.com

Anyway I need to go start cleaning or something. Have a nice day!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Another Tooth

#2 cut today. #1 was front middle left bottom, #2 is front middle left top.

Online Customer Support

I am online asking some random person about my SBC Yahoo! account. It is weird because it is live on a chatting service but the person is obviously ESL (he doesn't speak English as a first language). I wonder where in the world he is?

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Exercise

Today for the first time in my life I have passed into the "zone." You know when you're exercising and you get tired and hot and it's hard but you keep on doing it and then suddenly it's almost fun and you don't want to stop and you go for a lot longer? That had NEVER happened to me. I guess I'm too much of a quitter because I always stopped first, or didn't do a form of exercise where that would happen quickly enough. Today I went on an elliptical trainer for the second day in a row. Yesterday I managed 8 minutes before going over to the treadmill. Today I went 16 minutes and the last half I was just going minute by minute. Hurray for exercise (is that really me talking?)!

Teeth and Shoes

Denali has finally cut his first tooth, and #2-4 are not too far behind. These teeth have looked imminent for months, so it's nice to know he will actually get some.

Emlyn is wearing her $7 shoes. That's right. $7. That's fairly cheap as far as kids' shoes go. They are perfect. And they were on sale.

Gotta go to the gym.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Crying

A few minutes ago, my daughter was crying because she wanted the bunny that we gave away over a year ago. My son was crying because I wouldn't nurse him (weaning is such fun!). I almost started crying myself, but I restrained myself. Now they are playing happily. Sometimes I think my life is a little bit crazy.

You should hear Emmy telling the story of how she found Denali's shoe.
"I was putting on my boots, and I didn't feel anything in this one (lifts left leg). Then I put on my other boot on this foot (lifts right leg). And there was something there! And I was like what's in my boot? And it was Denali's shoe!"

Yes, that's right. My 3 1/2 year old uses "like" as a regular part of her vocabulary. She will fit right in if we, like, ever move back to CA.

My legs are SO DRY! It's winter and I need to shave and that always makes my legs very itchy and dry. I try not to scratch but it's a losing battle.

I think I need to buy some formula (gasp!). If we are down to one nursing a day, and he's not a year old, I think I need to supplement with formula. This will be the first time I have ever purchased a can. Neither of my children have ever had formula.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

More Pictures

Here's my baby eating big boy food. Soon he will be one and walking and I will have to call him a toddler! :(


We bundled up and walked to the post office the other morning- here's the cute kids in their warm clothes.


Our leaning, goofy Christmas tree. This year we decided to get one with personality.


Denali and Emmy putting the angel on the tree as a finishing touch. That's my sister on the left.


Due to popular demand I am posting more pictures. I would post pictures of my kids all the time because I think they're cute, but when others request them, well what can you do?

Pop Rocks

My daughter is having a "pop rock drink." She put pop rocks in a glass of water. Oh the joys of experimentation. I am just too timid to try new food things like she does.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Mexico Pictures




These pictures are of a pool in the contemporary art museum in Monterrey. For 14 of the 15 minute cycle, the water is almost completely still, with a trickle of water coming into it. Basically it's enough to keep the tiles wet. But for 1 minute every 15 minutes, a huge gush of water comes out of a pipe in the wall and sets off amazing waves and ripples. Watching them collide and meet in different ways truly is an art form. We took some pictures, although they don't do the pool justice.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Mexico



Here's my favorite picture from Mexico. There are lots more but I like the foreground/background thing going on.

EDIT: I took this picture.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Things are Getting Accomplished

The tree is up. It leans a little and is funny shaped, but it's cute anyway.

The cards have been printed and are undergoing processing to be sent out shortly. They turned out quite nicely despite my perfectionism.

The first batch of cookies have been made and turned out decent, if not wonderful.

The children are in bed.

The baby shower is over.

The toys mostly got picked up due to reverse psychology (that was fun!).

Off to do more cards!

Friday, December 02, 2005

ARRGGHH!!

So we spent a lot of money to buy the copyright for our Christmas pictures this year so we could print our own cards or whatever we wanted to.

Then our printer decided it didn't want to print as high a quality prints as we think it should. So I started looking online to see who would let me print our own cards on their site. It's not looking good, folks.

Our photographer evidently sized our pictures funny so they just don't look right! Either there's too much dead space around us, or the top of Joel's head is cut off. I'm really frustrated right now.

EDIT: Well I sent the latest version to my mom and she said it's beautiful (think she's biased?) and so I went ahead and ordered some from Costco (the cheapest online service). I hope they turn out well- I'll let you know tomorrow when I get them. Pretty fast, huh?

