Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Fun New Toy

The best things in life are free. I just set up a Skype account. And then I told my mom about Skype. She has an account. We got to video chat. Fun for me and for the two kiddos that were still awake. Couldn't get my microphone to work. But Kermit has fixed that. (He's so awesome.)

So, now I have this wonderful way to communicate with my family. I can include the kids in the conversations. It's wonderful. It is such a blessing.

This is going to be a really short post.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

My Interview by Hannah

For a school assignment, Hannah interviewed her little sister.

H: Where do you want to live when you grow up? What do you like about that place?
S: In Forney, because I see lots of pretty cars and some time I see changing color cars.

H: What kind of animals do you want? Why do you want them?
S: Cats, dogs, chickens, pigs for ham and bacon. I get to pet my cats and dogs and kill the pigs and chickens.

H: What to you want to be when you grow up? What do you like about that job?
S: A doctor. Then I can look in peoples' ears and know a bunch of stuff. And I can have fun.

H: Who are your friends? What do you like about them?
S: Ari, Catherine, Alina, Maggie. They play with me and we have fun and play lots of things.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Tricks and Treats (or clothing sizes lie but daughter's smiles make it OK.)

My mother may think I wasted my college education on a theatre degree, but around October it comes in handy. My children are completely delighted with the large Rubbermaid storage boxes we have full of costume bits and pieces. I a bit fond of them myself. I'm only embarrassed by the fact that I only have two.

This year, as in years past, we delighted in pulling out the bits and baubles to create costumes for ourselves. My oldest found a long wig and a dashiki. Instant hippie. If he was just a bit bigger he could've worn his dad's bell bottom jeans. My youngest wore the pig costume that I made when that hippie-boy was the toddler. We've gotten a lot of mileage out of that costume. Each one of the kids have worn it. Each one made it a little different. When E. wore it she decided it was more appopriate to say "Oink" instead of "Trick or Treat". When it was S.'s turn, she added a tutu.

The Halloween trick was on me. I was helping H put together something, so she wouldn't have to be Hermione Granger again. Stripey socks and a mop cap inspired a "Ragdoll" costume. She thought that I should dress-up, too. I pull out my costume skirt and my blousy blouse that I made before I was married. It's one thing to know that you are not that same size as when you are 20. It's quite another thing to be confronted with it in a very real, concrete way. When I shop for clothes, I buy that same sizes that I did 20 years ago. Therefore, I have not changed size. (Big, fat lying clothing manufacturers). What a surprise to put on this skirt and discover that I could not fasten it shut. Not only could I not fasten it shut, I couldn't even make the hook side even get in the same county as the loop side. No big deal, I thought. I'll put on the waist cinch that I made way back when. It will tuck everything in. I'm not sure why I thought the waist cinch that I'd made at the same time I made that traitorous skirt would fit any better. Some form of denial, I'm sure.

I was about to give up on the whole idea, except for my daughter. My daughter, who was so very delighted with the idea of matching costumes with her mom. My daughter, who smiled with pure joy as we painted faces and put ribbons in our braided hair. In an instant I realized that this was important to her. Safety pins and an apron could cover what that daughter and her siblings had added to my waist. My kids don't care that I'm thicker in the middle or that I'm soft where I used to be toned.

The Halloween trick had become the Halloween treat.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

He Was Going To Eat It, But It Fit So Well Up His Nose

Well, after a long, dry spell here I am again to report on the doings of my little tribe. Let's start with Little J. Little J. That is what he likes to be called now. "I Little J", he says. Poor Little J has had a hard week. He has now officially been to the hospital as many times as Big J. Two of those trips happened this past week. Last week Hannah thought it would be fun to swing him around by his arms. (Oh, no. Wait. According to Hannah, they were travelling through a magic portal.)

"Hannah. Don't swing him around like that."

"But, Mom, it's fun."

"No. Seriously. Don't do that."

