Monday, August 31, 2009

Bump, set, spike

During the five months that David lived up here without us, he began playing volleyball with a group that gets together at our church on Monday nights. Naturally, when I arrived he assumed that I would want to join him in this activity because, you know, I played volleyball once in P.E. in the 8th grade.

At first I said no. No way, no how. Absolutely not.

Yet, somehow he talked me into going the first week we lived here, and it was every bit as bad as I expected it to be. Maybe worse. On the way to the church that night he said, "Okay, do you know about the three hits in volleyball? You don't just hit it over when it comes to you. You're supposed to bump it, then set it for someone to spike. They don't like it when you just hit it." "They don't like it?! Bump, set, spike?! I'll be lucky to make contact at all! Why didn't you tell me this was seriously competitive volleyball. Did I mention I haven't touched a volleyball since the 8th grade?!"

Luckily for David, we pulled into the church parking lot then, and I figure that's not the best place to murder one's husband, so I let it slide. We arrived at the gym full of people I had never met in my life. They were just getting started, so David and I were quickly assigned to a side, and the play begin. No introductions. No "Hi, how are you?" Just volleyball. Now.

After the longest hour imaginable play stopped, and everyone headed off the court. Oh good, it's over. No, says David, it's just a water break. Apparently, they play for TWO endless hours. Not me; I was glad we had driven separately so I could tuck my tail between my legs and leave. I vowed never to return.

I've mentioned before that I usually give up pretty easily. You know that saying winners never quit and quitters never win? I never got that. Win what? Their dignity? Their shame? Their time spent doing something they don't suck at? I figure they win quite a bit, actually. Nevertheless, of all the things I could decide to be tenacious about, I apparently picked volleyball. Because I went back.


And again.

And again.

I don't know what has possessed me to persevere in this athletic pursuit. Perhaps it is the fact that David and I don't have a lot of common interests or activities that we do together. (He likes trains; I like working out. He likes trumpets; I like taking naps.) Perhaps it's the opportunity to get some physical activity. (Though this one is doubtful since I barely even moved my arms for the first two months.) Perhaps it's the interaction with other adults. (Though again . . . not a lot of chit-chatty social interaction going on.)

Whatever it is, I've stuck with it, and tonight for the first time, I've begun to think that maybe there's hope for me. I still suck, but I suck a lot less than I did three months ago. And David and I are having a good time doing this together. If you had asked me at any point prior to six months ago what joint interest David and I would pursue, volleyball would have been at the VERY bottom of the list.

I definitely never saw it coming.

Much like the balls that whiz right past me week after week.

Gone Fishing

Last Saturday we took the kids on a little fishing outing since it was the last weekend of summer. Here's a by-the-numbers summary:

2 = number of fishing poles we had for 3 children
1 = number of kids crying to use the fishing pole at any given moment
12 = number of times the 2 fishing lines got tangled together
4 = number of times I punctured my finger with a hook
2 = number of different creeks we visited in an attempt to catch (or at least see) a fish
0 = number of fish we caught

Despite the numbers, we had a really good time spending the afternoon with the kids. The last place we went was near a park, so at least they got some playground time at the end.

Joshua waiting for a catch:

I just love looking at this kid:

Ethan waiting less than patiently while Lauren takes a turn:

Attempting to bait their own hook:

Ethan on a bridge doing his best photo smile:

She loves to fish with her daddy:


Happier sliding than waiting for a fish to bite:

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

God is my GPS

I shared last week about how much I loved using a GPS when I traveled to Washington, D.C. I'm telling you, this thing was great. It was like I was playing a video game, and my only goal was to keep the arrow (my car) on the red line (my route). Remember that old arcade game Pole Position? It felt a lot like that . . . just use the steering wheel to keep the car in the right place.

What occurred to me at some point during my drive was how utterly dependent I became on this device. I had printed out directions from Mapquest the night before, but about an hour into my drive, I could tell that the GPS was not sending me the same way Mapquest did. Who to trust? Since the GPS could actually steer me back on course were I to go wrong, I went with that.

