Thursday, December 20, 2007

My Wish For You

My Wish- Rascal Flatts

I hope that days come easy and moments pass slow,
And each road leads you where you want to go,
And if you're faced with a choice, and you have to choose,
I hope you choose the one that means the most to you.
And if one door opens to another door closed,
I hope you keep on walkin' till you find the window,
If it's cold outside, show the world the warmth of your smile,
But more than anything, more than anything,

My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,
Your dreams stay big, your worries stay small,
You never need to carry more than you can hold,
And while you're out there getting where you're getting to,
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too,
Yeah, this is my wish.

I hope you never look back, but you never forget,
All the ones who love you, in the place you left,
I hope you always forgive, and you never regret,
And you help somebody every chance you get,
Oh, you find God's grace, in every mistake,
And you always give more than you take.
Oh, more than anything, yeah, more than anything,

My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,
Your dreams stay big, your worries stay small,
You never need to carry more than you can hold,
And while you're out there getting where you're getting to,
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too,
Yeah, this is my wish.

We are proud of you, Unca Gug. Stay strong. Love you.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Blue + Yellow = Green

Yesterday, I went into the boys' bathroom right before dinner to spray it down for cleaning. I put some blue toilet cleaner in the toilet and decided to let it sit while we ate. We all sat down and prayed for our food. Then, I noticed Sleepy was dancing around in his seat as usual. I told him to go to the bathroom, but forgot to tell him to use a different bathroom. A minute later, we heard, "Mom! Blue and yellow make green!" Both Happy and Grumpy jumped up from the table to see, but their father told them to sit back down. What can I say? Our son is learning his colors.

Friday, December 14, 2007

To The Pound, Or Bust

Yesterday, I took the boys to the pound to look at cats. We didn't find the right cat for our family, so we ended up coming back home. I promised them that we would go to another pound tomorrow. With that promise in mind, they went about their business not forgetting for an instant about my promise. The day before, I had decided to start my exercise program again. With complete arrogance, I did the entire Tae-Bo video and congratulated myself for being able to get through it after months of ignoring it. "Wow! My heart is still going strong!" I said to myself. Twenty-four hours later, every muscle in my body was yelling at me. So, when we got back from the pound, I decided to feed the baby and then take a screaming hot bath to try to take away the aches and pains. I put the baby in his carseat next to the tub and closed myself off behind the shower curtain. Sleepy comes in and decides to talk to me and since the baby was fussing I asked him to put the pacifier in the baby's mouth. Since Sneezy is a very stubborn little boy, Sleepy had to keep the pacifier in his mouth the whole time. Eventually, Sleepy got tired of this vigilance and said he was done. I said, "No, you're not. Keep doing it for a little while longer." At which point the conversation went something like this:
"Can I stop now, Mom?"
"No."
"Now?"
"No."
"Now?"
"NO!"
"Now?"
"Fine! Everybody out! (Since Happy was in there, too. I never get a peaceful time to myself anymore.)
Later that evening, I developed a fever of 100.1. Bashful gave me some medicine and went downstairs to inform his father of my illness. He said, "Mom is sick. She has a fever. You're going to have to take us to the pound tomorrow." Good thing I'm doing fine today since his father laughed his head off at that statement.

"I'm Confused."

A conversation between father and son:

"I'm confused," said Grumpy. "Boys hate girl things, and girls hate boy things, right?"

"Right," said Doc. "But, someday, girls will be the most important thing in the world to you."

With incredulous disgust, Grumpy exclaimed, "I'm going to like GIRL things?!"

"NO! No!", cried Doc. "You will still like boy things, but girls will be very important to you. Trust me, kid, you will understand when the time comes."

Screwing up his face, Grumpy said, "I'm confused."

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Sour Cream Kisses

Sleepy does not like his new kitchen chore. Each boy has a kitchen chore to do and that really helps keep messes down to a minimum especially with a mom who is sleep deprived. Sleepy's chore is to clear off the dining room table after dinner. Happy has insisted on taking over the chore of setting the table, so I had to give Sleepy something else to do. It probably seems overwhelming to him, so I've asked Grumpy to help him for a little while until he gets it right. Last night, I went downstairs to collapse on the couch and feed the baby. Unbeknownst to me, they only took the plates, forks, and cups to the sink and left behind all the food. A little while later, I was dozing on the couch while the boys were watching a holiday special on TV. As I felt myself slipping away, I felt a cold wet kiss on my nose. I jerked awake to see Happy with sour cream all over his mouth. His grumpy mother then ordered him to the bathroom to wash up. As I wipe the sour cream off my nose, I realize it could have been worse.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Wild Goose Chases

I have never been able to think quickly. Not even when I was a fresh-faced kindergartner soaking everything up with my brain. It usually takes me a while to think about things especially when I have to think about finding something. I was the kind of child that had to be taught how to look for something I lost. I remember my dad sitting me down and telling me to go look back in my mind and think about the places where I had been. So, whenever I need to remember where I put something, I literally sit down and think about where I've been. My husband, on the other hand, is a very quick thinker. He probably thought it was odd the first time he was introduced to my way of finding things. We are both absent-minded and misplace things all the time. When we were first married, he would come to me asking where something is. I would stop what I was doing, sit down, and seem to go into a trance. He would stand there looking at me with a dumbfounded look on his face and say, "Uh, hello?" He probably thought I was ignoring his question and would be very impatient until I finally looked at him with an answer. As years went by, not being able to think about anything with him standing there impatiently, I would guess an object's location and thereby send him on wild goose chases. The wild goose chases became more frenzied over the years and I realized that strategy was not working either. Eventually, I got older and became more adept at communicating with my husband. Now, when he asks me where something is, I patiently (or impatiently in some cases) look at him and say, "I need to think about this for a minute." He then understands that he needs to give me some space for a minute or two to go into my trance. As I pull out the missing computer paper, the missing glasses, the white socks, the keys, the checkbook, etc., I whisper thanks to my dad who taught me this strategy of finding lost things. Unless Happy hides it. Then we're doomed.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Our Baby

The boys love their baby brother, Sneezy. They were there for his birth and he has been "our baby" ever since. There is no jealousy and they each want their turn to hold him on occasion. Sleepy and Happy will often argue about who's baby he is. I will hear them say, "My baby! No! MY baby!" The "discussion" will get so heated that I will cut in and say, "He's MY baby, so knock it off alright?" At one time, Grumpy asked, "Can I pet him, Mom?" I said, "He's not a dog, Grumpy. And yes, you can touch his hair." Yesterday, after church, Grumpy was having a snack when some friends of ours said that they were going to take Sneezy home with them. With tears welling in his eyes, he worriedly said, "You have to ask my mom first! You can't take him! He's OUR baby!" They assured him they didn't have a bed or diapers for him so they couldn't possibly take him home with them. It took a few moments to reassure him and when he noticed that I wasn't worried in the least, he gladly told a friend that all is well. I'm so thankful to see the love my boys show for this newest addition to our family. Give it a few years, though, and they'll probably think of him as a nuisance.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Someone To Call "Friend"

When Bashful was younger, he learned how to play chess. When he learned well enough to play the game with others, his competitive spirit was born. The kid liked to win and if he didn't, watch out. His younger brother, Grumpy, has also shown a competitive streak recently during his swimming lessons. As Doc took our sons into the locker room to change back into their clothes, Grumpy pointed to another boy and said with relish, "Do you see that kid over there? I beat him in a race!" Doc told him not to point, lower his voice, and finish getting dressed. As they were walking out the door, Grumpy couldn't take his eyes off the other boy as if reliving the ultimate victory in his mind.

During Bashful's soccer season, I would often watch Grumpy on the sidelines. When we first arrive on the field, Bashful takes his position and Grumpy looks for friends to play with. I watch him as he stands there watching other siblings playing in the grass with a look of yearning on his face. He eventually edges closer and closer to the group until he bombards them with his presence. It is the same at the lake or pool. It is the same at the park. He is always looking for a friend. When Bashful and Grumpy are together, I watch as Bashful will whisper in Grumpy's ear. Grumpy will then take off in the direction of a boy and ask him if he wants to play with them. Thus begins a round of sword playing.

When Bashful was attending a Christian school in our area, he had a learning experience with some peer pressure. There was a new boy in his class who constantly pressured Bashful into being mean to the girls. Bashful refused and thus became a hero in the eyes of the girls. They would say, "We like Bashful the best."

The Christmas season is upon us and I am reminded of Sleepy's special friend. He calls him "my friend Ho-Ho". He came home last Saturday after spending time with Doc with a picture of him sitting on Santa Claus's lap. I said, "Let me see!", but he went straight to the basement to show his brothers. Doc said, "He wants to go rub it in first."