"Ha ha ha ha. Ho ho ho ho. Hee hee hee...."


"Mom. Something's wrong with Jacob's arm."

Another trip to the ER. Jacob has now been sent to the ER by all of his sisters. Poor Hannah felt like dirt.

A dislocated elbow is surprisingly easy to fix.He was very tense, which made it a little difficult to pop the elbow back in place. They gave him some pain medication. After the drugs took effect, fixing it was as easy as a handshake. He was using his arm again as soon as he forgot that he was supposed to be hurt.

The next trip to the hospital was just yesterday. This one started about two weeks ago. It was then that I noticed a rather foul odour emanating from my darling child. There was nothing on him. Bathed the boy. Washed his hair. He was still smelly. It soon became apparent that the smell was strongest around his nostril. (Never thought I'd be sniffing a nose.) It was then that I remembered that I stuck a hot roller sponge up my nose when I was that age. My mom described the smell. It seemed suspicious. The mystery object was far up enough that he would need to be sedated to remove it. We were scheduled to arrive at the OR in the very early hours. It took the doctor about 5 minutes to remove the object. It was a piece of once white fabric. I think it was a piece of the wedding dress I just constructed for my niece. I can only guess that it felt silky and smooth.

Monday, May 31, 2010

To Explore Strange New Worlds

This weekend I visited a strange new world. It was not completely foreign. It was just a shade different from the one I already know. This weekend I chauferred my oldest son to the Regional Pokemon Video Game Championship Tournament. This was a real event. I had no idea it existed. I had no idea so many people took Pokemon so seriously. Several of them were in costume. A few came as "teams".

I waited in a line with Daniel for two hours so that he could register. About half that time we were waiting outside in the heat. Fortunately, it was only in the 80's, still hot enough that we felt quite grateful to be inside. If you are not too shy, it is possible to make a new friend when you stand in line for two hours. Daniel started up a couple of games with a couple of the kids near us. I was impressed. He has mentioned before how hard it is for him to make friends. I suppose if you start with at least one thing in common it is easier to strike up a conversation. After it was all over the girl (she was cute) asked Daniel for his email.

Daniel won the first round he played. He lost the second round. I'm sure he was a little disappointed, but he took it very well. Later he told me that he had fun and that it was all right if he didn't win. There was a guy next to him in the second round that didn't take defeat very well. He started crying. Daniel tried to offer some words of comfort to no avail. On our way out we spotted that guy crumpled in the floor. Daniel's thoughts on that, "You know, I take my Pokemon seriously, but that's a little TOO serious."

My son is so cool. I'm so glad that he could go and fun with this. I'm so glad that he has such a healthy view of it. Meet friends. Play game. Have fun. That's what it was all about. Winning would have been awesome, but it wasn't the most important thing.

Monday, May 17, 2010


It's been a funny week and I so needed a laugh.

Last Saturday, Hannah went to Medieval Times with her Girl Scout troop. She had a wonderful time. Sarah went with me to pick Hannah up. We got to hear Hannah tell us all about how awesome and wonderful it was and she had to go again. I asked Sarah if she would like to go to Medieval Times.

"No," she says in no uncertain terms. "Fashion girls don't go to that place. And I am SO fashion." Then she takes her little hands and one at a time flips back her hair. I nearly wrecked. One of those times that I wish I had a video camera on constant record.

I think she might actually like to go to "that place". She might still be mad at Hannah. Hannah was trying to turn the lamp off at bedtime and Sarah did not want it off. There was much weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. It ended with Sarah telling Hannah, "You are so mean. You used to be nice to me. Let me sleep in your bed and leave the lamp on and play with me. Hannah. You RUINED my life!"

I think the best one this week was Joe at the dinner table:

"When I grow up, I want to drink, smoke and eat sushi."