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Christmas Tree!

We're gonna get a Christmas tree, and I am excited! This will help the house feel more like a holiday rather than a tornado zone.

Home Again

We are safely home from Mexico.
The trip had all the elements for an epic journey-
New romance/love
Danger (in the form of rock climbing and driving in Monterrey)
Adventure (lots of hikes and journeys to new places)
Sorrow (we spent too much money and had to fix our car down there)
Surprises (not quite as many amenities as I had been led to believe)

All in all we had a great time and we are back home.
Here are some things I am thankful for:
towels
carpets
heaters and air conditioners
HEB
good friends
dry floors
pinatas
flowers
wellness

Denali seems to have picked up a bug along the way but he is getting better. He's also talking ("na na" means food) and cruising.
Emmy is just as sprightly as ever and has figured out how to jump off of things (finally at 3 1/2).

Anyway here comes the day!

Friday, November 18, 2005

Mexico

We are traveling to Mexico tomorrow and will be there for 9 days.
I'm a bit apprehensive. I've never been and all the movies have kidnapping and drugs.
Joel assures me that since we will be just outside of Monterrey, we won't have those problems. Anyway though we are taking the kids and Joel's dad. I'll hopefully post pictures and let you know how it turned out when we get back.

Monday, November 14, 2005

cleaning

as I was cleaning inside, vacuuming the couch even, Emmy was on the back porch "cleaning." She used a container of mud to "clean" her slide and toys. I'm so glad I don't care!

BARF

Looks like my barf luck has run out.
Seems like everywhere we go someone throws up in front of us or the next day. So far we had avoided barfing ourselves but it looks like we've caught it now too.
Emmy in the bathroom.
Luckily Denali has had a flu shot this year so if it's the flu hopefully he won't get it.
Maybe it was a fluke.
So much for the gym and the library. I needed to clean my house anyway...

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Maps

Why do online interactive direction-giving websites always assume that you want to use the most crowded interstate in TX instead of taking back roads?

Today's Trip

Today the kids and my sister and I are off to North Texas to visit my mom's family. There are a whole passel of them up there and we are having a birthday party for one of them. I hope to see a lot of cousins and aunts and uncles and everyone. Even though we all live in Texas, it seems like I am not able to visit with them enough. It's just tough to haul kids around in a car, and Texas is a pretty big state.

At any rate we are going today, and then next weekend our immediate family is driving down to Monterrey Mexico for some good rock climbing fun. We will be gone the entire week of Thanksgiving- Saturday to Sunday. We will miss another get-together with my mom's family but we will hopefully have a great time.

The weather this morning and the past few mornings has been similar to the weather in the city where I grew up, but instead of being cloudy and humid and cool (60's) all day it burns off and becomes 80. That's right folks. 80 in November. We have not turned our a/c off for the "winter" yet.

And last night there was a sustained buzzing alarm thing going off at the school behind us for multiple hours in the middle of the night. I called the non-emergency line at the police station to tell them about it but it didn't seem to make a difference. So yes, up again in the middle of the night, and here I get to drive all day. Oh well. That's what Dr. Peppers are for, right?

Well, I need to get moving. Got a meeting at church.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Our Family Portrait


Our church is making a directory and they sold us some pictures- actually they sold us the copyright to the pics so we can use them for Christmas. We got a whole CD of them.

A Lovely Weekend

-My weekend was just lovely.
On Saturday Joel took Emmy rock climbing and left me with Denali (the easiest baby in the world). He was gone from 9:30 until 5:00. That gave me 5 1/2 hours when D was asleep and all I had to do was sit around and sleep, or read, or clean (yeah right!). I also got to go to Target and do grocery shopping with only one kid.
At 5:00 I met Joel at Grace's house and we left BOTH kids there overnight. Joel and I went out to eat and then we came home and sat in the hot tub for a while and just talked. It was so nice!
I slept in until 7:30 on Sunday morning and then went to pick up the kids and take them to church. At church I taught 4th and 5th graders while my kids were watched by other people. Then after church I had a meeting and Joel took the kids home for a nap. That's right people. I was virtually 3-year-old-free from 9:30 on Sat. to 2:00 on Sunday. It was heaven. There was so much silence, and empty time, and just all-around peace.
-Denali has started clapping his hands (a good thing because I told the nurse he was clapping a month ago at his 9 month checkup), pulling up on everything, and he's got a new pair of Robeez, his first.
-Tonight I have a Pampered Chef party where between 1 and 3 people are coming. Do you ever feel like a failure where multi-level-marketing parties are concerned? Sometimes I think I can have a successful party and then this happens. The most I've ever had has been 7. Oh well.
-We rented Fraggle Rock off of Netflix. It's a fun show. The only problem is I want to watch it too and so it's not a good babysitter.
-It's really amazing how many links you can put into one post.
-Emmy and I have been learning letters. Each day we focus on one letter and do all sorts of things to learn it. Her favorite part is starfall.com, a great place online where kiddos learn about reading.
-I walked to Walgreens with the kids in the heat (85) to get a Dr. Pepper. They were OUT. What? A convenience store out of Dr. P? That was the whole purpose of my walk. So after putting up a fuss I walked across the street to KFC and bought one there. I couldn't believe it. The employees probably thought I was loony, but really, maybe they ought to stock more. None of the other sodas were out.
-Anyway I still have a house to clean for my grand party of 3, laundry to shuffle, and a daughter to entertain. You all have a great day.