Happy is the one who calls his brothers his friends. He would pat them on the head and say, "He my friend." They are brothers and they are friends.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Centipede City

Our house sits on critter heaven. We've battled snakes, spiders, and a lizard comes to visit in our window well daily. Did I mention we also have visiting centipedes? Doc finds the occasional centipede in the basement and does the usual spraying till they suffocate. Then he likes to bring me his prize and talk about how big and nasty it was. One time, I took Happy into the downstairs bathroom to give him his bath. There was a bowl sitting in the tub and I picked it up just as Happy was sitting down. Cowering underneath the bowl, was a humongous centipede and it was going straight toward my little boy's hind end. Since I was not expecting this little surprise, I was caught off-guard. Since I am also a girl, I did the usual screaming of the lungs as well. "Ahh, ahh, ahh!" came out a few times before I was able to grab a hold of my senses and my son. Since there had been a few seconds of hysteria, Happy was able to get a good look at the thing. "Worm in the tub, Mama!" Yeah. No kidding. Now every time I take him in there for his bath, Happy looks in the tub to make sure all is clear and announces, "No worm in tub, Mama," just to reassure me and maybe even himself. The kid will never get in there again without thinking twice.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I Tell Mama

It was interesting to see my husband and our two-year-old interact without me as a mediator. They both have a strong will and sometimes it tends to clash. Since I was relegated to the bedroom with our newborn baby, my husband had the duties of cooking, cleaning, and babysitting for a week. Many times that week, I heard the usual screaming and crying from Aidan and my husband dealt with it swiftly and efficiently. At one point, though, Aidan stomps up the stairs crying and goes into his room. Our bathroom is situated right next to his room and since I was in there, I was able to hear his ranting. I heard, "I tell Mama! I tell Mama!" in a pathetic, feel-sorry-for-me voice. It's hard not to laugh and feel sorry for the little termagent.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Resolute Protector of Men

When I was twelve years old, my mother's cousin brought her new baby for a visit. I was drawn to that little person like a moth to a flame. I was the firstborn of four children and already a little mother. I had my baby dolls and Barbie dolls, tea sets and doll house, but this was a REAL baby that I was allowed to feed and change. I remember lovingly doing these things during their visit and then as time went by they had to leave. I keenly felt my empty arms and went looking for my mother. We usually had our "woman to woman" chats in the bathroom and that's where I found her putting things away. With my heart in my eyes, I begged her to have another baby so I could take care of him or her. She sat down on the toilet seat and gently broke the news that she was done having babies. With tears rolling down my cheeks and my heart breaking, I heard her tell me that soon I will be able to have my own baby to love and hold. I love the newborn stage. It's my favorite and probably why I keep having babies. This part of my baby's life is so short and so precious. I love the feel of newborn skin. There is nothing softer. I love all of the funny expressions he makes from confusion to wonder. I love to watch him sleep and study the fine details of his face. Of course, to me, he is the most beautiful baby in the world. Again, I have become a young girl with my own little baby doll. We are never apart. During this time, many women get the baby blues. For me, it's a time of joyful thanksgiving and also sadness. Sadness because someday I will have to say goodbye to the days of childbearing. Right now, I bask in the blessing that God has given me. As I kiss his tiny cheek, feel his silky hair, and count his baby toes, I say, "Thank you, God, for my little Liam."

Friday, November 9, 2007

Candy Stash

As I bite into a luscious Reese's peanut butter cup, I have one thought in my mind. Thank you, Lord, that none of my children have food allergies. Otherwise, I would not be able to steal some of the candy bars from their Halloween candy stash. I would normally consider myself a meat and potatoes kind of gal. I would rather eat roast and mashed potatoes than candy any day. There comes a time, though, in every woman's life when eating chocolate becomes a must. Yesterday, I grabbed the pumpkin full of candy, locked the bathroom door, filled the tub with hot water, and luxuriated in a chocolate fest. It had to be done. May I say that Snickers is the best candy bar ever? Of course, Reese's comes in a very close second. Peanut butter and chocolate were made for each other. I was a bit disappointed to see no Butterfinger bars at all. What's up with that? Aidan probably noticed the less than full pumpkin because he brought me an empty one and told me that we need to get back in the car and go trick or treating again. I totally understand. So, what's your favorite candy bar?

Thursday, November 8, 2007

38 Weeks and Counting

Tuesday afternoon, I had my first false labor ever. I've never had false labor. It sucks. When I thought the baby was coming, all of a sudden adrenaline shot through my body and I began to shake from head to toe. I was excited and ready to go. My husband jumped up and starting doing what husbands do when they know their wife is about to give birth. He was going to make sure I made it to the hospital no matter what. We got the kids ready to go and told them to go outside and play. For some reason, the contractions were not progressing. I thought it was odd and decided to pace for a while hoping that would help things along. The boys came in to eat hot dogs and went out again. Still nothing was really happening. So, I decided to eat something since I hadn't eaten since breakfast. After that, the contractions were gone for good. That left us all utterly depressed. I was hoping to finally hold this little baby, my husband was hoping to meet him, too, of course, but also to get out of work, and the boys were hoping to get out of school. Ever since then, they've all been staring at my stomach and making comments such as, "I hope the baby comes soon," "You need to get up and start walking," "When is he coming?" I jokingly become irate with them all saying, "I'M the one who has had this baby in me for NINE MONTHS and I am more than ready for him to come out!" Just a few more days and I will be 39 weeks. That's when Aidan had decided to join us. If this baby decides to wait longer than that, I'm going to the hospital, bang on the doors, and demand that they do something. It's hard not to go insane with the waiting when I get a whiff of baby lotion or Dreft. Watching baby stories on TLC, is just stupid. As I see the baby lifted and put on the mother's stomach, I want to shake my fists at the TV and growl in the agony of impatience. I know I will call myself an idiot when I am going through the nightmare of pain bringing this child into this world, but that will only be for a short while. I keep telling myself, "Soon. Soon he will be here." It just better be before Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Breakdown

Last week, I thought my brain was going to explode into a million pieces. At the worst possible time in my life, I got a jury duty summons. Now, most of you might not think that was something to panic over. Some of you might even say, "Yippee! I get paid for this!" Me? I hate even the thought of jury duty. In the good ole state of Colorado, there is no job exemption from this duty. That means homeschool moms, too. How asinine. Why do they think we are homeschool moms in the first place? Don't they realize we are the only caregivers of our children and that our husbands would have to take the day off to take care of them while we sit on our butts in a courthouse? No, I do not like jury duty. I had asked my son to be my legs for me and go get the mail from the mailbox at the end of the drive. He came back in with it all and I slowly went through it. When I came to the jury duty summons, I thought I was seeing things. I did a double take. I immediately ripped it open looking for the part that says homeschool moms are exempt from this atrocious duty. Slowly realizing that there is no such part, the first stage of my panic began. I called the jury duty commissioner. I explained to her that I was very pregnant and by the time I have to show up I will have a very new baby. She told me to get a doctor's excuse and send it in. So, that day I went to see my midwife. She graciously gave me the excuse and I put it in my purse. Following that, I had to take Nat to his bagpipe lessons. We had a little time to kill, so Caleb decided to come and sit in the front seat. Unknowingly to me, he had kicked the doctor's excuse onto the floor of the van. I grabbed my purse from him since he was sitting on it and looked inside to make sure the paper was still safe and sound. When I didn't see it in the purse, on the seat, or between the seats, I looked out the open window. That's when I had a hormonally pregnant breakdown. I told the boys to get out of the van and look for it outside. The poor kids looked everywhere while I roamed the parking lot in the van with tears running down my cheeks. I'm sure the people who saw me thought I needed a Xanax. I even thought I needed a Xanax. I stopped the van to have a good cry even though I knew it was probably freaking out my two youngest ones. During my crying jag, I looked down at the floor one more time and saw a piece of paper. I turned it over and what do you know. Feeling like a fool, I let the boys know I had found it and Nat went in for his lesson. The next day, I made sure I had mailed the doctor's excuse before the mail carrier came and even bothered the jury commissioner again by emailing her and asking that she let me know if I am exempt from this duty. I put it at the back of my mind and yesterday received her reply that I am indeed exempt from this with a good excuse. Duh. A week after the episode in the van, Justin was still talking about Mommy crying in the van.

Monday, November 5, 2007

A Big Family

When you know you have a big family:

1) You come downstairs with two of your children and make them breakfast. The two-year-old is talking at the top of his lungs. You say, "Shhh! Be quiet! EVERYONE is sleeping."

2) You go through four gallons of milk a week.....and you know it's only going to get worse.

3) Your grocery bill is sky high....and you know it's only going to get worse.

4) You have to plung your toilets twice a week.

5) Your laundry room looks like Mt. Everest.

6) You need an entire room just for the stuffed animals.

7) You count heads in public places to make sure you are not losing someone.

8) You start barricading certain rooms in the house to keep them clean.

9) Mr. Clean Magic Erasers and Murphy's Oil Soap have become your best friends.

10) You realize that this will not last forever and hope to cherish every moment of it.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Absent-Minded Family

Our poor sons are doomed to be absentminded for the rest of their lives. It's in the genes. Both of their parents are prone to this and it will only get worse as we get older. If I don't put the van keys in a certain place, I will have to go ransacking the house for them. My husband is the same way with his eyeglasses. All of our sons will have this problem, but with Caleb it seems he has inherited a double shot. In my post Sliding Doors, Caleb leaves the van door open for the whole world to see. This occurrence hasn't happened in some time, but on Halloween night, it made its appearance again. I feel it was bound to happen again when he was thinking about something else. We had decided to meet Daddy for dinner and went to a fast food restaurant. We got our food, sat down, and started enjoying the high-fat, high-cholesterol yumminess. At one point, I looked out the window and immediately gasped. There was our van with the door wide open yet again. "Caleb! I told you to shut the door before we came inside!" Everyone gets up and looks out the window. My husband immediately leaves and we all watch him as he shuts the door and comes back in. After dinner, we go trick or treating. Of course, the boys had a blast and by 7:30pm, I was ready to take my big belly and go home. I took two boys and my husband took the two oldest to do more trick or treating and we went our separate ways. We all got home safe and sound and my husband went to work the next day. When my husband arrived home from work, he announced that the van door was wide open. We all looked at each other with puzzled looks. We hadn't gone anywhere. So, the issue of the van door may never be resolved.