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

What Went Wrong With That Recipe

I come from a family of wonderful cooks. From Gramma I learned good, down home cookin'. Lots of fried things, beans and cornbread, veggies from the garden, wild onions scrambled with eggs, pot roast with carrots and potatoes and the staple of every southern table: gravy. Mom made all these things, too. She is a wiz on the grill and makes fabulous desserts. The desserts are not neccessarily cooked on the grill, but they are full of fat and sugar, as all desserts should be. Good eats are not confined to the womenfolk. My dad is pretty handy in the kitchen. Everytime we visit, I look forward to breakfast. And try as I might, I just can't get cabbage rolls that are the same class.

It took me awhile, but I did eventually learn to cook well enough to hold my own. My first attempts were...uh.....interesting. Gravy is a fairly simple thing to make. All you need in fat, flour, and a liquid - milk for white gravy and broth for brown. It is simple, but not easy. There is a delicate balance to getting the proportions just right. The first time I made gravy it was thick. Very, very thick. So thick, in fact, that it could be sliced. I've had other culinary failures that I just don't remember as well. Probably because they just as funny as slice-able gravy.

Sometimes I hear people tell me that they are a terrible cook. I never used to believe them. Probably because my mother and grandmother were severe about their own cooking. No matter how completely delicious a meal was, something could always be better. I had a roommate who told me when we first met that she was a terrible cook. I didn't believe her. One Sunday after we came home from church, she started cooking for a potluck dinner we were attending that evening. I laid down for an afternoon nap to the delicious odours of ground beef and onion cooking. I woke-up to something completely different. She had made this casserole thing. Cheese and crackers and who know what else were in there somewhere. It looked solid and somewhat rubbery. This particular roommate wasn't going to the potluck. My other roommates and I were commisioned to take the thing with us. We did. No one and I mean absolutely no one ate it. We ended up depositing it in a dumpster on our way home. Since then, I believe people when they tell me the can't cook.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Where Were Your Shoes?

A few weeks ago I taught a lesson to the Beehives on journals. While preparing the lesson I found a website that has a daily writing prompt. This was the first one. I love it. I ask a similar question to my kids almost every day. It is a constant struggle to keep up with shoes. More accurately we seem to have much trouble finding matching pairs of shoes. We are quite able to find shoes of all sorts in every corner of our home. It is entirely different matter to find two of a kind.

Sunday mornings are sometimes hectic. There always seems to be a mad dash out the door as we try desperately to not be late for church. One particular Sabbath, I didn't have time to inspect the kids as we rushed out. I remember seeing Joseph's bare feet and telling him that he could put his shoes on in the car. We arrived and I began to help everyone out. Joseph was still without anything on his feet.

"Joseph. Put your shoes on."

"I don't have any shoes."

"Where are your shoes?"

"I left them at home."

Since then, we lay out our church clothes (and shoes!) the night before and I make sure I do an inspection, no matter how late we are.

There was a time when I rarely wore shoes. It was simply more comfortable to be without. College graduation I didn't put on my shoes until I absolutely, positively had to. I had a pair of strappy sandals that I kept under my robe, but not on my feet. Graduation ceremonies were held in the football stadium. That grass was so fresh and soft and squishy. It was heaven for my feet. I did finally put them on when it was time to walk across the stage. I didn't really want to wear them, but I didn't want to embarrass Molly. (Molly Risso was director of theatre.)

I still don't like shoes. Most times it doesn't really bother me if my kids don't want to wear them. I've even read that it is better to go barefoot. However, it does bother me when we can't find them when they are wanted. Sometimes you just have to have them. Actually, I need my shoes right now and I can't find them.

Stupid shoes.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day - late, I know, I know.

Happy Mother's Day. It's been a quiet day. I didn't sleep much last night, but Jacob and I took a lovely, long nap this afternoon. Kermit fixed breakfast. I had a nice soak in a very hot bath with only one interruption. The kids made cards. Elizabeth's was a mini-book about us walking to the mailbox. Hannah's said that I am special because I love her. Joseph's was a depiction of his older brother's demise. Jacob and Sarah only had one fight about whose momma I am. It was a nice mostly quiet day.