Monday, November 07, 2005

My Faults

All right. I know there are some blind spots I have as regards to my personality. Please read this article, and then if you know of anything in my attitude that needs improvement, please tell me. I promise I won't be mad at you. :)

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Ramblings on Race and Culture

I wanted to share what I wrote in response to a friend's live journal entry. It doesn't make a lot of sense, but maybe you can get an idea of what I'm talking about.

Back in high school I was annoyed at the whole race question. My view was: we are all in America now; why do we have to worry about it? Why do non-whites get special treatment because of it? I don't know anything about my heritage (not much anyway), so why should others care? Since then I've come to realize that some of it is jealousy; I would love to be able to say "I'm 1/5 Irish, 2/5 English, 1/5 Norweigian, and 1/5 Spanish" or whatever. But I can't. I just know that I'm a white mongrel.

I usually just say white, and then that I don't know which countries. I am a few generations removed from immigrating anyway. But sometimes I think I'm missing something. I see some families with a very rich heritage from their ethnicities and I think that's neat. On the other hand, our family has heritage from other things (Christianity being one of them), and I think heritage of some kind, rituals, etc, are important even if they are not tied up with the color of your skin.

Something a little off-topic-
My daughter currently hangs out with kids of some varying ethnicities, but mostly white. The common tie is that all the parents are white collar, middle to upper class Texans, and educated. Most of the moms stay at home or have jobs that mean the kids are in day care because they want them to be not because they have to be. They are concerned with which preschool to send their children to, whether they are getting enriching field trips, and whether their posture is healthy (I'm not kidding here, and these are parents of 3 year old and younger). But when she goes to public school in 2 years, her primary classmates will be those from our neighborhood- mostly blue collar, definitely mixed ethnicities, usually both parents work, and maybe more TV watching rather than field trips to the ice cream factory. Their primary concern is whether the bills will be paid.

I want Emmy to fit in in both places, and to not judge those she hangs out with. I hope that will be the case. I want to foster relationships with her future classmates before she starts school, but it's hard when the parents who speak English are often at work and the grandparents don't speak English.

So that's a little bit of my world. Don't know how much sense it made.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Grr.

Fruit and veggie puffs have forever ruined my son towards cheerios. He won't eat the cheerios! Aren't babies supposed to love cheerios? He'll eat the puffs though. That's annoying.

I Hate

Daylight Savings Time.

I hate it.

I wish the inventors of it had never been born.

Date Night Picture


We just got our picture from our date night a few weeks ago. Since Joel and I are not real cowboys, we decided to be a little silly. Here's how we were dressed. Notice the straw.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Dish Network

Dish Network has sent me some promotional items and coupons. If you have been wanting to sign up, tell me, and I'll send you these things. It benefits both of us.

Cutting



Emlyn is 3 and obsessed with cutting paper. She luckily only cuts paper, but it has been driving me crazy- she's always asking for paper to cut.

The other day I finally figured it out- give her catalogs. We get a million catalogs all the time, and there's always cool pictures in there. Yesterday I got an Oriental Trading Company catalog, and that has been perfect for her because there's about a million pictures of toys for her to cut out.

Later if we have energy we can glue the pictures to other paper.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Conversations with God

Lately God and I have been having conversations at around 6 in the morning. Here's how most of them go.

Me: I really want to go back to sleep! Why do these kids have to wake up at 6 every morning? It's driving me crazy! All I want right now is sleep.

God: Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.

Me: I could do my quiet time some other time! I really want sleep. Can't you make those kids sleep longer? I mean I know they went back to sleep but I'm so tired!

God: Seek me first. This is a good time to spend with me. Do you see how quiet it is? So peaceful. You could make this into a habit. The kids already have. Quit fighting it and spend time with me.

