Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Family Out-takes


             silly faces

Some of these totally crack me up.

Like The Farmer's expression in the first one. The kids wanted a silly face picture. me: oh sure, have at it!  and the silliest face is worn by the only person not making one?!!!    It reminds me of the cat we had growing up. "Buster" looked just like that across the eyes when he felt cornered in a situation that he didn't want to be in.

The next one is a favorite of mine, it's just that terrible and ridiculous.


And then there are some that I still don't see as funny. Like those that SoMeBoDy ruined making faces behind my back. I didn't even know it till I uploaded them. Which was after that person enjoyed his bribe reward for good behavior along with some of the other sorta cooperative children. There are no words, really. for how this mother felt when she realized that we were going to have to try to capture happy-family-togetherness-for-our-Christmas-card...again.

I enjoy hard labor and dental appointments about as much.
                   07_7 05_5


And maybe good parents don't bribe with arby melt roast beef sandwiches.
But I read somewhere that the sane ones do!!!
Here we watched the light blinking for my timer as the camera slowly turned clockwise.
yet another not winner.
Lesson learned: tighten the little thingy not tightened on the tripod.


I said sorta cooperative, right?
These pictures say four words. done.we.are.done.

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Did anyone else hear the story of the guy who wanted to mail Christmas cards but was too cheap to pay for postage? Yeah. He wrote his own name and address in the middle of the envelope as the recipient, instead of the sender. And the intended recipient and their address as the sender in the upper left hand corner. So when the post office returned the envelope to "the sender" for more postage? It had actually reached the intended destination.  

Sorry. but that made me laugh everytime I heard it. They repeated it alot on the Christian radio station that I listen too. I'm sure that they had a bigger, deeper point to make...but I don't recall that part.

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Here's hoping that you all had a meaningful Christmas season
celebrating what is bigger and deeper and most important ~ HIM! 
(and praying that it didn't look like our manger scene the way that I found it the other day...
with The Reason slipping through the cracks.  )


Happy almost New Year friends!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Posts of Christmas Past


This is what happens when post rhymes with ghost and a familiar classic lingers too long in my head.
My tired head, I might add.

Once upon a time -- of all the good days in the year, on a day that was almost Christmas Eve but not quite,
I sat busy at my keyboard in my Office*cough*/laundry/sewing/coat closet/with a tiny bathroom/put everything till we can figure out where to put it/ Room.

I wasn't feeling Scrooge-ish. not at all. {I love presents. :) giving and getting.}
Nor was it a bah-humbug-gy grouchy kind of attitude. 
As if snapping those words cantankerously at every caroler, nephew or late night ghostly visitor would anesthetize any wounds that still hurt like the dickens.
Nope. Not that. Totally enjoying yet another Christmas Carol playing on my radio, I felt... reflective.

ding! dong! not the chime of the hour but the sound of my microwave having finished my cup of water for tea.

ding! dong! again. because my microwave repeats itself when it is ignored.
{something that we have in common. my microwave and me. sigh.}

Without any foggy oooOOOoooooo  woooooOOOOOOOs of forewarning, I found my reflective self confronted by The Posts of Christmas hauntingly familiar.

There was this post from December 2008.
{My kitchen table still looks just like this. alarming. now two years later. well. almost. I changed the candle.}
"I am aware of an upcoming blogging Christmas Tour of Homes.
I think it's a great idea.
How fun, inspiring and celebratory!

And may I present to you, my own twisted version.
Lo and behold, my Kitchen Table.

Providing a surface for mealtime participation is but just one small part of its job description. Now please know, it really does not always look like this. Sometimes it is much worse. But on most days, if you were to just drop in, it would be some version of the above.
It is where I fold laundry. Alot. Of. Laundry.
You can see the remains of a toddler's lunch, a John Deere tractor in a magazine or something, and the mess that is Jacob's paper and glue project.

I know. I know.
For those of you who are thinking, "Who in their right mind would let a 3 year old run his own bottle of Elmer's?" let me gently point out that your unspoken question answers itself.


And now for the surroundings...

If you can drag your eyes past the basket of rumpled whites and piles of books and papers, you can see a small tree on a table. That is our beloved Keychain Tree and it has lights this year!

(If you do not know about our Keychain Tree, I would totally enjoy telling you! hint.hint.hint.)
Then to the left, in the back, on the stair door, you can see a partial display of much anticipated photocards..."

And then back in December 2006, there's "I'm using plastic!"{I wrote about plastic decor. shudder. ;) very scary posts.}

"I'm not referring to a method of payment for Christmas purchases or the type of bag in which they are placed. I am talking about my decorations !!!  ...While our tree is still real, I have resorted to faux greenery and plastic Christmas balls in an economy size box from Walmart...[because] There is a deep secret need within every pine bough, that surfaces within 24 hrs after entering our happy home. Release. Every. Needle..."

ding!dong! {I drink alot of tea.}

And this, from just last year,

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~Jesus at Christmas
~the construction paper, elbow
 macaroni and popsicle stick ornaments on our tree
~ornaments and memories of places we've visited
~memorials of God's sovereignty ( and if you don't know why we have a fire extinguisher on our tree, well. stop by. I'll make coffee. pull up a chair and we'll talk. probably for a very long time. )
~Plastic Christmas balls
~our keychain tree with new ones from Alaska, Florida, New Jersey and Kentucky
~our Picture Tree made from sticks stuck in leftover cement."