It's obvious that Mother's Day brings thoughts of..well...Mom. I wish that I could have done more for mother this year (I wish the same thing every year). That is the down side of living far away and having no money. It would've been nice to be able to at least send flowers or a gift card for photo supplies. A visit would have even been better. We haven't been to visit since Christmas. I like spending time with my family and my mom can be fun.

No child really appreciates their mother until they are out of the house. When I was younger, I was a little bit afraid of my mother. She had a temper. I always said, "When I have kids, I'll NEVER loose my temper." Ha. I lost my temper first and then my sanity. I can't say that I'm glad that I discovered that I was more like Mom than I thought, but I can understand.

Another thing I didn't really like when I was a kid was chores. Seriously, what kid really likes chores? I was certain that they were a form of torture. Not until I grew up was I glad for what I learned about the value of work. I'm still in awe of how organized my mother is. She's fabulous. I try, but can't quite get to her level. I always feel like my own efforts are just pretending and I sense the chaos waiting at the edges to take over.

I learned to love reading from my grandmother, but I learned to love Star Trek from my mom. Everytime the reruns would come on, we were watching. When the first Star Trek movie came out we were standing in a line that wrapped around the movie theatre. I attended my first Star Trek convention with my mom and my little brother. We met George Takei! It was so cool.

Actually, we watched a lot of movies together. I remember watching "The Champ". We cried our eyes out. Every Friday night, one of the local channels would play a classic monster movie. I love that my mom spent that time with me. The memory of those times still warm my heart.

I think I should also mention that my mom has a great laugh, she is a fabulous cook, and she likes to dance. I have a great mom.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Danger Dogs

Jacob and Sarah were playing puppy dogs. That is the game where you pretend to be a puppy. You run on all fours like a puppy. You drink like a puppy. You bark like a puppy. It's fun for them. It's kind of fun to watch them. Except for this last time. According to Sarah, Jacob doesn't know how to play this game very well. He slipped while running like a puppy and we think he broke his arm. Yippee.

I spent three hours at the hospital with him. There is a lot of waiting at the hospital. Although, this wasn't as much waiting as when he broke his leg. The physician's assistant looked at the x-rays and couldn't find anything. The doctor on duty looked at the x-rays and couldn't find anything. They told me that the radiologist would be back in the morning. I could call and find out what he had determined. Jacob's arm was splinted and we left.

The next day, I call the the orthopedic doctor. It will be a week before Jacob can be seen. Kermit talked to the radiologist. He couldn't say anything definitive. So, Jacob's arm, that may or may not be broken, is splinted for a week until we get to see the bone doctor, who may not know anything either. AAUUUGGHHH!!!!

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Flying Monkey of Doom Strikes Again


For anyone that has read my previous post about the Flying Monkey of Doom, you'll appreciate this.

Daniel walks into Kermit's office.

"Hey, Dad, Joseph threw his derby car into the burn pile." (We live in the country. We have a brush pile waiting for a match.)

"Why did he do that?"

"He's mad because Jacob threw the car at him and hit him in the eye. So, now he's decided to burn it."

"Tell him to come here a minute."

Joseph walks into Kermit's office.

"Joe, you want to tell me what happened?"

"Well, Jacob threw my car at me and it hit me in the eye and I don't want him to get it again, so, I just threw it into the burn pile."

"So, what you're telling me is that you got taken out by a Flying Monkey?"

"Uh. Yeah."


And the moral of this tale is, be careful of your actions. They just might come back to whack you in the head.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Flying Monkey of Doom

Last Wednesday was Joseph's first Pinewood Derby. He was so very excited. He designed his car. Kermit cut it for him. Joe painted it red with a blue monkey face. He named his car The Flying Monkey of Doom. We had a flying monkey in our house once.