Which, of course, meant that I had absolutely no idea where I was going. I was completely blindly following this red-lined route and taking the next turn whenever the device told me to. In fact, I told my dad, I became so pitifully dependent that I didn't even look at speed limit signs anymore because the device told me what the speed limit was and how fast I was going and even beeped at me when I was driving too fast.

So, basically, I knew my final destination was D.C., but I had no clue what roads I should choose to get me there.

I think I had more faith in the GPS device than I have in God sometimes. He sees the whole map, knows every road and trail and exactly where each will lead. He loves me, and that love for me drives His every direction, yet still I don't always trust. I pray that I will learn to surrender my will to the One who knows the way. If it be His good pleasure to send me on an easy, beautiful road or a difficult, painful road, so be it. My life is in His most trustworthy and sovereign hands, and it would be in my best interest to stop trying to navigate my own road.

If only He would beep at my when I'm not listening well enough.

Monday, August 24, 2009


Just a couple of recent conversations with my kids that I thought I'd share.

Lauren: Mommy, why is the coffee table like that?
Me: Because I was vacuuming, and I didn't put it back yet.
Lauren: I WUV it like that!!
Me: You know what I love? (asked with a grin)
L: Me!
Me: Yes:
L: Know what I love?
Me: Me?
L: No.


Joshua, in ultra-whine mode over having to drive to Olean to go to Walmart: I wish we could just go to all that (stores) here.
Me: Me, too, bud. If there was a Walmart here, I would definitely go there instead.
J: Why don't you tell them to build one?
Me: Tell who? Who would you suggest I tell to build a Walmart?
J: The guys that are always doing work on the roads.
Me: The road construction workers? That's who decides whether to build a Walmart?
J: Well, no.
Lauren: I know who decides to build a Walmart!
Me: Really? Who?
Lauren: God!

I did love the idea of going up to the construction workers and saying, "Hey, while you're at it, would you mind building a Walmart?"

1st day 2009

Today's the big day. Ethan's first day of school ever, having not gone to preschool. Joshua's return to school after the longest summer a kid could have. (He got out May 15 in Georgia and started today, August 24, in Pennsylvania.)

They both did great. No tears shed by boys or parents. Joshua was clearly nervous (as you can tell from the last picture), but he was very big about it. Ethan was just fine, though he did ask when were in his classroom if I was going to stay with him. I said, "What do you think?" He said, "Yes? . . . No."

I was glad I decided to snap a couple before we left the house because it was in so doing that I discovered I forgot to put the memory card back in my camera yesterday!

I think 3:00 is going to come quite slowly for me today.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The story of a girl and her GPS

I wasn't looking for someone. I had plans to drive to DC alone and was even looking forward to the solitude. No companion needed; just an atlas and a google map for me, please.

Then someone said, "Hey, do you want to borrow my GPS?" and the seed was planted. I'd never used a GPS before, but like driving on the left side of the road, it's something I always wanted to try. How could I say no?

As I hooked it up and chose the settings I wanted, I decided to skip the woman with the British accent because I really didn't want to listen to Super Nanny the whole way. Without thinking, I skipped right over the male British voice and selected a woman with an American accent.

Her name was Mandy.

We hit it off immediately despite the fact that I had never fallen for a female electronic device before. Mandy knew exactly where I needed to go and was faithful to keep me safely on route no matter how much I challenged her.

Of course, like any relationship ours had its issues. I didn't like when she would beep at me for going five mph over the speed limit. She didn't seem to like when I exited for gas or food. But, we worked it out. My competitive side was also a point of contention. She kept saying it was going to take me 6hrs 50 minutes to reach my destination, but I simply took that as a challenge. By the time I was halfway there, I was kicking her butt and had shaved over half an hour off her ridiculous estimate.

(It has been suggested that competing with my GPS is further evidence that I am a tad overly competitive, but I disagree. And I dare you to say otherwise. Really, I dare you. Wanna put $20 on it?)