Monday, October 29, 2007

The Way of All Drinking Glasses

We don't have a good track record with drinking glasses in this house. It is a given that we will eventually end up with no glasses in the house. We usually have to scrounge around for something to drink in and end up using the coffee cups. At least twice a year, I have to buy new glasses. There are various reasons why it ends up this way. The biggest reason is probably me since the boys don't even drink from them and use plastic cups instead. I have a reputation in our home as being a total clutz. Either my elbow or my fingers come in contact with the unsuspecting object and bam! I end up sweeping the floor. The scenario starts out with me cleaning up the kitchen. As I see the glass begin to fall to the floor, everything slows down to slow motion. My eyes widen, my mouth opens, and out comes a wail. "Noooooo!" is followed by a growl and a banging of the fists on the kitchen counter. I get very upset with myself and the boys know by now to scatter in all directions when that happens. Another way the glasses break is when they are left in the sink and someone will throw something on top of it. Then I am left with cleaning up broken glass in the sink. This weekend, I went to the store to get new drinking glasses. I had procrastinated on this, but after using coffee cups at dinner for the umpteenth time, I was finally fed up. I came home after my trip to the store and collapsed on the couch. I did my ordering of the unloading of the van from there like Queen Bee on her throne. Things were going well when all of a sudden I heard a crash outside. Aidan had seen what happened and came immediately to tell me that Caleb dropped something. I knew what it was. The dang glasses hadn't even gotten in the house without one of them coming to its end. I know that these new glasses will eventually find their end in the trash can. It seems to be tradition.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Little Sick Boy

Whenever our family goes out in public, we have to keep our fingers crossed. There is always a virus laying in wait for our poor unsuspecting children. This past week, four of us were laid low with the flu. For some odd reason, my husband and Caleb were happily saved from this. My other boys and myself included were not so lucky. My little imp was the first to come down with it and passed it on to me. I couldn't understand how we got sick when there was no apparent sickness going around where we were. As I'm hanging over the toilet wanting to die, I wanted to kill whoever had gone out in public with this virus. Anyway, the same night I received my gift, Justin proceeded to throw up on the couch and then the carpet before he made his way to the bathroom. The next day, as is usually the case, he was very stubborn and refused to sleep it off. By the time evening rolled around, Justin's eyes were bloodshot and droopy. In my flu-induced state, I told him to go to bed. He went downstairs to the basement instead. Since I was too ill to get up and enforce my word, I didn't realize what happened until later. My husband came upstairs to tell me that Justin had gotten his blanket, crawled into a toy bin that was bigger than him, pulled the lid over, and went to sleep. My husband lifted the lid to see a little boy curled up inside dead to the world. The next night, Justin fell asleep on the couch in the basement. Before I stumble to my bed upstairs, I reminded my husband not to forget about his son and carry him to bed before he makes his own trek up. Later that night, I hear the cries and screams of my son as he struggles up the stairs in the dark. I call to him and he climbs into bed with me. As I hold him and comfort him, he explains to me that daddy had turned out the lights with him in the basement before he collapsed on the couch in order to stay away from the sick people. The poor child went through a lot, but seems no worse for wear.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Not My Favorite Holiday

My favorite channel is the Food Network. I love getting ideas on making yummy food for my family and friends. The only time that I don't really appreciate it is during Halloween. It is chock full of ideas on how to make goulish-looking food or tons of sweets. It pretty much turns my stomach regardless of my pregnancy. Turning perfectly good breadsticks into fingers with long nails, spaghetti into worms, food with eyeballs, etc., totally grosses me out. It might be fun for boys and maybe for some girls, but it will not be something I can bring myself to do. When I was a kid, my mom made green eggs and ham for fun. All she did was put green food coloring in the scrambled eggs, but I couldn't touch them. I couldn't even look at them. Normally, I don't have a weak stomach. I can change my son's dirty diaper without one gag. Food is different for me. It should be something beautiful to look at, delightful to smell, and mouth-watering. Otherwise, it goes in the trash. Also, it's always candy this and candy that. Please. They get enough candy trick-or-treating. It's bad enough that it sits in my kitchen calling my name every now and again.

There's another thing about Halloween that I don't appreciate. It's the decorations. Pictures of ghosts, skeletons, bats, and haunted houses just don't do it for me. I think they are ugly to put it plainly. I love autumn decorations. I love the colorful leaves, scarecrows, straw, and candles in fall scents. I'm sure my boys would love fake webs and spiders in the house, but plainly I've had enough of that already.

Last year, we decided to start letting our kids go trick-or-treating. We didn't regret it. The boys had so much fun. They loved getting the candy, but the best part was dressing up in a costume. This year, I started early looking for costumes. We looked in every store where we live. A new store popped up in the area which was especially for Halloween costumes. I had never been in that store in my life and didn't know that I would come to regret stepping foot in it. I had my boys with me and had no idea that my boys were about to be scared to death. They should have had a sign that said, "Enter at your own risk. May be too scary for little ones." As we entered the store, there was a fake graveyard with all sorts of gory, frightening scenes. The boys stood there with there mouths open taking it all in. I hurriedly told them to come along and look for costumes. As we came away, I heard, "Mom! There was a man without a head! His head was in his hands!" "Mom! There were bugs crawling all over this guy's body! They were eating him!" As we moved along the aisles, there were moans and screams coming from various speakers throughout the store. I wasn't in there long when I realized that the prices and selections were definitely a waste of my time. Right before I decided to leave, I realized that the little hand I held was shaking. I looked down at Aidan. The poor boy was so scared his whole body was shaking in fear. I immediately hustled them all out the door berating myself for my ultimate stupidity. As I put them in their car seats, Aidan kept saying over and over, "I scared, Mama." He didn't want to go into any store after that. I know there will be times that I make mistakes as a mother and that was a whopper. I called myself a "dead beat mom" and smacked my forehead for a while after that.

Needless to say, Halloween is not my favorite holiday.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Light Bulb

Things I promised myself I would never do:

1) "discipline" my kids. I refuse to use the "s" word in case there is a weirdo out there ready to call the cops on me. I can say, "Why no, officer! I would NEVER do that. Just look at my blog. I said "discipline". That means "time out". Whenever I was spanked as a kid, the only thing I could think of to say to my parents in rebellion was, "I am never going to spank MY kids when I'm a mom!" I usually got a smirk, a quirk of the brow, and an, "Oh, yeah?"

2) eat vegetables. I would come to the dinner table and most often there would be vegetables as part of our meal. It would be a low point in my day to see those vegetables. My parents were adamant about eating every bite off our plate or we weren't allowed to leave the table. Most nights, I would be the last person sitting at the table crying into my plate refusing to eat the nastiness. One day, my tortorous little brother taped me crying like a little baby on a tape recorder. When I paused to take a breath, he pushed play and everyone got to hear the playback of my bawling. While everyone started giggling, naturally I wanted to pull his hair out. Stinker.

3) wear a certain dress size that will remain nameless. Now, that's just laughable after so many babies.

4) use the TV as a babysitter. If I want to take a shower, I will. Normally, I don't let the boys watch that much TV. There are times, though, when I need to have some time to myself and that's when a movie goes in.

5) use leashes on my kids. When my husband and I were honeymooning at Walt Disney World, I noticed some parents had leashes on their kids to keep from losing them. They were attached to the part of their backs where they couldn't reach them. I sneered and said, "I would never treat my children like dogs." God forgive my stupidity. If we ever have the opportunity, the leashes will be bought and used.

It's interesting how things change when you grow up and see the light.

Monday, October 22, 2007

My Baby Shower


Bigger than some; smaller than others. Almost 36 weeks and counting. I want to shout a big thank you to all of my family and friends for the outrageously generous gifts I received for my 5th baby. This kid is already spoiled and he's not even out yet. I washed all my new baby clothes in Dreft last night and was overwhelmed with the need for him to arrive immediately. He may be two or three weeks in coming, though. I will try not to go insane with the waiting. Here are some pics of the wonderful things I got.




Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Fairies

My husband and I have been married for twelve years now. We have had our share of pet peeves about each other, but there is one in particular that has me chuckling lately. For years, I have had a problem with the loud buzzer or extremely loud music that awakens my husband in the dark every morning. It probably wouldn't bother me so much if he didn't press the snooze button ten times. Literally. I'm not exaggerating here. Okay, so maybe it's only five, but you get the point. Now, I do have compassion for my husband. I understand it is very difficult to get up in the dark and get ready for a job that you would like to say "shove it" to. You would think I would remember this compassion early in the morning, but when you are as jealous of your sleep as I am, that compassion flies out the window after the third slap of the snooze button. I'm sure my husband's ears are still ringing over the years of complaints coming from the other side of the bed. "Just turn it off!" was my most grumpily mumbled complaint. Lately, though, the alarm clock has had a mind of its own. There were a few times when my husband would open his eyes to the light of dawn, look over at the clock, and freak out. As he rushed into the bathroom, I would pull my big belly out of bed and iron his clothes for him. Hey, I felt sorry for the guy. He would come out of the bathroom and stop dead in his tracks at the sight of me ironing his clothes. It would make me giggle under my breath thinking I am certainly not being so predictable and keeping this man on his toes. Because of these late to work episodes and the faulty alarm clock, my husband found a different source to wake him. The first time I heard "the fairies" I slowly sat up in bed and said, "What in the world is that?!" My husband kept snoozing away and I decided not to let it bother my sleep. A couple days later, I realized it was his cell phone. It wasn't your typical alarm. It sounds like a bunch of fairies gently playing their fairy instruments announcing a new day. I teased him and said, "Your fairies are telling you to wake up, sleepy head." I definitely preferred this to the buzzing of the monster bee, but for some reason, he used the alarm clock this morning. As I was jolted awake, I mumbled, "Where are the fairies? I like the fairies better." I'm sure my husband just loved it when I called it that.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Be Thou My Vision

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that thou art.
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Be Thou my battle Shield, Sword for the fight;
Be Thou my Dignity, Thou my Delight;
Thou my soul's Shelter, Thou my high Tower:
Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.