Daniel and Kermit were at the front door on their way out. Suddenly, Daniel collapses to the floor, clutches his head and screams like a banshee. Neither Kermit nor I could figure out what caused this distress. And then Kermit saw an orange plastic monkey toy on the floor not too far from Daniel. Looking up he saw Joe on the other side of the room with a triumphant smile and a particular gleam in his eye. It didn't take too long to figure out that Joe had taken his brother out with a flying monkey, or as Daniel dubbed it "The Flying Monkey of Doom".

Little Joe was very excited about the derby. He was excited about his car. He was disappointed to find that his was not the fastest car. He wanted to win. The fastest cars were all a flat design. Joe has decided that next year he wants a flat car. He wants to win. I'm a little disappointed in this. Those other cars may have been fast, but they were boring. I liked that his car was inspired by a lightning bolt and an orange monkey. I like the derby cars that are not slick. I like the ones with character. My fear is that the need for speed will be more important than style. Oh well, there is always paint.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Bunny Killer

Every year when I was young, the Easter Bunny left a nest outside. It was full of candy and little toys. It was made of that plastic Easter grass that never seems to go away. I had just enough imagination as a child to believe that a rabbit could come bearing treats. Still, the bunny faded long before Santa Claus and definitely before I stopped getting those baskets. My gramma tells me about our last baskets. That particular year my favorite cousin was visiting. She, my sister and I woke up to find that there were no baskets. The adults were all still in bed. We didn't have any illusions about who was in charge. We stood outside my grandparents' room and declared loud enough for them to hear, "That Easter Bunny had better wake up and leave our candy!"

I thought that I would regain my enthusiasm for the holiday after I had kids. It just didn't happen. If it hadn't been for my gramma's enthusiasm, I'm not sure that I would have ever thought to make up baskets for my kids. Egg hunts are fun. I still like those. Getting chocolate bunnies on sale the Monday after, that's fun, too. But this whole furry rodent thing is just not as fun. The stories of Jesus, now there is something to get excited about. The power of the atonement and the reality of His resurrection are much more significant than the glitz of the marketers. A rabbit that pops out chocolate eggs just pales in comparison.

Even though I'm not so excited about the glitz and glamour part of this weekend, I should have not assumed that my children didn't want it. They did get baskets this year. My mom brought them when she visited two weeks ago. They also participated in the Easter egg hunt at church. That was enough for me. That seemed to be enough for most of them. My eight-year-old was not quite satisfied. I awoke Sunday morning to find him sleeping on my feet. He had already been up looking. He told me with a slight quiver in his voice that the Easter Bunny did not come. I reminded him of all that he had already received. He still wanted to that early morning nest of goodies. This required me to think before I was totally awake.

There just happens to reside in our home a dog that loves rabbit, usually with their heads torn off and chewed. That was good enough for my sleep-deprived brain. I suppose if I had been more lucid I could have come up with a more humane explanation. But, seriously, this is the boy who cheered when his dad was butchering chickens. ("Yea! Do it again, Dad! I can catch another chicken for you.")

At some point that rabbit is going to have to die. All these imaginary creatures fade in time. What I should have realized, what I would have realized if I had been paying attention, is that the candy and toys are not the important thing. It is that bit of magic at finding something where it shouldn't be. It is the joy of discovering something just for you. Perhaps, if it is not too late, I can try again next year. Well, just as long as the dog stays indoors all night.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Day After the Next Day

You know, if I read my own blog I'd know which day it was supposed to be. Yesterday was such a blur. All the beautiful spring weather and my mother coming to visit gave me two reasons to want my house to be sparkly clean. Clutter is not the big things that can be easily picked up (or shoveled). Clutter is all the little things that congregate at the edges: Legos, crumbs, bits of paper, pebble of mysterious origins. The children managed to get the big stuff out of the way. I spent all my time tackling the details. It is easy to get lost in the details.