So, things with Mandy were really going pretty well all the way up until we reached the DC metro area. Then it all went south so quickly. You see, she sent me down New York Ave. at 3:30 on a Friday afternoon. The twenty-five minutes it took me to drive that 1.8 miles totally negated the happy six hours we'd had together. I decided right then that I was going to have to end it. Yes, I knew it would break her heart, but for the ride home, I was going to choose . . . the British man.

Once I made the decision, my heart was aflutter anew, for who could be more enjoyable to listen to during the six (not seven, Mandy!) hour drive home than Hugh or Colin or whatever this lovely British chap's name would be? He would say things like "gare-age" and "motorway," and maybe we would even stop for a spot of tea on the way home.

I was giddy with excitement and could hardly wait to meet him.

Imagine my disappointment to discover that my British paramour was named Tim. Not Hugh or Colin. Not even William or Edward. Just Tim. I should have realized from the start that this relationship was destined to fail.

It began with Tim taking me into the city to get on 295. All the way to the Pennsylvania Ave exit he led me, but still I gave him the benefit of the doubt. He must know how I love to see the sights, and he just wanted to make sure I didn't leave without seeing every memorial and monument possible. I'm sure he had only my best interest at heart. Sadly, that didn't make traffic on 295 move. I grew less and less fond of Tim with every minute of the hour I spent driving approximately 3 mph in a 65 mph zone.

Still, I thought, he must be wonderful; he has a British accent after all. But then he tried to take me the wrong way in Pennsylvania. I knew I needed to stay on 15. Rand-McNally knew I needed to stay on 15. But, Tim, he wanted me to take 11.

I'm sorry, Tim. It's been real, I said, but now you're just being ridiculous, and I'd like to unplug you so I can plug in my ipod since I really know the way home from here anyway.

And with that, I pulled the plug on Tim. Apparently, my affair with electronic devices was not meant to be.

Though I'm eyeing a Kindle on Amazon . . .

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Random thoughts from the road

On Friday I drove from northern Pennsylvania to Washington, DC to spend the weekend with my best friends from law school. It was my birthday on Saturday, so it was nice to spend that time with close friends who know and love me . . . but that's not what this post is about.

This is just a random sampling of thoughts and observations from my journey.

1. I really must learn to pronounce "metallurgy" because I pass one on the highway near here and always spend the next 10 miles saying the word in my head. I can never decide whether to say met-allergy or meta-lurgy. Really ruins the next leg of my drive.

2. The highway that runs through and near my town is Rt. 6. That's how we refer to it, but I now know from Mapquest and a GPS that its official name is Grand Army of the Republic Highway. Who names these things? I felt like I should be riding horseback and carrying a rifle and a flag.

3. In Lewisburg I passed a hospital that was located on Loan Rd. How apropos.

4. We seem to have only one radio station in our town, so I was enjoying scanning the stations during the drive. However, I heard the same country song a few times, and it was quite baffling. I decided either I do not get "take you for a ride on my big green tractor" or I totally get it. We'll leave it at that.

5. There is a place not far from here that offers covered wagon rides, but the post holding up their sign shows through, so it always looks like it says clovered wagon rides.

6. Speaking of signs, there is one as you enter a small township near here that says "X Township. Permits required." That's it. No explanation as to what type of permit. I always find this quite vexing. Do I need a permit to live there? To drive through? To breathe? To be vexed? What???

(By the way "townships" are common here, as are boroughs. I am used to living in cities or towns, and that's pretty much it, but everything here is a borough or a township. I think "township" sounds nice - very Little House on the Prairie like - but "borough" I'm not a fan of. It sounds like we dug some kind of deep hole for ourselves. Plus, it's hard to spell.)

7. I borrowed a GPS device for my trip, and I fell in love. First with Mandy (the voice giving me directions on the way down) then with Tim (the poorly named British chap who told me how to get home). I've since had to break it off with both of them, but I will save that for another post.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Shattered dreams

My dream is dead.