                            Celebrating...               "...Put your hope in the Lord,
            for with the Lord is unfailing love            and with Him is full redemption."  
                                                          Psalm 130:7


So. clearly. any Post of Christmas Present would be reminiscent of the posts of the past.

oooOOOooooooo woooooooOOOOooooo

Still doing messy.
Still doing plastic decor.
Still enjoying our theme tree.
snort. kidding. unless you call everything on the tree a theme! :)
not kidding about the enjoyment of such. our tree is gorgeousness to our family.

Still hoping!
Still celebrating!
Still needing His unfailing love
and grace as a present for The Present.

Still cleaning up pine needles from our for real tree.
ding!dong! not my microwave this time. my doorbell. the vacuum cleaner sales and service man dropped off my vacuum. he said, {get this!} that the reason the bag light continues to be triggered unecessarily is because I have the wrong kind of dirt.

'scuse me? I have the wrong kind of dirt?
yes, he continued, they've only ever encountered this once before, and that was in West Virginia.

uh.huh. sure. I wondered if my stay-at-home outfit communicated "low watt bulb."
maybe it was the billy-bob-teef.

{I'll admit. I'm feeling, pardon me, a little screwed here. I mean, even my dirt is wrong? that is just wrong.}

Well. I have two nice words for Kevin The Vacuum Man...

"Bah! Humbug!!!"
And as for the last postly visit, the Post of Christmas Yet to Come? 
Let's just say that Jacob has been talking to God about that. about me! and his hopes for the future!

During one particularly challenging bedtime routine recently, void of all that is warm and fuzzy, I realized that my little Jacob was stretched out on Sarah's bed with his eyes closed. Perfect position but in the wrong place. I very irritably snapped at him about what he thought he was doing!

To which he replied, "I'm praying for ya mom. I'm praying that you can be a nice person."

How could he not know that I am already a totally nice person around other totally nice people?!!!

oooOOOooooooo woooooooOOOOooooo.

{I'll let ya know how Jacob's prayer is answered. Just not in a post about The Present.}

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                         Merry Christmas!   and..."God bless us, everyone!"
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                                                       "Whenever Christmas begins to burden,             
             it’s a sign that I’ve taken on something of the world and not of Christ"
                      ~Ann Voskam  (borrowed from a friend's fb status.)

~love to you all!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Deja Vu Again


That sounds a little redundant I know.

But it happened the other day. I think it did.
The same day that I also experienced a significant first.
I bought food for food, for our frog, Frog.
{not redundant. not stuttering.}
Confused yet?

What do you call it when you have deja vu about deja vu?
{is there such a thing? and how do you spell deja vu plurally?}

Or worse. What is it when you realize that your feelings of having experienced something terribly familiar and familiarly terrible before, are actually because the facts are, you have???!!!

That happened the other morning when the door bell interrupted my busy start to the day.
{ busy start; i.e. dish washer unloading, sitting and drinking my coffee, pumpkin baking, sitting and drinking my coffee, reading to Jake, sitting and drinking my coffee, laundry and sitting and drinking my coffee}

I glanced out the window and saw The Exterminator's truck in my driveway.
{was that on the calender?  it was on the calender.  a little routine inspection. oh. right. yep. i had written it down right there on thee very day.}

{did you know that you actually have to read a calender for them to work? i'm just not good with calenders
i guess, "too many moving parts."}

This is where those stupid little friendly reminder postcards do not work for me. "Friendly reminder" is an evil misnomer. My responsible conscious brain sometimes makes me write down the date and time . My subconscious brain records the date carefully too. not to recall it for the necessary appointment. But rather to suggest to me on that very day, skip the face-washing-and-getting-ready-part of the morning routine. just relax, it says. you deserve it. you're staying at home. no one will know.

I fall for that e.v.e.r.y. doggone time.
EVERY time.

Poor Tom. The Exterminator Dude.

I think that he has only ever beheld The Farmer's Wife in this lovely arrangement.


well. well. what do we have here?
{i make bugs look good for Tom}

The Farmer's socks on The Farmer's Wife with the designated heel areas lumpily somewhere up around her ankles. Old cropped summer pj's. Their only redeeming qualities being that they are decent and green...and green is my fav color. And the robe. Oh but it was so pretty back in the day. In fact, 15 1/2 years ago I wore it proudly, having just given birth to my first darling child.

And the rest I can't show ya. No way.
Let's just say "short-slept-in-hair" and "long-slept-in-face."
It's my frumpy housewife uniform.
Something that maybe, and only maybe, my family should see.