Riches I heed not, nor man's empty praise,
Thou my Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach Heaven's joys, O bright Heaven's Son!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.

Words by Mary Elizabeth Byrne

*I love the Irish tune to this lovely hymn.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Hector and Achilles

We do not have a very good track record with our pets. Our last guinea pig was ceremoniously dumped in the trash can, the pet fish was belly up when we came back from vacation in July, and the beagle puppy "mysteriously disappeared" a few months ago. The only pet we had left was Leigh and she was forever relegated to the garage after the diaretic episodes at 5 in the morning on two occasions. Now, I do my best to forget that we have an animal living in the vicinity. Growing up, my family had one animal after another in our house and it never bothered me. In fact, I was delighted as a girl would be. I never thought I would grow up to hate having animals in my home, but that turned out to be the case. I adore animals......just not in my house. There is a good reason for this non-welcoming feeling. I am the one who has to clean up after them, feed them, and listen to their noise. I already have four boys to do all that for and now I have to do that for an animal? Somehow my patience runs thin much easier and faster for something with fur. After the last pet was gone, except for the dang dog, I announced to the family that I am done. I am done with animal poop forever. I'm tired of guinea pig poop, fish poop, puppy poop, dog poop, and bird poop. Nasty creatures, birds. So, when my husband told me he wanted to get a couple of cockatiels that a lady was giving away for free, I gave him a look of disbelief and then wondered if he had a hearing problem. I do remember that I swore off pets forever and ever, but husband has a soft spot for them and feels the boys need to bond with an animal. I explained to him my problems with birds. I would be the one ending up cleaning their cage and they are noisy. I would spend a lot of time hearing "tweet, tweet", "tweet, tweet" followed by my yelling at them to shut up and give me some peace and quiet. Husband insisted that he or Nathanael would do the cleaning. I snorted in disbelief and put it out of my mind. I forgot about this conversation with my husband and went about my week as normal. Last night, I got back home with the boys from Justin's swimming lesson at around 7:15pm. I greeted my husband who was watering the plants outside, opened the front door, and stopped dead in my tracks. In my living room, were two birds huddled together in a cage. They are gray and white with yellow mohawks and they were scared to death. I came to the conclusion that I am doomed for the rest of my life to have a pet in my house at one time or another. As my husband follows the children into the house, I looked at him with narrowed eyes and said, "I'm not cleaning that cage." I'm such a sweet, little wife.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Screaming Banshee

They have a termagent for a mother. I have become increasingly irritable lately. I have difficulty sleeping and I feel pressured to get school done every day in order to take time off for this baby to finally GET HERE already. I have done a lot of yelling and that's probably why this baby won't come until he's good and ready. Who wants a mother who yells all the time? He's probably in there thinking, "Take a chill, Mom." I know all of them are thinking that while I'm screaming like a banshee. Lately, I have noticed a peculiar trait in my oldest son that has exasperated me. This week, he left a garbage bag in the garage without putting it in the garbage can. Not putting the garbage in the trash can in the garage is a big no-no in our house because the dang dog is a bad dog when it comes to trash. She had gotten into the bag and the trash was strewn all over the garage. As I am "reprimanding" him for this and telling him he has to clean up the mess, he stares at me with no emotion on his face. He gives no indication of what he is thinking although having been there I know exactly what he is thinking. At least he has the brains to keep his thoughts to himself. The kid would thrive in the military even at ten years old. Caleb, on the other hand, will look at me like I've lost my mind. Justin will become exasperated and huffily say, "Okay!" Aidan will get this scared look on his face and hurriedly say, "Sorry, Mama," after I yell at him for making another mess. When I stopped breastfeeding Aidan at a year old, there was something about myself that I noticed right away. For an entire year, I had been calm. There was hardly any yelling and our home was peaceful. As soon as I stopped breastfeeding, the screaming banshee came back. I told my husband last night that maybe this time I should breastfeed longer than I normally do just so we can keep the monster at bay. He thought that was a good idea. If I could, I would breastfeed till the kid were five years old, but I think that's just nasty, so that idea wouldn't work. Most of the time, I consider myself a calm and easy-going mother of four boys with one on the way. That one on the way, though, has given his mother quite a boost of hormonal craziness.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Pet Peeves

The crack of chewing gum always drove my mother crazy. Growing up, my siblings and I learned never to crack our gum with our mother in the same room. Whenever I involuntarily cracked my gum, her head would whip around and she would have this crazy look in her eyes. "Spit it out," she would demand and would even hold out her hand if there was nothing available to dispose of the gum. The cracking of gum never really bothered me, but this past Saturday I realized that I do have my own pet peeve and it drove me nearly insane. I have realized for years now that I have a gentleman for a husband. I was thankful for this quality in him never more so than on Saturday. We went to our son's last Soccer game together this past weekend. We sat next to Loudmouth Dad. Yelling his head off was bad enough, but then the man began to spit on the ground. I've seen men do this for years. Ever since I was a teenager and saw teenage boys do this, I was completely disgusted by it. My brothers also experimented with this "manly" pasttime when I was still living with them and I would snear at them and demand they stop that disgusting habit. Spitting is disgusting to me, but when it is accompanied by tobacco, I would have a queasy sensation in my stomach. That is probably one of the reasons why I will never be able to live in West Virginia. Visiting my parents there has been an education about the men of that particular state. Every single man has a round indentation in the back pocket of his pants indicating he has a can of tobacco waiting. You hear spitting men wherever you go- the grocery store, the movies, and don't get me started on the ball games. I have not been around men who spit very often, so it was quite a jolt to be sitting next to someone who did it every minute for an hour. Every time I heard him spitting on the ground, I wanted to wring my hands around his neck and squeeze. Not a very Christian-like attitude, I know, but I do believe it was extremely rude and ill-bred. So, I know that I will do exactly as my own mother did with my pet peeve. The first time I hear one or more of my sons spit upon the ground, my head will whip around and I will get this crazy look in my eyes. "Don't ever do that again in front of me, you hear?" I would say. So that's my pet peeve. What's yours?

Friday, October 5, 2007

Take My Life

Take my life, and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to thee,
Take my moments and my days;
Let them flow in ceaseless praise.

Take my hands, and let them move
At the impulse of thy love.
Take my feet, and let them be
Swift and beautiful for thee.

Take my voice, and let me sing,
Always, only, for my King.
Take my lips, and let them be
Filled with messages from thee.

Take my silver and my gold;
Not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect, and use
Every power as thou shalt choose.

Take my will, and make it thine;
It shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart, it is thine own;
It shall be thy royal throne.

Take my love; my Lord, I pour
At thy feet its treasure store.
Take myself, and I will be
Ever, only, all for thee.

Amen.

Words by Cecil Frances Alexander

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

1983- The Grocery Store Incident

My youngest brother's birthday was this week. He is seven years younger than me and my first experience with babies. I'm sure I was the little mother with him in between the big sister moments. He always seemed so little and fragile to me and I guess that's why Justin reminds me of him sometimes. To celebrate my baby brother's birthday in a big way, I'm going to tell a story about him. This is the story that seems to be the one my mother tells of the most about him probably because it was very traumatic for her. Being a mother of boys myself, I totally understand that. This story is prominent in my mind lately and I think you'll know why. When I was little, we lived in a neighborhood where the grocery store and the elementary school were within walking distance. On one particular day, my mother took us on a walk to the grocery store. We got to the store and Mom made her purchases without any problems. As we were leaving, though, that's when disaster struck. She pushed the doors open and poop that had been in my brother's underwear fell out onto the floor. My mother was immediately horrified and probably in a trance for a second or two. Before she could possibly do anything about it (I have no idea what), the door closed with a "whoosh" and the poop was smeared into the floor. We stood there transfixed until we were rushed out the door as fast as possible hoping to escape notice and marched back home. When we got there, Mother took my brother to the backyard, stripped him down naked, took the hose, and blasted his little butt with it. At the time, I'm sure my mother was irate and horribly embarrassed. Like me, though, she has learned to laugh about the crazy situations she found herself in. I prefer listening to this story from her perspective, but I think you get the idea. My brother is no longer pooping in grocery stores (at least not on the floor), but maybe someday he will have a little one with the same tendencies. I can't wait.