I was going to be a star. A movie star. I was going to be rich and famous and wow audiences and stun critics with my talent as Denzel Washington's love interest. And now it's over.

After more than 20 minutes of blood, sweat, and tears, the dream is dead. We were too late for the casting call.

Apparently, Denzel Washington is going to be filming a movie in the next town over, and today there was an open casting call. Sure, it was supposed to be for extras, but I just knew that when they saw me, the casting directors would be so blown away by my talent (which would somehow be evident by my mere presence) that they would cast me in a lead role. In fact, they would probably re-write the movie so that it centered more around my character. And make sequels, lots of sequels.

Sadly, I did not learn of this 12-8 pm casting call until 7:45 pm. David's cousin saw it in the paper and called to see if I was crazy enough to stop what I was doing right that second and go with her. She said she couldn't get anyone else to go, but I'm pretty sure what she meant by that was, "You are beautiful and talented, and I love being with you, but I had to ask everyone else in the family first so their feelings wouldn't be hurt, but it's really you I wanted to go." Or something close anyway.

So, having a limited number of opportunities to do crazy and spontaneous things since I'm almost 29 years old again, and I live in Arctic Mayberry, I said yes. Yes, if you absolutely insist, I'll stop cleaning the bathroom and go become rich and famous. Thus, my dream was born.

And 20 minutes later it was dead. (Or at least floundering on life-support. I guess it wasn't fully dead for another 10 minutes, which is when we gave up hope of finding the casting director's hotel.)

So now Mary Esther and I (I started to abbreviate her name as ME, but then it read "ME and I," and I was afraid that would give some of you the impression that I was schizophrenic, or worse yet, that I use incorrect grammar, so I'll have to write out her name) are trying to find another way to achieve fame and fortune without actually having to do any work. We're considering reality t.v., but we're running into a lot of roadblocks.

Our stomachs are too weak for shows that involve drinking cow's blood or eating roaches, so Survivor and Amazing Race are out.

We have no talent, so American Idol and America's Got Talent are obviously out.

We have no readily noticeable neuroses, addictions, sordid pasts, or plastic body parts so Big Brother is out.

We don't have enough children for a show on TLC . . . though, if we adopted sixteen kids who were all blind and mute and maybe missing a limb. Hmm, maybe there's hope yet.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Chef Biscotti

This is what Joshua calls himself when he cooks, but he pronounces it Chef Biscottay (and corrects anyone who pronounces it otherwise). He loves to cook and create "experiments" in the kitchen. This is him at work on a surprise dessert for me a few days ago. (He recreated the carrot grating for the picture . . . I was truly shooed out of the kitchen while he worked. He had permission, of course.)

He asked me to slice some apples for him and then said I could not come in the kitchen again until he was done. He put the apples on a plate and circled them with blueberries. Then he topped the whole thing with lime juice and cinnamon and put it in the microwave so it would be warm and juicy. When he took it out, he added a dollop of whipped cream and some grated carrots and said, "Mom, come eat your healthy dessert!"

Chef Biscotti is welcome in my kitchen anytime.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Biblical Reproof

I have been re-reading Ginger Plowman's Don't Make Me Count to Three: A Mom's Look at Heart-Oriented Discipline.

The author was a speaker at a MOPS group I attended a few years ago, and after hearing her speak, I immediately bought this book and began implementing its principles. It made a significant difference in my interactions with my children, but somewhere over the past couple of years I stopped applying it. As with most things, I set about it with the best of intentions, but over time, I fell off the wagon and reverted back to my former ways. (Which involve a sad amount of fussing, whining, and loss of self-control. And that's by me, not my kids.)

The gist of this book (which I highly recommend even though I don't agree with 100% of her theology)is that our job as a parent is not merely to manage our children's behaviors but to point them to their need for Christ. That we address the heart issues, not just the outward manifestations of them. She advocates using God's words rather than our own when we reprove (which is not the same as scolding) our chilren because it is the Word of God which will penetrate their hearts and lead them to repentance.

