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, 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


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.