Potty Breakthrough

Every morning, Aidan wakes me up by getting into bed with me and proceeds to talk or sing to himself until mama pays attention. This morning, he did exactly that until I finally got up and threw a load of laundry in the washer all the while listening to him trying to tell me something about poop/potty chair while wearing no diaper. As is usually the case, he takes his diaper off now when it feels too tight or uncomfortable then goes looking for another one for mama to put on him. Well, he couldn't find another diaper this morning and decided to do his business anyway. I had visions of poopie on the floor somewhere, so I wasn't very happy. When I came out of the laundry room, I went into the bathroom without much hope of seeing poopie in the potty, but I decided to lift the lid and peek anyway. I was delightfully wrong. The kid had actually gotten up this morning while I was snoozing away, took off his diaper, and proceeded to poop in the potty chair. I was absolutely amazed. I don't know what the next days hold, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Now I just have to teach him to wipe himself, flush the toilet, wash his hands, and turn the light off. This will take years.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Aidan Adventures

Aidan looks just like the cherub on my sidebar with innocent expression and all. Of course, he is definitely cuter. He can be very sweet and empathetic as well. He loves to cuddle and kiss and be an all-around little angel. There is another side to Aidan, though. It seems as if he is an angel one minute and a devil the next. He has been a busy little bee this week. This week, after school was over, I come upstairs to find cereal spread out over the family room. Another day, I had stupidly left out some spices on the kitchen counter one of them being garlic powder. After school, I come upstairs to find a fine layer of garlic powder on the kitchen floor and the bottle no where to be seen. Later on in the week, I find the rest of the garlic powder in with the summer clothes that I had put in bins to be stored when the weather finally gets cold. As I'm picking out clothes for the boys to wear, I have to shake off garlic powder in the process. A couple days ago, I make a couple apple pies. Again, my absent-mindedness cost me when I left out the cinammon. My kitchen smelled all cinammony fresh with another fine layer of it on the floor. Yesterday afternoon, he comes to my side all cherry and happy while I am doing Phonics with Justin. I smell cinammon. I knew there was no cinammon left from the bottle which had been thrown away, so I knew he had disobeyed me. Threats from mommy do not phase this kid even though I am consistent. There were two apple pies sitting on the stove and he just couldn't stand the temptation anymore. There was an Aidan-sized hole in one of my pies. That night, we had applesauce as part of our dinner. I informed Caleb that he had to clear off the table which is his daily chore. Being the lazy one, it took some time for him to get it done. In the meantime, Aidan had taken handfuls of applesauce and splashed them on the floor and both upstairs and downstairs walls. Now, by this time, you are probably wondering why I haven't done something about this little terror in my house. Well, I will tell you that I have already tried the gate. Well, I'll say a cheap gate because I'm cheap. The kid is a football player because whenever I put up the gate he tears it down taking paint along with it. I know that if I want to keep my sanity in tact I will probably have to invest in the stronger but astronomically expensive gates and buy two so that I can stack them on top of each other and kind of make an impenetrable door. Oh, I have my ideas. So, if anyone is wondering why I have this weird, crazy look on my face all the time or why I keep stuttering in a dull fashion you'll know why.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Daydreams

I am a daydreamer. I always have been. When I was a girl, I daydreamed about my prince charming. Now, my daydreams are a little different.

I daydream:

1) about being 120 pounds again.

2) about what I would like to eat.

3) about going on a date with my husband, but not just any date. The kind of date that Richard Gere took Julia Roberts on in Pretty Woman. You know. The kind where she wears this glorious red gown and he wears a tux. He then takes her on a ride in a limo then a plane to see an opera.

4) about giving birth during different scenarios. For instance, what happens if the baby's head starts to come out while we are still in the car?

5) about having long, glorious hair down to my hips like those medieval women you see in the movies.

6) about Hilary Clinton and that muslim Obama guy being mysteriously assassinated.

7) about being kidnapped by Muslim terrorists and sent to live in Iraq while awaiting ransom. (I have no idea why I think about that one. I have an overactive imagination.)

8) about having a maid come in and clean my house on a frequent basis. Must be nice, Han. Not that I'm jealous or bitter or anything like that.

9) going back to high school and becoming Homecoming Queen. Oh, wait. I'm supposed to act like I don't care about that and would never go back.

10) visiting Great Britain. I would love to hear that British accent all around me and then come home driving everyone insane with jealousy saying things like, "Would you like a cup of tea?" in my brilliantly faked accent. I would "stumble" upon a glorious castle of a duke and after exchanging names everyone would discover that I am related to the duke. Therefore, I am entitled to his wonderful array of Arabian horses and acres of land to ride on. Not to mention the bedroom filled with antiques and 24-karat-gold bedspread.

As you can see, I have quite the imagination. What are some things that you daydream about?

Spaced-Out

Whenever I get pregnant, I space-out for nine months. I define the word "absent-mindedness". I'm always losing something I need or forgetting about something. Basically, I lose my mind. Just last week, I brought my boys to the grocery store to get a few things and walked right up to the exit door. I just stood there for two seconds wondering why the doors wouldn't open when the entrance doors next to us opened for someone else. This pregnancy hasn't been as bad, but I recall a time when my absent-mindedness cost me a huge amount of embarrassment. When I was pregnant with Justin, Nathanael was in pre-K and Caleb was barely 2. We had a little Kia Sephia at the time instead of our van with only two little ones sitting in the backseat. Three days a week, I took Nathanael to his adorable little class at a Christian school in town. I always liked to walk him to the door and get a kiss and hug before saying goodbye. I would then walk back to the car and to my other little one waiting for me. During one particular morning, I did all those things and came back to my idling car with Caleb in his carseat in the back. I lifted the door handle and....it wouldn't open. I had locked the car with the car running and my baby was in it. I could feel my whole body heat up and panic coming on. I ran to the window on Caleb's side hoping the little thing would understand his mommy's sign language and unlock his door. He just looked at me like I was a mad woman and unlike his mommy didn't panic. A nice lady saw my predicament and called the fire department. That's right. The big tough guys with the shiny red truck that screams down the road ready to fight fire or jimmy open car doors for pregnant women. As the nice lady and I stared at Caleb through the window waiting for help, we heard a distant scream of the siren. I wanted the ground to open up and swallow me whole. They rounded the corner and were here to the rescue. They got the car unlocked while everyone came out of their houses to watch and I gratefully expressed my thanks with a red face and sheepish smile. As I pulled away from the curb finally to flee the scene of my embarrassment, I reminded myself it could have been worse. At least I didn't have to pay them. I know. I'm so cheap.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Toilet Instructions

In a house full of boys, the potty-training doesn't end. I'll be potty-training my boys until they are out of the house. I've gotten them to the point where they will use the toilet, but that's about it. I still have to remind them to wipe themselves, flush the toilet, and wash their hands. After the 101st reminder of those basic things, they still don't remember to turn the light off or shut the door while they do their business. Whenever I clean the two bathrooms that they use, I scour those places with heavy-duty cleaners and when I'm done they still smell like urine. One day, this past week I went into the downstairs bathroom. Being 90 weeks pregnant, I have to visit the bathroom hourly. With three boys using the same toilet, it certainly gets a lot of use during the day. As I stood up, I realized that there is another rule that needs some help. As the only female in the house, this rule had me irate as I stormed out of the bathroom into the kitchen. I looked at the boys and yelled, "Pee in the water! Do you understand?! Do NOT pee on the toilet!" I particularly looked at Justin as I said this because he is the one usually dancing around waiting until the last minute to go. He's probably the one doing most of the splashing although I would bet a million bucks his brothers help out with that. Later on that day, we were just sitting down to dinner when I noticed Justin wiggling in his seat as if he had ants in his pants. I ordered him to go to the bathroom. He does this dancing, wiggling, kind of run as he sprints to the bathroom with an anxious look on his face hoping to make it there before he pees in his pants. I watch him as he climbs onto the toilet and proceeds to pee in the sink. "Justin! What in the WORLD are you DOING?" Nat and Cabe began to laugh and said, "He's peeing in the water, Mom!" with absolute glee. As Justin comes back to the table, I said, "Justin, I meant pee in the water IN THE TOILET. Okay?" He said, "Oh. Sorry," with this confused, sheepish look on his face. As I'm scouring the bathroom sink, I realized I'm going to have to be more specific in the future.

100th Post!!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Bed In Summer

When I was a kid, my parents made my siblings and I go to bed at 8pm. When kids have to wake up early to get ready for school, it's understandable to me now why they felt we had to be in bed at a decent hour. My brothers still complain about that to this day. They like to tell of how they would be told to go to bed and they would look outside. To them, it looked like the middle of the day it was so bright out. My brothers were probably in the middle of a death scene or something. They would trudge to bed with many whines and complaints. I'm sure my sister and I did as well. My brothers would plop into bed, prop their chins in their hands, and look out their bedroom window. They would watch forlornly at all the children across the street playing in their yards and wishing they could be with them. After having my own boys, I believe it is a boy's dream to live like Peter Pan. Hey, they want to BE him. No school, no clothes, no dining etiquette, no vegetables, no baths, no toothbrushes, and no scheduled bedtime would be the ideal life. Of course, they'd have to be able to fly and throw boulders to Timbuktu as well. I guess that's why my boys' favorite movie is Peter Pan. Go figure. Justin and I were having our regular reading time together when we came across this poem. This is for all those boys out there who would rather fight the bad guys with their trusty swords than go to bed with the sun still shining.

Bed In Summer

In winter I get up at night
And dress by yellow candlelight,
In summer, quite the other way,
I have to go to bed by day.

I have to go to bed and see
The birds still hopping on the tree,
Or hear the grown-up people's feet
Still going past me in the street.

And does it not seem hard to you,
When all the sky is clear and blue,
And I should like so much to play,
To have to go to bed by day?