Me: You do have a point. I guess I could set my alarm for 6 so the kids won't wake me up and get me mad at them. 6 isn't that early, anyway.

God: There ya go. Maybe eventually you will want to get up early in the morning with me. And you know the kids will eventually get this sleep thing worked out. All in my time.

Me: All right. Well, it's 7 now. Here come the kiddos. See you tomorrow God!


Now you and I both know that it's not a real conversation in the world's point of view. But I really feel that I am being led to this quiet time thing. After all, I had been praying for the time and dedication to do this. Looks like God found a time in my schedule for me. Sigh. It is awfully early though.

Camping




Well we did have a good time camping. We really wished for a larger vehicle, though. The only person unencumbered by stuff was the driver.

We went down to South Texas- it was very pretty and the weather was perfect for camping. Both of the kids did well and slept better than I did.

Now I'm trying to get the house in shape. We still have a lot of camping equipment to put away and laundry to do, although I did most of the laundry today. This week I have Ladies Bible Class on Wednesday, lunch with sis and small group for church at our house on Thursday, a baby shower at our house on Friday, and then Saturday my cousin is coming into town and it's Fall Festival at our church. Wow! A lot of stuff. I know it's boring.

Emmy got her first library card today. She was very excited about it. Of course I will be keeping track of it for like 3 more years, but it's the principle of the thing I think.

Well this has been such a boring entry I don't even know if I'll publish it.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Back from Camping

We had fun camping. I will try to post some pics later. Right now I am looking at this afternoon and cringing. Too many things to do!

Friday, October 21, 2005

Camping, Packing, Kids


Well.
We are going camping, supposedly leaving in an hour and a half.
Ha.
The kids are going psycho (em didn't sleep) and I am going crazy. Can we get in the car without me yelling?

Our car as usual will be stuffed to the gills, as we have a honda accord and lots of gear. this is one of those times, about every 6 mos, when I wish we had a truck or SUV. But the rest of the time I love our car.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Tired

Please pray for me today.
I am so tired and I have about 100 responsibilities at Ladies Bible Class and I really just don't feel like going. I need some sleep. I have a half hour before I'm supposed to leave and things around here are just chaotic. Emmy just almost strangled Denali and I just want to give up.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Party!


6 am party at our house!
Yes, it was fun to have Amy's kids for the night, but did they HAVE to wake up at 6? (It was Emmy's fault, not theirs, but the damage was done)

Uncrustables


We as a people have finally reached the silliest we ever will. You can now buy premade, frozen PB&J or grilled cheese sandwiches.

Really? Because last time I checked it takes about 1 minute to make a PB&J sandwich. These take 30-60 minutes to thaw at room temperature. That doesn't even make sense. And it doesn't take much longer to make grilled cheese from scratch, especially if you use the microwave.

What have we come to when we buy premade PB&J? That's my question.

On another note, Emmy and I are making sorbet from scratch today. I've never done it before, but it only took like 5 ingredients and a blender and a freezer. I'll let you know how it turns out.

We also made "ants on a log." You take a stick of celery (or a lot of sticks of celery) and put peanut butter on it, filling the trench. Then you take raisins and stick them into the peanut butter. Then eat it! That only takes about 5 minutes too.

Do YOU have any fun snack recipes that are kid-friendly and easy? Let me know.

SLEEP

I finally got some sleep. 9-4. Cool beans. Now I feel like a real person instead of a zombie.

I think I just heard the baby. It's good to have a nice long post, huh?

Monday, October 17, 2005

CAFFEINE

What happens when you drink caffeine at 4:30 pm?
Well if you're me, you are then up all night. And the ironic thing is all 4 kids are sleeping like little angels. wonderful.

Friday, October 14, 2005

A Challenge from Supernanny

Well this week's Supernanny hit a little close to home for me.

Emmy and I are both strong willed and I have a tendency to yell. Sometimes for no reason other than that I'm tired. Supernanny tonight featured a family in a similar situation, except that the girl was 9 and completely out of control.

The "heads up" reminded me that I really need to stay calm, and therefore in control, when dealing with Emlyn or she won't know how to deal with things either. I am going to make more of an effort to do that.

On a side note, the family was British and yet the daughter corrected Jo's pronunciation of "unacceptable." Jo says "unaseptable" whereas you or I might say "unaxeptable." It was interesting to see that not all British pronounce it the same way.

Clothes Horse


My 3 year old loves to change her clothes all day long. Often after "quiet time" she comes downstairs with some sort of interesting outfit on. It's awfully strange to me because I have no fashion sense or desire to match, other than because other people expect me to.

How Long Can I Type Before My Kids Attack Me?