It takes a lot more time and effort to Biblically reprove and train children than it does to simply yell and fuss at them. I know; I have yelled and fussed more than I care to admit. But, I'm finding that the reward is great. This morning I overheard this interaction between my three children who were light-saber fighting in Lauren's room:

[Lots of battle noises going on when Lauren begins crying.]
Josh: Lauren, why are you crying. Ethan, stop. Lauren, did Ethan hurt you?
Lauren: Yes!
Josh: Are you okay? Ethan, you need to tell her you're sorry.
Ethan: Sorry, Lauren.
Josh: Lauren, tell him you forgive him.

And she did, and they went on with their battle. It was so rewarding to hear them handle conflict properly It has been only a week or so since I began taking the time to once again truly train and discipline my children in a Biblical manner instead of my own fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants method. Just like before, the fruits are evident already, not only in how they interact with each other, but in the closeness I share with them.

Ginger Plowman instructs her children that they are to obey "right away, all the way, with a happy heart." We have been working on the same thing, and last night read the story of King Saul and how he failed to obey "all the way" when God told him to destroy the Amalekites. My kids and I had such a meaningful time studying this together, and it was a really powerful tool for illustrating why it is important to submit to God's (and parents') authority.

Of course, we still struggle. I'm sure I will still lose my temper (though it's easier not to when I realize I'm being a hypocrite if I expect my children to have self-control and then I yell at them), but I pray that God will help me to make this a permanent change in how I rear my children.

There was a time last year when I was particularly struggling with my inadequacies as a parent. It is hard, this job of molding and shaping the hearts and minds of our little ones. I was feeling overwhelmed by and woefully inadequate for the task. As I was taking communion in church that week, God showed me the most beautiful picture of filling myself up with Him. I am not capable of doing this job well on my own, but as I ate the bread and drank the wine - symbolizing the body and blood of Christ - I realized that I don't have to be. I can draw on the strength and joy and wisdom of the One Who is. What a gracious gift that we can be filled with His Spirit.

May I always point Joshua's and Ethan's and Lauren's hearts to Christ, the only One who saves.

Friday, August 7, 2009

7 Quick Takes Friday


Lions, and tigers, and bears, oh my!

Okay, just a bear. This is what its claw did to the lid of our trash can the other night. The trash can - the large 30 gallon trash can - was crumpled.


We went blueberry picking last Sunday when my mom and niece were here visiting. My memories of blueberry picking all involve Alabama summers with smoldering heat and oppressive humidity. I have to say blueberry picking in Pennsylvania when the temperature is around 73 is so much more pleasant.

Don't you love how her eyes match the blueberry?


On the other hand . . . today, August 7, 2009. Current temp: 57 degrees.

Mornings are a tad nippy.


The kids went to a Star Wars themed birthday party for one of their cousins last weekend. They were trained by Obi Wan and then had a chance to battle Darth Vader to become a Jedi knight.

Most of the kids swung their pool noodle light sabers around a bit, basically swatting at Darth Vader until he fell. Joshua, on the other hand, made an aggressive attack, and when Darth Vader finally fell, what did my six year-old do?

Pretended to slice off Vader's head with his light saber. Yikes.


We loved having Gaga and Lesey here last week. On the way home from the dentist yesterday, Lauren said she couldn't wait to show Lesey the flower balloon she got at the dentist office. I reminded her that Lesey had gone back to Georgia. Lauren said, "No, she didn't. I saw her on the third floor." She wouldn't believe me that it had been a few days before. (She was a little confused from the sedative.)

We miss you, Lesey.


The boys wanted to get out their soccer jerseys and have a backyard soccer game last week. They nicely let their sister and cousin borrow their "away" jerseys and helped Lauren get shin guards on her tiny legs. The preparation for this soccer game took at least an hour, maybe more.

The game? Ten minutes - tops - before it devolved into arguing over the fairness of the teams, the need for water breaks, whose turn it was and all manner of unsportsmanlike conduct.