- Robert Louis Stevenson

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Tarantula Heaven


The batteries died on my camera before I could zoom in and get a better picture. You kind of get an idea of how big it was by looking at the big, black blob. This is the tarantula that was terrorizing our house before my husband bravely put it to death.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Ricochet

I love to watch my son play soccer with other kids his age. Some kids are so tall they look like giants compared to my pre-adolescent one, but I don't worry. I know he will catch up someday. This year the parents on the sidelines are particularly vocal. Throughout the game, I hear a lot of "go, go go!", "kick it!", "good job!", among some other riveting comments. Our team has the most parents yelling at the top of their lungs. The other teams' parents usually look over at one point with frustrated looks at all the noise. I usually just sit there and watch like the dignified person I like to think of myself as. All the kids on our team want a chance to kick the ball into oblivion, so the defenders usually don't protect the goalie leaving him stranded. During one point in last week's game, Nathanael was the goalie. His teammates were on the other end of the field all ready and willing to get their chance to win a goal for their team. Then comes this humongous kid who got the ball for the opposing team and went straight for our goal. The noise on the sidelines came to a frenzy. The boy kicked as hard as he could and the ball went straight for Nathanael. It hit him right in the forehead and ricocheted off the goal post into out-of-bounds. As my son grabs his forehead and runs for the ball, I hear, "All right!", "That was awesome!", "Did you see that?", "We'll be talking about that all week long!" He seemed alright and the game resumed. At break time, he was coming in for his water bottle and as the parents cheered him and clapped, he broke out into goofiness. He opened his mouth in a voiceless cheer, waved his hand, and was an all-around ham. He may have taken a hit, but he saved the goal. The kid was euphoric.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The In-Law

I knew I would love them as soon as I met them. I just wondered what they would think of me. I was nervous the day my husband drove me up to the family cottage in Michigan to introduce me to his parents. I fiddled with my hair and primped in the mirror over and over again looking at myself and wondering how many glaring imperfections in me would they see during our time together. Would they wonder what in the world was he thinking? I have often wondered that myself, but I wasn't about to let him go. You don't find one like him. We pulled into the gravel driveway and when I got out of the car, I was immediately enveloped in hugs and greeted with smiles. From that very moment, I was their new daughter. I didn't have anything to worry about. After twelve years of marriage, that has not changed. During our July vacation, my mother-in-law informed me that she thinks of me and her other daughter-in-law as her daughters. Period. A few years ago, we both discovered we shared a love of Jane Austen not to mention Reformed theology. It is a wonderful gift from God to be able to share my beliefs with this wise woman. She is truly a Titus 2 woman and I learn a lot from her. My father-in-law is a quiet man. He has been wonderful to me. When my husband was in basic training for the Air Force, I went to live with them during his time in hell. My father-in-law plied me with gifts during that lonely time and when his father died a few years ago, each of his children got a personal check from the inheritance. That included me because he didn't think to leave me out just because I am brought into the family by marriage only. I have been surprised and humbled beyond words by these people's actions over the years. They have never even thought to interfere in our marriage or our decisions. That has been the biggest act of love and respect they could have given to us. Even when my mother-in-law probably wanted to scream at my husband for taking us away from her, she never let on. My love for them has only grown over the years and will continue to grow as my marriage grows. I'm not the in-law in the family. I'm a McIntyre, too. Thanks Mom and Dad.

Bible Plays



One night, we had a big thunderstorm and our electricity went out. There was no TV, no lights to be able to read, and no computer. We were bored off our rockers. We lit some candles and then Nathanael had an idea. He wanted to do some Bible plays. My husband and I offered to be the audience, so Nat put his brothers to work and they did the story of Adam and Eve and Cain and Abel. Nathanael was the narrator as well as a character or two and he astounded us with his knowledge of the two stories. He narrated almost as if he were reading from a script. We asked him where he got this information and he told us about this book, The Children's Illustrated Bible. It was collecting dust on the bookshelf when he discovered it and took it to his room. Over a short period of time, he read it from cover to cover. This was surprising to us because, well, the kid doesn't enjoy reading. When he reads, he does it to get it over with and therefore, doesn't remember much of what he read. He obviously enjoyed this book very much and learned a lot from it as well. This is exciting for me because my kid was reading and I didn't have to make him do it.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Short-Tempered Big Mouth

I'm not normally a mean person. I would rather die than show any mean-spiritedness to anyone. I hate confrontations and I am a people pleaser. I like to make friends and to be nice at all costs is very important to me. Things get a little tweeked when I'm pregnant. Hormones rage and emotions run high especially when I'm tired or hungry. Sundays seem to bring out that part of me. Our church is mostly full of old people. My husband and I look like total babes compared to the amount of life experience in the building. When we started attending almost a year ago, they took one look at our family and was willing to spoil our children rotten till I was ready to pull my hair out. I kept thinking, "I'M the mother!", but to no avail. Our children are just too much temptation for them and they bombard us with candy, cake, ice cream and stuffed animals galore. All our kids have to do is look up at them with their beautiful eyes and pink cheeks and they are wrapped around their little fingers. I often wonder if they pay attention to what our kids are doing during the service more than the sermon. Since my husband has become a deacon, he has been helping out and I have been the sole parent in the pew. That makes for a very tired and short-tempered mommy after the last hymn. After the service is over, our kids are treated to a feast of junk food or desserts that will give them diabetes before the year is out. My little imp, Aidan, had found a ball to play with and took it with him into the fellowship room. All he had to do was look up at an older lady and ask for a cup of water and she gave it to him. I was unaware of this when I come upon him spilling his drink on the floor. I took it for granted that my husband had given him the drink and said in an irate voice, "Who gave that to him?" Noticing my temper, my husband immediately tried to console the situation by saying, "It's okay, it's okay," all the while wiping up the mess. The lady asked if it was alright if he had a drink and I said sarcastically, "Well, not when there is a BALL in his arms!" She immediately apologized and said she couldn't help but give him what he wanted since he asked so sweetly. I wanted to die. I gulped and said, "Well, he does have that cherubic look to him, too." Me and my big mouth.

I Told You So

This past weekend our family went through more arachnophobia. In my last story about that, I mentioned my oldest son coming to me in the middle of the night telling me he had seen a big, black, hairy tarantula in his room. I didn't believe him and neither did his father. We thought it was his imagination or he had been dreaming or anything to make us able to sleep at night. We were sleeping totally unaware. My husband was spraying the outside of our house with spider repellent when all of a sudden the door bursts open and he yells, "Dee! Get out here, quick!" I thought, "What in the world has him freaking out like this?" and walked out the front door. He pointed to the corner where our house meets the garage and I looked up. There on the wall of my house was the biggest, blackest, hairiest tarantula I had ever seen in person. I just could not believe my eyes. I ran inside and told the boys to get outside to see this thing. Nat took one look and said, "I told you there was a tarantula in my room."

Thursday, September 6, 2007

The Lazy One

I have the laziest boy on the face of the earth. If you think yours is the laziest, I beg to differ. I love the kid. He makes me laugh and has a great imagination. I could just eat him up. The one thing that makes me worried about him is that he will turn out to be a bum. On the streets. Homeless. Whenever I ask Caleb to do something for me, out comes this high-pitched whine almost like a fire engine screaming down the street. It especially drives me crazy during school time. I ask him, "Would you act like this if Mrs. Cook told you to do this?" It does make him think about that and his answer would be no. I told him I deserve the same respect as his teacher and I can also whop him if he acts up. It doesn't seem to be working on his behavior, though. Another thing that he hates doing is taking a bath. We have threatened him with all sorts of disgusting things that could happen to him if he doesn't clean himself. I told him if he doesn't wash his hair I will call him lice boy and shave his head bald. That seems to have worked, but we will see. The other day, I noticed his teeth seemed peculiarly yellow for such a young boy. My eyes became slits and I used my "don't mess with me" voice to tell him I know he is not brushing his teeth and he better get to it or he will have a ton of cavities. I then proceeded to try to scare the daylights out of him by telling him will have to get a shot and fillings put in if he does have a cavity or more. He didn't look like he quite believed me. He probably has that invincible feeling that nothing bad could really happen to him or he could prevent it somehow. Because of his extreme laziness, my biggest rule with Caleb is that if he does it right the first time, he won't have to do it again. It will be interesting to see how this kid turns out, God love him.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

The Look

When my husband and I went out together for the first time, we went to a restaurant with some friends. We were sitting in a curved booth together and having a great time getting to know one another. I remember having a lot of fun. Years later, my husband informs me that he thought I was bored off my rocker at the time. I didn't understand because I remember that I was so happy just being with him. Soon after we were married, we were at Walt Disney World with his brother, his brother's wife, and their sister. I was having a fine time enjoying the rides. My sister-in-law asked my husband at one time if I was alright. She wasn't sure because I looked so serious. Occasionally, I will get a concerned friend asking me if I'm okay because they see that serious, bored look on my face when I'm perfectly happy and having a good time. I find it an odd characteristic and I know I have passed it on to one or more of my sons. When I was a kid, one of my favorite cartoons was Tom and Jerry. I still like to watch it even now. I introduced the cartoon to my boys a few years ago and have watched them enjoy it with much laughter. A couple days ago, we were watching Tom and Jerry together and I observed my boys watching the cartoon. All of them had a look of delight on their faces. All except one. Aidan looked bored silly and very serious. Not one laugh or look of delight. Yet I knew he was engrossed and very interested. Someday, this poor kid will be out with a young woman and as females always do wonder what he is thinking. She will see that bored, serious look on his face and think all sorts of things that may not be true. If she's smart, she will bide her time and eventually realize that it has nothing to do with her. Unless, it really does. Then she's screwed.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

The Letter

I told my husband that a good vacation for us someday would be to go to Yellowstone National Park. The boys were wondering about it, so I told them what it was like there- geysers, an active volcano, animals of all kinds, Old Faithful, etc. I could see the wheels turning in their heads just thinking about it.

I found this little note last night from Caleb addressed to his dad. I will type it exactly how he wrote it.

Hey dad, whats up.
I was thinking that mabey we can go to the yellowstone naichanal park so we can see volcanos.
I love you so much dad.

I swore up and down to his father that I didn't put him up to this. This one's definitely a keeper.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Sweet Man

"What kind of man do you think I'll be someday?" asked a boy to his mother. "Well, I think you'll be the man that you are now," replied his mother.