Busy.
I know everyone's busy, but I seem to have a knack for keeping myself excessively busy.
Today I got to do a million errands because Joel got paid. I baked a carrot cake. I am in the midst of painting a sign for Fall Festival at church.
I've also had two Dr. Peppers, so I'm up on caffeine.
Joel's going to a rock climbing competition this weekend, and I'm going shopping with my sister. Which one of us will have more fun? :)
Next weekend we are going camping down in South Texas with church. I would be looking forward to it but I haven't got around to my obsessive list-making yet so I feel unprepared.
You know you're pathetic when even though you keep track of like 20 blogs, you check them so often that there's hardly ever an update.
Joel is liking his iPod Nano, although last night at 1 in the morning he accidently deleted all his songs off it and had to re-put them on it from our computer.
Well, I hear my daughter sneaking down the stairs for the fifth time this "quiet time," so I guess I'll sign off.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

What?

I guess Yahoo! Weather has come up with some new pseudonyms for different kinds of weather. Today's weather here in Austin is
"thunder in the vicinity"
http://weather.yahoo.com/forecast/USTX0057_f.html
Edit: it doesn't say that anymore if you click on the link. Too bad. But it was sure funny!

An Update

Sorry for the lack of posts lately. Last night Joel and I went on a "date night" at our church. We were a little wary because it was western-themed, and Joel and I are not exactly your typical Texans. But we went with it and decided to go over the top with costumes. I put on overalls and braids, and Joel borrowed an old, too-small cowboy hat. He wore that with an ill-fitting flannel shirt, boots, jeans, and (the kicker) a piece of grass between his teeth.

We ate BBQ, danced to country music, watched members of our church play "The Newlywed Game," and bought a gift basket to benefit a children's home. It was a lot of fun, and there was free babysitting!

Joel's mom's visit went well. There was only one time when we were worried that there would be a fight; otherwise she cleaned like a maniac and babysat whenever we asked her to. I got to paint decorations in Emmy's room and go rock climbing with Joel. We've also finalized Halloween costumes for the kids. I hope it's less than 80 degrees on Halloween.

Pictures of Emmy's Room







About two hours after these pictures were taken, we had people over and Emmy and another boy completely trashed the room with toys by taking every bin and flinging the contents over the whole room. Needless to say, I was pretty mad. Most of her toys are in time out now, and has she noticed? Not really. I am so sick of toys.

Her favorite stamp is the leaf. She has been enamored with leaves ever since she was a baby. If she could collect leaves and sticks, that's what she would do all day long.

I did about 150 squats making those stamps.

Monday, September 19, 2005

The Maids

Well, I must say that I am impressed with More Hands Maid Service.
Last night I posted about cleaning before they got here, and I'm glad I cleaned. Their website says they "tidy up." That mostly consists of making cute little stacks of all your personal items.

My house smelled clean even from the garage! It's a bit like the maids at the hotel, where they clean all the detailed things I don't often get to because I'm dealing with the surface clutter all the time. They polished my china cabinet, all our pictures, things like that. I think if I had left too many dirty dishes or stuff like that they wouldn't have done a good job on the details. If that makes sense.

I keep looking around and seeing things clean that I never thought to clean. My printer is reflecting things; I think they shined my duct tape covering our extension cord, and my $5 file cabinet too! They made my beds up all cute and our glass dining table is VERY clean. Oh, and they vacuumed the stairs. I'm not going to tell you how many times I've vacuumed the stairs.

It's really amazing how these little things change the feel of my house. I didn't think it would be this cool. It's like how I would clean my house if I had a little more energy.

One thing- they are not very good at loading my dishwasher. But that's how everyone is- you pretty much know how to load your own dishwasher and no one else's.

They get four stars. Thanks, Joel for my birthday present. Now if I can only convince Joel to hire them once a month...

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Misc

First of all, anyone seen my camera? It's been about a week now and I just don't know where it is. I hope it didn't get left at the ladies' retreat, especially because I didn't take any pictures there anyway. Wouldn't that be lame?

So the maid service is coming tomorrow morning. It's 1:30 in the morning and I can't sleep and I happen to be in a cleaning mood. My house is going to be actually fairly clean tomorrow. I guess that means they'll be able to concentrate on the hard stuff without all of the clutter in the way. I don't know. I'm trying to avoid guilt feelings knowing that this is our money being spent here and I want to get the most out of the experience.

I put up some more pictures on my wall in the living room. While I was looking for which ones to print, I came across this one.
Image hosted by Photobucket.com
This is how I feel inside, even when I look older and more tired and I am more overweight. Maybe you all could picture me like this too; then I will feel even more that way.