The girls had an extra room to do. They had a mud party. Holy cow! They were covered head to toe with mud. They certainly enjoyed themselves. I made them hose down outside before they came inside, but still, there was a lot of mud. They managed to get it all over the bathroom. I was assured they would clean up the mess. I think I want a refund on that guarantee.

Mom and Chandler arrived safely. I'm always glad to have my family visit. I wish Mom could stay longer. She is leaving this afternoon. I'm a little worried about her travelling. There is snow in the forecast. Snow! In Texas! In March! The weather weirdness continues. I'm glad I didn't put all my plants out this week. The weather seemed perfect for it, but I'm glad I waited.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Day Five

Tonight the girls decided would be a great night for a camp out. Daniel helped to set up the tent. They took the sleeping bags out. Elizabeth packed. Not sure what she needed to pack. They were just in the backyard. All seemed to be going well until Daniel decided to act like a boy and make scary noises outside the tent. E came in first. Elizabeth next. Now Hannah is trying to talk Daniel into staying in the tent with her. She doesn't want to stay out there by himself.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Day..uh..Four. Yeah. It's Day Four.

So, at the beginning of our grand adventure with E this week, I fully envisioned getting things done. I'd keep us all on track with chores and school work. Ha! The reality check was today. I can't say we accomplished nothing. We did the dishes. The kids spent most of the day outside in the sunshine. It started with a picnic. The picnic just never ended. I did mention to the children that we should get some of our lessons done. E replied that they were doing P.E. outside. Well. She was right and, honestly, I was tired today.

I do enjoy watching the kids outside. They seem to get so much just from the sunshine. They ran. They played. They looked for bugs and flowers. The boys pestered the girls. The girls pestered the boys right back. I regret that I didn't spend more time out there with them. I get too worried about dirty dishes and laundry. Seriously, it will still be there. Tomorrow I will ignore it and just go play.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Day Three, or Why Are There Sequins in my Bathtub?

We all slept in late this morning. I'm blaming daylight savings. Everything is just out of whack. Made pancakes even though Hannah wanted waffles. Pancakes are just quicker and E wanted pancakes. Good girl. She helped Hannah and I pick up trash that some critter had scattered. We managed to get it all out to the street before pick-up. I really needed a bath after that. It was icky.

There were sequins in my bathtub. Four of them. One purple. Two blue. One white. They were slightly chewed. I have no idea where they came from or how they found their way into my tub or why they were chewed. I'm not sure I want to know. Just a random event. Random events tend to happen with children. Like finding a half-eaten box of cookies under the bed or legos in your shoe. I rather enjoy them.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Day Two

I hate the first week of daylight savings time. Maybe even the first two weeks. That's about how long it takes me to adjust. I don't mind the illusion of more daylight. I just don't like making the transition. I didn't get out of the house until 7:30 this morning. Everything but my clock seemed to move in slow motion. It was nearly lunchtime when I got back home.

Our guest hadn't seen High School Musical whatever number it was. Honestly, I can't tell the difference. Maybe I'm past the age of HSM discernment. Hannah decided to put the movie on instead of getting chores done this morning. Daniel was the only one actually working and he was not doing that with much grace. He spent a good portion of the day grumping at everyone that was not performing to his standard.

The boys did manage to finish their chores. While they didn't do a perfect job, it was enough that they got to spend the night at the Martin's tonight. The girls were a different story. Chores were not done so well. We ran out of dishwasher detergent and apparently the dish liquid irritates their delicate skin. I really didn't have the time or inclination to fight them too much on this today. I was already dealing with sick kids and sick husband.

Oh, did I mention that Kermit was having some intestinal distress today? Could he have timed it worse? Not that he really has any control, but we have a visitor. No one is supposed to be sick this week. Elizabeth and Jacob seem to have colds. I'm really, really hoping that E doesn't get sick. I'm really, really hoping that whatever Kermit has is not contagious. We just can't get sick right now. There never is a good time to get sick, but this week is just farther into the realm of 'not good'.