One time, I told my husband that same sentiment. I said that I believe our sons will be the men that they are now. He told me that a man changes too much to be the same person he was as a boy. I partly disagreed. I even used him as an example. When we were dating in college, my husband didn't have a car so he borrowed a friend's bike to go to the store which was a mile or more away to buy me a rose. He rode that bike all the way back to our college campus carrying the rose in one hand and steering with the other. When he got to my window which was on the top floor, he threw rocks at it to get my attention as he usually did. When I saw what he did for me, I thought it was the sweetest thing in the world. I reminded my husband of this history of ours and told him he is a very sweet man. He informed me that men don't like to be called sweet. Regardless of how he feels about the word, I believe that the sweetness he had as a boy has shown through his manliness at certain times. I have had many occasions to observe my sons in different situations. As boys, they can be rough and tough and as men they will be as well, I know, but they are also sweet boys. That sweetness will come out occasionally when they are men and enable them to be good husbands and fathers. I guess that's why I am looking forward to the time when my sons will be taller than me, speak with a deep voice, and move furniture around for me. I know there will be tough times as they grow into their manhood, but someday I will see the sweetness shine through them as they kiss their wives or hold their babies.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Friday, August 24, 2007

Suppose

SUPPOSE

Suppose, my little lady,
Your doll should break her head;
Could you make it whole by crying
Till your eyes and nose were red?
And wouldn't it be pleasanter
To treat it as a joke,
And say you're glad 'twas Dolly's,
And not your head, that broke?

Suppose you're dressed for walking,
And rain comes pouring down;
Will it clear off any sooner
Because you scold and frown?
And wouldn't it be nicer
For you to smile than pout,
And so make sunshine in the house
When there is none without?

Suppose your task, my little man,
Is very hard to get;
Will it make it any easier
For you to sit and fret?
And wouldn't it be wiser,
Than waiting like a dunce,
To go to work in earnest
And learn a thing at once?

Suppose that some boys have a horse,
And some a coach and pair;
Will it tire you less while walking
To say, "It isn't fair"?
And wouldn't it be nobler
To keep your temper sweet,
And in your heart be thankful
You can walk upon your feet?

- Phoebe Cary

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Arachnophobia

I've never seen the movie Arachnophobia and I never plan to. My husband saw it before we met and he was never the same after that. When we were newlyweds living in a small apartment in Florida, I came to understand my husband's aversion to spiders when he found one on the ceiling above our bed. I was in the kitchen when I heard him yell. I run into the bedroom thinking, "What in the world?" His reaction seemed funny to me since he had a broom in his hands ready to do murder. It was just a spider, for Pete's sake. He asked me if I had ever seen the movie. I said, "Of course not." Four babies later, we end up battling another spider together. I'm being lazy as usual during my last trimester and I'm on the couch when I hear the boys yelling, "There's a tarantula!" over and over again. I turn to see what is going on and see Nat and Justin hovering on the stairs. Aidan is walking around looking for it and Caleb is no where to be seen. I gradually get my bulky self off the couch to waddle over to the stairs looking for whatever it is they think is a tarantula. Nat points to the floor near the bathroom and I finally find it. I squint at it and scoff, "That's not a real spider" and then it moved. It was one of those thin, brown spiders and it was big. Since I'm not one to scream like a total ditz, I yelled for my husband instead. I said, "You're the man of the house. Get up here and do your duty!" I looked down the stairs and there he was peeking around the corner with dread on his face. He came upstairs and had the same scoffing attitude I did of "yeah, right. Sure there's a spider." His expression turned from disbelief to shock when he got a good look at it. He asked, "Where's the spider spray?" I told him where to find it and told Nat to get one of daddy's shoes. Meanwhile, I'm trying to kill it with a cup and following it into the bathroom and out again. Husband stands 100 feet away from the thing and starts spraying. That just makes the spider move toward the couch. No way was that spider going to find a place to hide, so my husband grabs the couch and with one powerful move of his biceps he lifts the couch and growls, "Kill it!" in warrior-like fashion. I grab the shoe from Nat and slam it on top of the spider and I twist the shoe to make sure it had a horrible death. We both breath a sigh of relief and tell the boys the coast is clear. Two nights later, I'm in a dreamless sleep when I am awoken by my oldest son. "Mommy, there's a tarantula in my room." I sigh, rub his arm, and tell him to get in bed with Justin. Of course, I am unable to go back to sleep right away thinking of a certain spider crawling around my house. The next morning, my son tells me he was awake when he looked down beside his bed and saw what he thought was one of his stuffed animals. He reached down to grab it when it moved. He said it was big, black, and hairy. My son and his imagination will probably not step foot in his bedroom for the next year. My husband did some research that day since we wanted to make sure it wasn't a brown recluse that we saw. There is at least one good thing about living in Southern Colorado. Brown recluses are very rare here. Hoo-aw! Now I can sleep.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Wordless Wednesday


This is what happens when you leave Southern Colorado for a week on vacation in July. For more WW go to 5 Minutes for Mom.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Fish Meatballs

Some kids can understand concepts naturally. They can learn as easy as a snap of the fingers. Some are a little different. Those children need a little more help learning basic concepts and understanding them. For instance, this crayon is first and that crayon is last. Some kids just get it without being taught. Others need reinforcement on the words and positions. I love my homeschool curriculum. It gives me the choice of whether to teach the basic concepts or just give them the worksheet and say, "Read the directions and do it." I have the same curriculum for two of my sons each in a different grade. With one son, I am able to say the latter. With the other son, I must teach the basics. It is rather interesting to me that each of my sons have come from my womb, and yet they are so very different from each other. I have one in kindergarten and occasionally he manages to surprise me into laughter. It has been a joy to teach him because I believe it has brought us closer. No one knows him or understands him like I do. I have realized that there is a brain inside that head of his and he has even discovered that. He occasionally says in wonder, "I have a brain inside my skull and my skull protects my brain!" all the while making a fist and pounding his head. One day, we were doing math together. We were looking at a worksheet with marbles inside and outside a fish bowl. They were pretty big for marbles so I looked at them in confusion and said, "I'm not sure what those are supposed to be." My brilliant son said, "They're fish meatballs!" Well, of course, they were. Now that was a no-brainer.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Little Indian

My youngest son has been jipped. With the other boys, I diligently worked along with them to get them potty-trained. I encouraged them and bribed them, but with this last one.....there's no bribery left in me. I've come to the point in my life where I just don't have the time to take my son to the potty chair every hour or two hours of the day. With three kids to homeschool and a house to keep clean, the poor kid has to potty-train himself. Of course, I put the potty chair within easy access and put a basket of big boy undies next to it. Instead of bribing him, I threaten him within an inch of his life. "Don't you dare pee-pee on my carpet, kid. Do you hear me?" He just looks at me with this sullen look on his face and says, "No pee-pee." Occasionally, he will try to please me and pee in the potty chair. We will jump and dance around the potty chair like little Indians hooping and hollering in joy. All we need to go with that is some war paint and maybe we will win this battle. Whenever he is too lazy or just doesn't care, he will wet his underwear and go looking for clean ones in the basket. If there are no clean ones left, he will just go naked which grosses out his father when he arrives home from work. "Put some clothes on, kid!" Our son will try to explain his predicament, that his mother is a dead-beat mom and hasn't paid enough attention to his potty-training in order to put something on his butt. I am hoping that this child will not be traumatized by this technique of mine. The poor kid is always asking for his diaper. Lazy butt. I do have compassion for this son of mine. He must be confused. "Are you kidding me, mom? I have to actually get up and pee in that thing? That's not normal!" I know we will get through this. Eventually, he will want to do the right thing and it will all click for him. In the meantime, I'll be armed with cleaning supplies and maybe a little war paint.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Little Fingers

Little hands and fingers are so precious. I love how chubby and dimpled they look. They can get into a lot of trouble, though. You can usually find handprints on the walls and follow the trail to your little one. The anger usually subsides a little for me when I take their little hands and wash them. Those things are just too darn sweet for me. Last Friday, there were a lot of little fingers running around my house. All sorts of sizes, but all little compared to mine. Those fingers were very busy that day. They played Nintendo, held hands, played with all sorts of games and toys, played outside, ate lunch, and.......fed the dog. I thought I would introduce our dog to the kids so that she wouldn't have to be in the garage all day. In 100 degrees heat outside, the garage is like an oven. I should have left her there. The kids just loved her and she got along with them just fine. She especially enjoyed the little fingers feeding her bits of food. I didn't notice this was happening until it was too late. Leigh had her fill. A little while later, I did put her in the garage. I should have kept her in there. You see, it was a mistake to let Leigh mingle among the little fingers of diaretic proportions. The next morning at about 5am, I slowly open my eyes to smell the stench. It is a smell I have gagged at before many times and knew exactly what happened. Blessedly, my husband was right next to me and was available to clean up the mess. Most of it was on my bathroom rug, but it had trailed onto the carpet in our room. Of course, Leigh was hiding in the bathtub downstairs and since I knew it hadn't been her fault I wasn't too angry. Arming myself with deoderizers of all kinds, we got things cleaned up and went back to bed. It wasn't over yet, people. Again, this morning at 5am, I woke up to the stench and Leigh climbing into our bathtub. This time, she didn't bother with niceties. All of it was on the carpet in our bedroom. Again, my husband was given clean-up duties and I went downstairs until I passed out on the couch. This is a lesson for me that however innocent and sweet those little fingers can be it is best to keep them away from dogs with digestive problems.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Snake Scare