There won't be any Quick Takes next Friday as I am going - alone, as in without children - to visit my girlfriends in D.C. for my birthday. I'm not sure what I'm looking forward to most: spending time with my closest friends or driving 5 hours without listening to a single Veggie Tales song.

Thursday, August 6, 2009


You may be surprised to learn that our house can become a little bit crazy and hectic around bedtime. Between kids needing baths, dinner dishes in the sink, bedtime stories, teeth needing to be brushed, rooms in need of tidying, the endless questions, and the sudden life-threatening need for a sip of water right now, I sometimes find myself a little exasperated by the time the last head hits the pillow.

Which is why I often save a little piece of my sanity by simply instructing my kids to go brush their own teeth. Sadly, that little bit of time and sanity saved can turn out to be terribly expensive in the long run.

I took all three kids to the dentist yesterday for an overdue cleaning. I was aware, thanks to a quick house call by my dentist cousin in Georgia, that Josh and Lauren each had a cavity. I was not aware that Joshua had not one, not two, but three cavities. Nor was I aware that Lauren's cavity - and one of Josh's - was too advanced to be repaired by a simple filling. No, no simple fillings for my kids. These two needed pulpotomies.

A pulpotomy appears to be just a step-down from a root canal. The dentist removes the pulp or nerve tissue from the tooth (but leaves the root) and then puts a crown on it.

Because Lauren is only three, the dentist here in town thought she would need conscious sedation for the procedure. Of course, he doesn't do conscious sedation, so I had to drive her almost two hours this morning to see a pediatric dentist for her pulpotomy.

(He said that, being six, Joshua should be fine to have the procedure done in his office without sedation. His exact words were, "Six year olds can be reasoned with. They're more rational." Clearly he has not heard the legendary tale of Joshua and the Throat Swab.)

So, my daughter got to drink some happy juice this morning, and I have to say, it was a little disconcerting seeing her punch-drunk. She was in my lap watching a movie in the waiting room as the sedative kicked in. She started laughing at everything - cracking up - but she couldn't hold her head up. It just kept flopping backward or to the side. But she was happy.

I'm told she did great during the procedure, and though there were some tears shed afterward (the medicine makes them overly-emotional), she recovered very quickly and was eating, drinking, and having her teeth brushed and flossed by mom just fine by tonight.

Next week is Joshua's turn.

I wonder if they could give me some of that happy juice before they swipe my credit card.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Exercises in futility

It has occurred to me that I spend a large portion of my life engaging in utterly futile activities.

Like cleaning the bathroom when I live with three males. One of them (at least) apparently enjoys peeing on the bottom of the raised lid and letting (some of) it just splash into the bowl instead of peeing directly into the bowl. I guess the bowl itself just isn't challenging enough.

Like killing fruit flies. Ohmygod, the fruit flies. I kill dozens a day, yet they seem only to increase in number. I had a brilliant idea this morning, though. Last night I said to my mom that maybe I should just name them and consider them pets instead of killing them since killing them seems to be an exercise in futility. But then I remembered . . . all of our pets die! Seriously, we have the world's worst luck with pets ever. Among the pets that died under our care when I was growing up were several dogs, several cats, a bird, an iguana, a chameleon, numerous fish, and a peacock or two, I kid you not. So maybe I'm onto something here. I bet if I give them names and pretend to love them, they will quickly meet their demise.

Like talking to Lauren. This girl talks all. day. long, and often it leaves me completely bewildered. Here are a couple of conversations from this week:

Lauren: Mommy, I wish there was nobody in the world except princesses so I wouldn't have a tummy ache.
Me: Hmm, because princesses don't get tummy aches?
L: I wish we were just all princesses.
M: But what about the boys? Would they be princes?
L: Well, I wish there just weren't any people at all, actually.
M: But if there were no people, you wouldn't be here.
L: I wish I was a fish.