P.S. Kaysie and the baby were released from the hospital. They are staying at Dad's house for now. Still waiting on Jamie.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Day One

Yesterday, my sister Kaysie had a baby. Her name is Kaydin. She weighed a little over 6 pounds and measured 18 inches long. My dad sent me a couple of pictures. She is lovely. Nice chubby cheeks. Babies should have chubby cheeks. I did really want to be there. It is at moments like this that I wish the families lived closer. Now we are waiting on Jamie's baby.

My friend's daughter is spending the week with us. She'll be with us for the week. So far, so good. But any child can be good for one day. I'm sure it will be a bit of a culture shock for her. She is an only child. Now she is in a house with many children. She is sharing. Sharing chores. Sharing space. Sharing time. It's not anything I've thought about too much. We have kids and it just is what it is. My friend must have thought about it. She told me to include her daughter in the chores.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Snow, Snow and More Snow

Wow! Did we ever get snow! Record setting amounts, according to the local weathermen. I believe it. More snow than I've seen since moving to Texas. It started in the wee hours Thursday morning. It did not stop until the wee hours of Friday morning. I've heard reports of over 12". This is not a big deal for those places used to seeing snow, but in TEXAS! Wow. It is a big deal. The kids were delighted. We didn't get anything done. They spent most of Thursday outside. Kermit even went outside for a snowball fight. The big kids rolled snowballs, but Joe was the only one who managed to make a snowman. Snickelfritz the cat was fun to watch. He was making snowballs and chasing them. Annie went outside to bark at the snow. She wasn't too thrilled with the snow and chose to spend most of the time inside.

Friday was not quite as fun. I woke up to find that we had no electricity. Everything in my house runs on electricity. We were not alone. Power outages everywhere. In our immediate area 35,000 were without power. I heard over 200,000 in Dallas were without power. We didn't get ours back until Saturday afternoon. It was illuminating. That is to say, we were terribly unprepared for an emergency of this sort. It puts a new urgency on our plans to become more energy independent.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


It's snowing in Texas. There isn't more than an inch on the ground with a few more flurries falling down. Snow happens so infrequently here, that each occurence is remarkable. What makes it even more notable is the fact that this is not the only snow we've had. The weather has gone crazy.

I thought about waking the kids to see the snow. It was a brief thought. They would be grumpy. Besides, I'm enjoying the quiet. This is my favorite time of day. Everything is still. Except for the cats that want to be fed and the chickens that want to be let out of the coop. But they can wait and I can sit. I can sit with my cup of chamomile and watch the day gradually grow brighter (no sunrise today with all the clouds). I can sit and read or think. When I get my quiet early mornings, I know the day is going to be good.

Today is going to be very good.

Sunday, February 7, 2010


One New Year resolution realized. One broken before I even had time to pick up the confetti.

Today, for the first time since church moved to 9:00 am, we were on time. We were even early. It only almost counts. We had two boys sick and Kermit stayed home with them. So, we weren't all there. But I'll take it. I'd resolved to be on time at least once. Now, the goal is to be on time with all of us there.

On New Year's Day, actually before, I decided that I would be more consistent with my blog. I was so certain that I could sit down at least once a week and write. I really would like to write everyday. I'm not sure that what happens everyday would be blog-worthy, but it would be a good habit and needed practice. Obviously, everyday is an overly ambitious goal. I'll stick to once a week. I am determined to not focus what I have failed to accomplish. This week will be better.

I'd like to be more diligent studying scripture. I think I can accomplish that. I'd love to have a clean house, but I don't have much faith in that happening. I simply do not have the fortitude to fight the 6 tornadoes that live in this house.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Sunshine. Where Did You Go?