Church Mailing Lists

Don't get me wrong; I like God. But why am I on all these different church's mailing lists? did my name get registered as someone who wants to visit lots of different churches? It's weird.

Ermengarde, Art Car #1






Here's some pictures of Ermengarde. She was a '77 Honda Civic. Almost the first hatchback Honda made. She lasted until 210,000 or so and then had to be retired. We painted her in Abilene. She was originally red but we did a spray paint base coat of green and then stenciled in the shapes with cardboard and more spray paint. These pictures were taken after she had been faded in the hot Texas sun a few years.

Ermengarde would only go 55-60 mph, so when driving on Texas roads we would often pull off onto the shoulder and drive there as people passed. We got lots of funny looks and waves, especially in Abilene. Flotsam-Jetsam, our 88 Accord featured in my last post, did not get so many funny looks in Austin. I think there are more art cars here in town or something.

Still haven't heard any ideas as far as scriptures go for our 97 accord. Anybody?

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Our Art Cars































































Over the next couple of days I'm going to try to post pictures of our art cars that we have had in the past. The above are pictures of our 88 Honda Accord which has since been retired. After 230000 miles it just wasn't reliable anymore.

Our current project is our 97 Honda Accord. We're going to put scriptures on it, starting with the hood, which will read "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. Love your neighbor as yourself."

Any other ideas for scriptures?

Monday, September 12, 2005

Introducing My Mom

Here is my mom.
She is a wonderful lady and I talk to her on the phone nearly every day. She struggles with various health problems, but maintains a strong relationship with God and her family. She genuinely cares for me and my siblings. Go over and say hi!
merrykins.blogspot.com

Sunday, September 11, 2005

An Emmy Story

Emmy has always been scared of loud noises, especially sirens. I try to allieviate that by telling her the sirens are "going to help people." Lately we've also been praying for those people. The other day Emmy heard one and said "we should pray." I told her that was a good idea. This is close to what she said:
"Dear God, please help the people not to be scared of sirens. In Jesus' name Amen."


That was an interesting take on it I suppose...

Friday, September 09, 2005

Ladies Retreat

Well, like Amy, I am going on a ladies' retreat this weekend. I on the other hand am not handing my blog over to Chris. Y'all will just have to wait until I get back.

Take care and have a great weekend.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

HEB & Salespersons

Is there anything worse than being informed in the middle of HEB that your daughter has to go potty?

Yes.


Getting the baby out of the cart, putting the cart in a safe place, and then your daughter refuses to go. Why?

The automatically flushing toilets scare her.

What???!!!

That is so stupid. I have no sympathy for someone scared of those toilets.

So we get back to the cart and continue our shopping, only to be informed, in line, that once again, "my tee tee is coming out!!"

Can you keep your undies dry until we get home?

You MUST go to the potty now. I don't care about the stupid toilet. GO.

She goes in there, hollering, I continue to pay and check out, and then I abandon Denali and the cart by the entrance to the restroom and go in there. She's squatting on the floor just inside a stall, crying. No accident yet!

You have no choice. GO.

I pick her up, put her on the potty, and hear the "sweet" sound of tee tee being put in the potty where it belongs. Thank you, Lord.




Now, at home, I frantically put Denali to bed and start bringing the groceries in.
Ding dong!

Who in the world could be at the door?

Parmer Lane Elementary students selling CRAP for their school. But the whole reason our "no soliciting" sign is on the door is because I am incapable of saying no. So I go through the book looking for the cheapest things.

"What does no soliciting mean? We keep seeing those signs on like every door!"

That is my favorite line all night long. I gently told the girls they might not want to knock on those doors any more.

Turns out their little siblings are in the class of the teacher that I student-taught with. But I had already ordered from the older girls.

The joys of being me...

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Chris's Conversazione

Chris's Conversazione

Look at the entry titled "A Risky Spot."

Katrina was predicted in 2002.

Friday, September 02, 2005

New Orleans Help

Yes, I know you are reading about this everywhere. But I am going to post some too.
I cannot comprehend why this is turning out the way it did. But I am going to help today and at church on Sunday as best I can.

This guy is staying in NO and keeping his company up and running. If you go back and read his blog day by day from Sunday you will see how bad it is there.

I am sickened by it and considering donating all the diapers we got at our diaper shower to the cause. Some HEB locations (Parmer and 35 included) are taking donations of these items (peanut butter, diapers, granola bars, canned meat, bottled water, and cash) today. They will truck it into NO tomorrow.

You can also donate to the Red Cross.

Our church is organizing various efforts to help, from a collection on Sunday to housing for refugees. Let me know if you want to help through them.