And also I guess. sigh. Tom, The Exterminator Dude.
And Everett, The Chimney Sweep Man.
And Neil, The Plumber Guy.

Happens to me e.v.e.r.y. time.
I always get caught that way.
Over and over.
EVERY doggone time.


But as far as significant firsts later on the same day, buying food for food, for our frog, Frog...
{not redundant.not stuttering.}

I'd love to clarify.

Exhibit A.                     Exhibit B                      Exhibit C
IMG_6512   IMG_6514    IMG_6521

I bought cricket food, "Exhibit A {to be refrigerated after opening},
to feed the crickets, "Exhibit B,"
that we feed to Sarah's frog named Frog, "Exhibit C."

We had been feeding flies to Frog, but with the weather getting colder we stopped by Petco to look into other options for regular meals. The Petco associate was aghast about Frog's current diet.
"You really shouldn't be feeding him things from the out-of-doors. They could be carrying a disease."

Oh brother.
It's a frog.
From the out-of-doors.
And so it's eating flies. also from the out-of-doors.
{aren't flies who carry disease, just one molecule away from being their own disease?"}
Frog is fine being exposed to things from the out-of-doors.
I mean, Sarah plays with him all the time.
What he eats can.not. hurt him.

She was trying to sell me never-played-outside-disease-free-crickets by the piece, folks.

And it worked. I happily bought crickets by the piece and cricket food as well.

{because just across the store are rats called gerbils and hamsters. i could smell 'em before i could see 'em.
and Sarah is thrilled with her frog, Frog. so that's good. real good. let's just keep it that way.}

Frog really is the cutest little guy.
{ he is a boy. i know that. i am 100% sure. because everytime i'd try to take his picture, he'd turn his backside towards me. i had to delete alot of pictures before i got one of his face. and even then, he wouldn't smile.}


There ya have it.
Significant Firsts and {until ya'll help me out with a better word and a spelling lesson}
Deja Vus about Deja Vus all in the same day.

I'm really not that upset about how Tom The Exterminator Dude saw me for the eleventeenth time.
No, what I'm really mad about is that with the door bell ringing,
I didn't hear opportunity knocking.
So now I know. I hope that when the next "Friendly Reminder Card" comes in the mail,
my responsible conscious brain will corroborate with my subconscious one to write and remember the important details on the correct day.

Something like...

Please remember on this day to wear your frumpy housewife uniform...
with your billy-bob teef.
no one will know.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pink, Green and Zebra


Pink, green and zebra.

That's what turning 10 looked like for the first time ever around here!
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Our third baby and only daughter, Sarah Elizabeth, turned ten this week.
The double digits.
A decade.
And being so quick with math like I am,
I am sure this means that she is halfway to 20.
I can. not. believe it.

My little girl.

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Some of my first words when she was born were,"I didn't know that we made girls!"
Seriously. I thought that I was going have a house full of boys. oh and i do.But what a treat the stretch can be. is. to experience both kinds of kids.
{both kinds of four very different kinds of different}

Sarah is all about pink! and laughter! and singing!
She likes frogs, mud, {some} bugs and holds fishing worms for her brothers.

Every year at school, I've had a mother or two approach me to say that their son tells 'em that
Sarah is not like the other girls ~ she's fun! :)

Sarah was my first and only baby to recognize little bags of cheerios for what this mother intended them to be. Edible entertainment, handy for stroller and grocery cart riding. All the other babies in this family saw little snack baggies as prepackaged ammunition {and riding, as in like sitting down, was not something that they could do. then and cough. now. }


Sarah enjoys reading, drawing and crafty projects
She loves dogs, all dogs, and all things about dogs.
Jewelry, especially earrings and especially big ones and accessories are her thing. {oh boy}
She feels things So Big and So Intensely. {oh boy oh boy}
And not that long ago, planned on marrying her daddy when she grew up.

{now it might be justin bieber shmieber somebody. i'm not sure.}
{oh boy oh boy oh boy}
{being so quick with math like I am,
I know that she will not be dating for at least eight.ten.probably fifteen.years :) }

She had wanted to be a doctor, an author/illustrator or a teacher by day. And then coming home in the evenings to her castle to do all things princess-y. Now she wants to be a rock star singer and it won't include doing laundry, I guess. Because recently when I asked her to help me fold the clothes, she said that she is "really not a folding-laundry-person!"  

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Sarah is s.w.e.e.t.n.e.s.s.
She loves flowers, pretty details and talking.
{lots and lots of talking}
She has a HuGe-NorMouS heart that talks with Jesus and loves to give.


Pink, green and zebra.

Yep.being so quick with math like I am :) ,
I know that these colors and characteristics,
added together,
and so. so. so. much moremultiplied...
"equal" the little lady who I know as my daughter!

Happy 10th Birthday Sarah Elizabeth!
I love you!

                                                          dearest Sarah, my heart's desire for you;
                                     "That you would love the Lord your God, and obey His voice.
                         And that you would hold to Him alone: for He is your life."   Deut. 30:20