This day started out with so much promise. The sun was spectacular. It seemed to radiate joy. It was impossible to not be happy on such a glorious, rain-free day. But now, the clouds have moved back in and it is dreary and cold. Sunshine, please come back. I am so tired of the rain. No, that's not accurate. I have no quarrel with the rain. However, I am somewhat displeased with the mud. The mud is everywhere. The ground is so soft I can't even take a decent walk around the property. I like to send the kids out everyday, but then I remember the mud. A little bit of mud is OK. It can even be fun. Too much mud is not fun. Mud everyday for weeks and weeks is not fun. We have too much mud.

On the lighter side, this was posted on my daughter's bedroom door:

"H's Rules"
1. No screaming.
2. Do whatever H says.
3. Help me with school.
4. Be nice.
5. Be entertaining.
6. Be mean to D.
7. Don't ask stupid questions.
8. Always color.
9. Go to church.
10. Eat lots of Girl Scout cookies.

On seperate bits of paper:

"Never do what D says."

"If you trip over stuff, that's your fault."

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Big Freeze

Jacob woke up at about 4 am. He wanted a dry diaper. That wouldn't have been too big a problem, but I couldn't fall back asleep. The wind outside is howling so ferociously. It is the wind carrying in the below freezing temperatures. I was laying in bed and I couldn't stop worrying about my chickens and keeping warm. So, I've been up for awhile. I cleaned the kitchen that my son was supposed to clean last night. I tried to start a fire. I just don't have enough pyromaniac in me to be too successful with that. I made cinnamon rolls. Got the pot roast and veggies in the crockpot. Started a load of laundry. Read my scriptures. Puttered around on the internet. I'm kind of tired now, but it's too late to go back to bed. Kermit wants to be up by 8:00, which means that I'll have to kick him out of the bed. Or maybe I just need to kick him. That's worked in the past. Nothing says "Turn off that dang alarm" like a quick kick under the sheets.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Christmas Aftermath

So, we've had time to use get to know our Christmas gifts. This is what has been decided:

Games - thumbs way up. Especially the two versions of Clue (Harry Potter and Secrets & Spies)

Pictures, picture book and custom calendar from Mom - ALWAYS awesome.

Christmas Butter Bell - cute and functional. Love it.

Christmas cash - seriously needed that. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Baby Alive - Jury is still out. Elizabeth was a little freaked out after she discovered that this baby doll actually poops. "It's not what I thought it was going to be" she said.

Speaking of babies - Sarah loves, loves, loves all her baby dolls and accessories and Elizabeth's pooping doll.

Cars - Jacob is in car heaven. "My cars" he tells everyone.

Cameras for two oldest kids - They like them. Hannah has taken about a bazillion pics and videos.

The beautiful box of goodies from my sister - OK, Sis, this box was fabulous. All the bath stuff was my favorite. The chocolates shaped like shells, never buy them again. They are vile.
The kids greatly coveted the decorative glass 'diamonds'. Elizabeth liked them so much and was such a big help when we got home that I let her keep one.

Now, the key chain that beeps so that you can always find your keys. Good idea in theory. However, the stupid thing won't stop beeping. Very annoying.

When I think on this Christmas, I can't help but feel gratitude. My friends and family have been so remarkably generous and thoughtful. I wish that I could've done more for them. But I feel that always. I can never seem to do enough for them.

Here we are at a New Year. I feel inspired to show more kindness. I want to do more to show the depth of my affection for my family. I hope that I can be better this year.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Fireworks - Just Add Water

Yes. Fireworks will go off in the rain. Not a heavy downpour, but a light misting and soggy ground are not sufficient deterent to colorful flames.

The ground is wet. Sopping, soaking muddy wet. That did not stop our New Year's Eve guests from lighting off the fireworks that have been hibernating in my closet since July. The cold temperatures, however, did stop all but the most dedicated. Kermit's nephew, our middle son, and a couple of others were the pyrotechnic stalwarts. The rest of us decided that a cozy fire and games were a better way to spend a damp New Year's Eve. (Thank you, Genie, for bringing some fun games.)

I think everybody had a good time. I hope, anyway, that everyone had a good time. We stayed up too late. We ate good food. The company was good.