I cannot even imagine having a baby in NO right now with no diapers or water or place for it to sleep.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Origami Heart

Origami hearts are fun to make. Call me if you want me to tell you how to make one.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Daniel Smirks Too


Ha. I found a picture where Daniel is smirking also. It's not just me. This was also our cruise.

Cruises are strange. It's like a floating hotel. Not much room in the cabins, lots of good food, many tourist spots that want to take your money, and you don't get to know any of the towns very well.

Ours was 10 days, and that was too long for us.

Bring things for the kids to do, plan to spend as much time out of your cabin as possible, and arrange a babysitting rotation for the little ones. There are some interesting shows at night on the boat, but you will probably want to put the small ones to bed first.

We went to Alaska, which was cold. We had to bring lots of warm clothes.

I wish my hair looked like this when it was dry. It only looks like this when wet.


Denali had fun eating 1/2 avocado, 1 small bowl oatmeal cereal, and some banana. Aren't avocado and oatmeal supposed to be good for your skin? If so, he certainly got a good skin treatment yesterday.

Emlyn has her first gray hair. I tried to take a picture of it but was unsuccessful.

Friday, August 26, 2005

My Favorite Picture.


I came across this picture tonight and it is still my favorite picture of me with my siblings. It was a fun night on our Alaska cruise in 2003 and we all posed. Can you tell we're related???

From left to right with present-day ages in parentheses- Grace (24), Daniel (19), Sarah (26), Ruth (17).

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Is it just me?

Is it me, or have all the children gone crazy?
We have been visiting with a lot of different children lately, and it seems they are all cranky and tired and grouchy (VERY much including my own here). It's very strange! I'm wondering if it's my daughter who's driving them to it, or if any of you think it might just be end-of-summerness, hot-outsideness, stir-craziness.

Any ideas?

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Crawling Soon?


Wanted to show today's picture of Denali pushing up to his hands and knees.
It's a little weird for me to have a baby who's average instead of insane about milestones like Emmy was.

A Wholesome Show on FOX

"Renovate my Family": click on title to see website

This has got to be the best new show I've seen in a long while. And it shows on FOX, home of trashy everything. It's so weird.

It is NICE. The producers of the show find needy people and help them out. Nicely. They don't put the people down, they don't talk about sex or swear. There's a little bit of "gee your living situation isn't great, is it?" but way less than most shows that pretend to help people while being mean to them. I don't even like Dr. Phil because he's mean. I don't like extreme makeover or swan or any of those shows because they are really just being mean and helping people is a side-effect. Even my favorite nanny shows are kinda mean to the parents.

But this show really is nice. The episode I watched last night was about a community that started adopting kids that were hard-to-place. Then the parents realized they didn't have a place for the kids to hang out. So the show built them a high quality community center. You should see this place! 10,000 square feet of coolness and quality things for the kids to do. There's a community kitchen that will always be stocked with the basics by the local food bank. They got the hospital to forgive one of the mom's 17,000 dollar medical bills. It's awesome.

Turns out the host is Dr. Phil's son. Maybe that's why it's on FOX. Is Dr. Phil on FOX? I don't know. Anyway, check this show out. It made me cry, and that's really easy to do these days. :)

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Ulterior Motives?

Sometimes I really hope God has an ulterior motive for things that happen to me. For instance, today.

We usually go to second service at church, which is nice because we can let Joel sleep in but he still comes to church, and then we have a standing meeting after church at 12:30. This morning I remembered there was a reason that I HAD to be at first service. Absolutely, no way out of it. I had committed to doing something, and so I had to be there. I luckily had got up at a good time because my dear husband was on night duty with the kids all night, so I was able to make it there on time with slightly grouchy kids and I didn't get breakfast. But that's okay! I had a reason to be there!

Except when I got there, the reason had already been taken care of by someone else. I of course burst into tears because that's the way I am right now, and a couple friends helped me get arranged at church. To make a long story shorter, there was no reason for me to be at either service today that I can see. I REALLY hope God had a reason, like talking to a certain visitor, or encouraging someone else, or the sermon, or something, because looking back I cannot see why I was there for 4 hours with tired kids. So please God, make some good out of this morning. Help me to trust that good things were done.

I'm going to go take a nap.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Gratitude

I just spent 2 hours reading about a little baby named Ira who has been in NICU for 4 months, ever since he was born.

I am so thankful to God that my children have had uneventful lives. And that I am able to site here and read about other's lives because mine is so mundane.

I am so thankful for my friends and family.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

CAFFEINE

Too bad I like Dr. Pepper so much.
It keeps me awake when I drink it.
That's why I'm up at 12:10.
I tried to go to bed on time!