Living in Southern Colorado where the environment is a semi-desert, we are up to our eyeballs in snakes, lizards, rabbits, mice, and prairie dogs. Often we will see a hawk roaming the land for one of its many prey. It's like a smorgasbord out here. My boys are fascinated with the creatures of this land. I could well do without them thank you very much. Thinking of all the snakes that are hiding in my backyard gives me the chills and I recall a particular time in my life when I was totally creeped out by the nasty things. My husband and I were basking in dream land when we were jolted out of our sleep by a hard knock at our apartment door. It was past midnight and Nathanael was just a baby sleeping peacefully in his crib. When my husband opened the door, he was greeted with a formidable policeman. The man informed us both that he got an anonymous call from someone who saw a snake crawl underneath our door. I immediately went into my son's room ready to defeat this slimy foe in case he had dared to venture into my sweet baby's room. I looked into the crib and breathed a sigh of relief to know there wasn't a reptile curling up to my son. Both my husband and I along with the policeman looked around the apartment, but we didn't find anything. The man left and, of course, we did not go straight back to bed. After some more intense looking, my husband was successful in finding the snake. It had curled underneath the heater in our bedroom. To think that the thing had crawled on its belly right past us while we were sleeping gives me the creeps. My husband arms himself to the teeth with gloves and a butcher knife to catch it and dispose of it. As my husband is waging war in the bedroom, I am hovering in the kitchen keeping my back to the front door making sure I do not catch a glimpse of the thing as he carries it out. I did want to go back to sleep, you know. In all of this commotion, our baby still sleeps without a care in the world. The next day, we were a little more clear-headed and realized something: our apartment was the third door on the right on the third floor. If the snake just wanted to come in from the cold, why not the first door on the first floor? Our suspicion was someone pulled a prank on us and then called the cops. Yeah. Funny. Real funny. There are things I'd like to say and do to that prankster, but since I'm a nice, little Christian woman I won't. I'll just say, "You reap what you sow." That makes me feel a little better.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Good Times

I love boat rides. I don't get to go on them very often and when I do I'm in heaven. It's so relaxing to me and thrilling as well. We have friends from our church that got a speed boat for a song and they came to visit. We all trooped to the lake with our swimsuits and towels ready for the time of our lives. They hooked up the raft to the boat and the boys had a wonderful time hanging on for their lives as the boat sped around the lake. Justin and Aidan got to sit inside the boat and Aidan looked bored off his rocker, but I knew I'd never get him off of it without drugging him senseless. At one point, Nat and Cabe were holding onto the raft with a girl about Nat's age between them. They were staring straight ahead with looks like hodey-hum when all of a sudden the girl slipped right off the raft into the water. Neither one of my boys noticed. About twenty seconds later, Nat looked casually over at her and when he didn't see her next to him did a double take and looked behind him to finally realize she was in the water. My boys are certainly in their own world. Near the end of our time together, Aidan had completely konked out in the boat. He was dead to the world in a speed boat of all places. This is the kid that is the light sleeper in the family. It's times like this that make for wonderful memories of good times with great friends.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Losing Myself

"My great miseries in this world have been Heathcliff's miseries, and I watched and felt each from the beginning: my great thought in living is himself. If all else perished, and he remained, I should still continue to be; and if all else remained, and he were annihilated, the universe would turn to a mighty stranger: I should not seem a part of it. My love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods: time will change it, I'm well aware, as winter changes the trees. My love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath: a source of little visible delight, but necessary. Nelly, I AM Heathcliff! He's always, always in my mind: not as a pleasure, any more than I am always a pleasure to myself, but as my own being." - Wuthering Heights

So many women worry that when they marry they will "lose themselves". I was very young when I married- just 20. I was still a girl in many ways. I still had a lot of learning and growing to do. As a married woman, I had yet to become truly one with my husband. But there was that little something that I had that is needed in order to "lose myself" in my marriage. I wanted my husband to be content above all things. If circumstances prevented him from being truly content, I would do what I could to at least have him content with his home life. I didn't know how to go about that, though. A few years went by in my ignorance of how to make a good wife. In the beginning, I thought loving him would be enough. I needed to put actions to my words and show what was in my heart. For instance, making dinner was a chore and still can be when you've got screaming kids in the background. Most of the time, I do it knowing that I am nourishing my husband with not just food he needs, but also time with his family. Now, we have dinner together when possible and because I put food on the table the boys are able to have a conversation with their father. It gives me contentment to watch my husband eating the food I made for him knowing I am taking care of him at least in that way.

Another thing that I have always hated doing is cleaning the house. Growing up, Saturdays were the cleaning day in my family. I dreaded those days. I was awfully lazy and making me clean something was worse than grounding me from the TV. It took me a very long time to find joy in keeping my house clean. I noticed my husband's weariness coming home from work every day and I gradually realized I wanted him to have a place that he wanted to come home to. When he comes in the door, I want him to smell potpourri....not poopy diapers.

There are other ways in which I try to lessen my husband's stress and help him to feel content at home. Things like making sure his heirs don't grow up to be dumb as a rock, that they are cleaned and well-fed, and show good manners. I know better than to nag him especially if it's been a very hard day. I try not to manipulate him with my emotions or words. Most important of all, I pray for him constantly. Are you getting the picture? My entire life is all about him. I always think about him, wonder what he's doing, what he would think about this or that. I am not afraid of losing myself. In losing myself, I have found my sense of self. My worth comes in doing what God has commanded of me. I am my husband's helpmeet. That is who I am. Nothing could give me greater joy.

Friday, July 27, 2007

By-Gone Days

I saw this meme at Fiddledeedee's and just had to join in. I think a lot about those high school days. Some of it is funny and some of it I would rather forget. So, here goes:

1. Who was your best friend? Mary Smucker. She was five feet tall and had brown hair down to her hips. I was envious of that hair. She was a good Christian girl and loved God. She was a great influence on me. She had a steady boyfriend whom she had been dating for 5,000 years. She was homeschooled right up to her freshman year in high school. I always thought it was weird to be homeschooled and that homeschool families were a little crazy. Now I homeschool my own kids. Go figure.

2. Did you play any sports? Ha. That's a laugh. One time, I joined the cross-country team. Their warm-up was jogging one mile. I didn't get half way before I'm gasping for my life. I realized that for a teenager I was desperately out of shape. Then came the day I found out that to pass PE class we had to run the mile. Talk about a let-down. I became determined not to make a fool out of myself. Every day, I would go next door to the church and run around the sanctuary. When I worked myself up to 30 laps, I was ready. When it came time to run the mile in PE, I did it. I was very proud of myself. Soon after that, I developed shin splints. Nobody told me you are supposed to stretch after you run, too. That was the end of my running days.

3. What kind of car did you drive? When I finally got my license at 17, I drove my dad's honkin' big blue boat of a car. I didn't care. I had wheels. Soon, I bought my first car for $400 and it was white. That's the best I can tell you. I probably didn't even know what make and model it was.

4. It's Friday night. Where were you? You can bet I was home. I had no life.

5. Were you a party animal? Total opposite.

6. Were you considered a flirt? Maybe. No one said it to my face as I recall. During my graduation open house, I had a boy sitting on each side of me while I opened my presents. One time during church, I had a boy sitting on each side of me as well. Maybe I was just friendly.

7. Were you in the band, orchestra, or choir? Total band geek. Concert band, marching band, and pep band you name it. Played the flute. One year, I played the cymbals in the marching band. I had a lot of fun that year. My senior year, I joined the choir. There were two choirs. The one with the really great singers and the one with the not-so-good ones. I was in the latter. I still got to join the musical for that year. Had a blast.

8. Were you a nerd? It's hard to say what I was. I didn't really fit into any category except band geek.

9. Were you ever suspended or expelled? I think my parents would have killed me and dumped me in the nearest river. I feared them more than the principal.

10. Can you sing the fight song? I don't even remember the melody. I have a terrible memory. I remember the drum roll, though.

11. Who was your favorite teacher? My teachers had names? I only remember faces with the subjects.

12. What was your school mascot? The who?

13. Did you go to the prom? One of my dad's many rules was that if we wanted to go to prom with someone he had to be a Christian boy. Finding a Christian boy in a public school was like finding a needle in a haystack. Especially if you wanted him to even know you were alive. So, no I didn't go. I did go to After Prom with one of my friends.

14. If you could go back, would you? Never. Ever. Not in a million years. Did I say never?

15. What do you remember most about graduation? A tremendous sense of relief.

16. Where were you on Senior Skip Day? I'd heard there was such a thing, but I was too much of a coward to do it.

17. Did you have a job your Senior year? What are the odds of working at the same place your parents do? At the age of 17, for Pete's sake? I took business classes my Junior and Senior years and got a job at Tricare Hospice as a medical transcriptionist. I love Hospice programs and think they are wonderful. My dad is a chaplain for a Hospice right now even. I worked there long enough to know, though, I could never be a medical transcriptionist for the rest of my life. I would become a little.....off.

18. Where did you go most often for lunch? There was a guy who had a crush on me and what do you know? He had a car. So, a few of my friends and I would hop into his car at lunchtime. He would roll down the windows and blast We Are the Champions by Queen. We would usually go to Wendy's close to the school.

19. Have you gained weight since then? Pleeeeaaaasse. Do we have to talk about weight when I'm pregnant with my fifth baby? When I was 18, my waist was a size 22". I know because I had to have a black skirt custom-made for me for concert band. Yeah. I was that little. We won't go into how that has changed.

20. What did you do after graduation? Well, I worked and dated a couple guys during the summer. Of course, I made it clear to them I was going away forever and they had best move on. August 24, just a few months later, I met my now husband. I was just 18, ya'll. Scary, huh?

21. What year did you graduate? Um....1993. Ok. So I'm old.

22. Who was your Senior prom date? No one. Just as well, though.

23. Are you going/did you go to your 10 year reunion? Nope. I did say I would never go back. I meant figuratively and literally. Maybe I would like to see a few friends and see how they are doing, though.

Well, that was fun and now it's Tess's turn. I'll hound her into the ground until she does this meme. I want Andrea to do it, too, but she was one of those weird homeschool kids, so she might not be able to. Have a go at this meme if you want everyone.