Conversation 2,387:
Me: We're going to a party at Evan's house.
L: Who's Evan?
M: Your cousin Evan. You know Evan.
L: Oh yeah, I thought you were talking about the other Evan.
M: What other Evan? We don't know another Evan.
L: You don't know him, but I do. He has white hair.
M: Oh, and where did you meet this Evan?
L: You took me to his house, but you didn't go in. I just went upstairs and played and you weren't there.

For the record, I have not and would not drop her off at some strange boy's house. Like many conversations with Lauren, I have NO idea what she is talking about. I recently suggested that maybe she had dreamed something she was describing to me because I knew it had not happened in real life. Now any time she's wrong about something she says she was just dreaming.

The list of futile activities is endless. Doing laundry, dusting this almost-entirely-wood-floor house, feeding my children. Seriously, they just get hungry again.

Monday, August 3, 2009

New Survivor Game

I got this in my email today (thanks, Ellen), and while I never forward things to people and have never copied an email to my blog before, I thought this was too funny not to share.


Six married men will be dropped on an island with one car and
3 kids each for six weeks.

Each kid will play
two sports
and either take music
or dance classes.

There is no fast food.

Each man must
take care of his 3 kids;
keep his assigned house clean,
correct all homework,
and complete science projects,
cook, do laundry,
and pay a list of 'pretend' bills
with not enough money.

In addition, each man
will have to budget in money
for groceries each week.

Each man
must remember the birthdays
of all their friends and relatives,
and send cards out
on time--no emailing.

Each man must also
take each child to a doctor's appointment,
a dentist appointment
and a haircut appointment.

He must make
one unscheduled and inconvenient
visit per child
to the Urgent Care.

He must also
make cookies or cupcakes
for a social function.

Each man will be responsible for
decorating his own assigned hou se,
planting flowers outside
and keeping it presentable
at all times.

The men will only
have access to television
when the kids are asleep
and all chores are done.

The men must
shave their legs,
wear makeup daily,
adorn himself with jewelry,
wear uncomfortable yet stylish shoes,
keep fingernails polished
and eyebrows groomed.

During one of the six weeks,
the men will have to endure severe abdominal cramps, back aches,
and have extreme, unexplained mood swings but never once complain or
slow down from other duties.

They must attend
weekly school meetings,
church, and find time
at least once to spend the afternoon
at the park or a similar setting.

They will need to
read a book to the kids
each night and in the morning,
feed them, dress them,
brush their teeth and
comb their hair by 7:00 am.

A test will be given at the end of the six weeks, and each father will be required to know all of the following information:
each child's birthday,
height, weight,
shoe size, clothes size
and doctor's name.
Also the child's weight at birth,
length, time of birth,
and length of labor,
each child's favorite color,
middle name,
favorite snack,
favorite song,
favorite drink,
favorite toy,
biggest fear and
what they want to be when they grow up.

The kids vote them off the island
based on performance.
The last man wins only if...
he still has enough en ergy
to be intimate with his spouse
at a moment's notice.

If the last man does win,
he can play the game over and over
and over again for the next 18-25 years
eventually earning the right
To be called Mother!

After you get done laughing,
send this to as many females as you
think will get a kick out of it and
as many men as you think can
handle it.
Just don't send it back to me.... I'm going to bed.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Great Outdoors

I am loving the type of childhood my kids are able to have living in a place like this. We have an entire playroom full of toys that they mostly ignore. They have transformers, star wars toys, puzzles, toy guns, lightsabers, blocks, games . . . and most days they trade it all for a bicycle, a stick, and some room to play outside.

There is a great mountain trail that begins about 1/4 mile from our house, and the kids love to ride their bikes through the ever-present mud puddles. It is a beautiful trail that makes me feel like I'm on vacation every time we hike it. I can recall paying money and traveling to places in the mountains to experience activities like this!

There is also a creek at the park across the street from our house. One of my kids' favorite activities is splashing in the creek . . . when it wasn't planned. For some reason, it's always more fun when they get an unexpected "yes" while wearing their clothes than when it's planned and they're in swimsuits.