The Story of a Toad


Well, about 2 or 3 years ago we found this toad (I'll call him Tom) in our garden and we were so excited about it! It's so nice to know that your garden is happy for animals and bugs.

Tonight as I was working out there, I saw a funny lump on the driveway. I went closer and realized it was our friend Tom. Anyway, he is a good 3 or 4 inches wide. It was so cool. I went and got a couple neighbors because Joel wasn't home yet and showed it to them. I'm pretty sure they think I'm kooky, but it was worth it to share the experience with someone.

I then proceeded to watch it carefully to make sure Tom got back into some cover and warned the man walking his dogs to go out in the road so the dogs wouldn't try to get him.

This reminds me of some camp song lyrics.

Oh Tom the Toad, oh Tom the toad,
Why did you hop out in the road?


You used to be so green and fat,
And now you are so red and flat


Oh Tom the toad, oh Tom the toad,
Why did you hop out in the road?


You had your plans made for the day,
I'll cancel them, for there you lay

Oh Tom the toad, oh Tom the toad,

Why did you hop out in the road?

You did not see the coming car,

And now you are part of the tar

Oh Tom the toad, oh Tom the toad,

Why did you hop out in the road?


Just thought I'd share...

Bargaining with a 3 year old

I asked Emlyn to bring me the telephone. I said I thought it was in the office. She went to look for it and came back and said "I've found the phone; now give me a brownie."

I laughed out loud it was so ludicrous.

Denali loves to laugh at her jumping from the arm of the couch to the seating area.

Denali sat up for like an hour today and the only time he fell was when Joel kissed him.

My brain is numb, but I got a nice nap.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

My Cuties

I can't believe he's already big enough to sit in a chair.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

MMM. Garden

After putting the kids to bed tonight I decided it was the perfect time to do a little gardening, as we got upwards of two inches of rain today and I knew the weeds would just float out of the dirt. I armed myself with exceeding amounts of mosquito repellant, a pair of scissors and a broom and started on the porch. I told the ivy that it had to stay off the porch, with the scissors for emphasis, and swept the porch off. Then I told the random plants in our small flowerbed that they really needed to stay inside their boundaries also. The honeysuckle was hard to convince, but I think it finally believes me. I swept a little more, and then decided to wander over to the long flowerbed between the street and the sidewalk. It has been neglected lately, maybe because my son was born 7 months ago...

I started at the northeast end, excavating the smallest rosebush from its prison. You see when we dug the bed we planned to take out the length of the grass, even the neighbor's 5 feet, and we bought enough rosebushes to do so. But at the last minute our neighbors changed their mind, and so we jammed three rosebushes into a space for two. That littlest one tries its best, but it has a thriving rosebush on one side, and not 9 inches away, a nice patch of St. Augustine and Bermuda grass just jumping at the idea of some empty dirt. So I started pulling out the grass, yanking and gritting my teeth (it was easier to pull from the rain), and about halfway through I noticed that the poor bush had actually been rotting underneath the grass. Fully half of the 2 foot bush had been taken over by grass. It was so sad!

Anyway I took as much foliage away from around that bush as I could. The sweet thing is actually blooming on the good side. Hopefully I have saved it once again from the grass.

My hands are dirty, my legs are bitten, there are piles of weeds in the gutter, and I feel GREAT!

Cross-posted in various places.

I much enjoy to be doing the laundry all the day long.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Now I've Done it.

All right. I am officially without a brain.
It seems, to my chagrin, that in my postpartum induced haze, that I have promised baby things to person A that I then gave to person B (and C, and D). I am not entirely sure that's the case, but at this point I really don't have a whole lot that I'm not using as far as baby stuff is concerned, and yet I remember saying things to person A like "we are just swimming in baby clothes! I am sure I will have some for you."

The problem is I only talked about this once to person A about 3 months ago or more and she just brought it up last night. So now I have to bluff my way through this ("what exactly did I say I had?" "How about some hangers and a baby monitor?")

I guess I will just pray that it works out and that I don't look like a total fool. Hopefully she will understand that I am crazy...

Monday, August 08, 2005

A Haircut (sniff, sniff)

So my husband has been informing me that it's time for Denali to have a haircut. Tonight we bit the proverbial bullet and gave him one. I know Amy said she would do it, but I give her permission to touch up the haircut, as it is a little uneven. I will post some pictures here for your enjoyment.

These are a couple pre-haircut, showing the "extreme" length my husband had been complaining about.







Here are a few of the haircut itself. Emmy took some of them, so they may be blurry.





Here are a couple pictures of the finished product. It makes me a little sad.



Oh, how bittersweet.