Sunday, January 31, 2010

7 Quick Takes Sunday

Better late than never, right?


Yesterday David and I went with some friends to a concert called Winter Jam. It was fantastic.

We spent almost 12 hours without kids, eating uninterrupted meals, having entire conversations that didn't involve anyone having to go potty or tattling on someone, getting to know some new (to me) friends better, and watching some of my favorite bands perform some awesome music.

Other than having to stand in line outside for two hours when it was only like five degrees, it was perfect.


I was doing laundry this morning and noticed a peculiar thing about my washing machine. I'm assuming the people who made it must have been childless or delusional or tripping on too much fabric softener. Because they gave the water level dial more than one setting.

Yeah, for real. Did you know that there are settings for small and medium loads? Do people really do small and medium loads? Is there such a thing? Are there people out there who wash fewer than 30 items of clothing per load?

Nah, I'm sure it's just a manufacturing defect.


I must add yet another fact about myself to my list of shockingly appalling attributes.

Not only do I have a mini-nervous breakdown if I hear someone brushing his/her teeth, fall down stairs on a regular basis, and talk waaaay too much . . . I'm also corkscrew challenged.

I'm pretty sure there is not a person on the face of the earth who is worse at using a corkscrew than I am. Okay, maybe a blind four year-old with only one arm . . . but I doubt it.


Oh, also I'm pathetically unobservant.

David and I are in the process of having our office redecorated. For several weeks we've been waiting to see how it would look once the walls were done. Once the hideous old wallpaper was taken down and our beautiful new paint colors applied.

So, last week I walked into David's office - after having walked through the waiting room, down the hall, and into and out of my own office.

He said, "So, what do you think?"

"About what?"

"The paint. The walls. The lobby. Your office. What do you mean, 'About what?!'"

The whole office was finished, and I hadn't even noticed. My office had been a pale off-white, and now it is chocolate brown. And I didn't notice. How is that even possible?


I taught the kids how to play spoons last week. You know, the card game where you try to grab a spoon when someone gets four-of-a-kind, and if you don't get a spoon, you get a letter?

It was fun to play with the kids and observe their natures at work.

Joshua, always quick, competitive, and coordinated was very good. He flipped the cards quickly, paid attention to the spoons, and ended up going head to head with me for the final few rounds after Ethan and Lauren were eliminated.

Ethan, on the other hand, is not quick. His response time has never been comparable to Joshua's. If I give Ethan a task, I know that I must give him a minute to process what I said before I expect him to go accomplish it. So, he was not very good at deciding quickly whether to pass or hold a card or at noticing when someone was grabbing a spoon and reacting in a hurry.

However, he has skills of his own.

When it got down to me and Josh, Josh said, "I guess whoever gets four of a kind first will win since they'll grab the spoon first." I told him about the last time Daddy and I played spoons with some friends, and it ended up me against Mr. Steve, and even though I was the one with four of a kind, Mr. Steve ended up with the spoon because he was watching for me to grab it, and he has waaaay longer arms than I do.

Ethan, always thinking when everyone else is acting, said, "Mom, you should reach for the spoon and then when the other person starts to grab it, put your hands up like you were just pretending to have four, then they'll let go, and you can grab it . . . would that be cheating?"

No, but it's awfully smart for a five year-old.


It has taken me hours to do these "Quick" Takes because I'm also watching Planet Earth: Predators and Prey on the Discovery channel. It doesn't bother me to watch a great white shark eat a seal or a pride of lions attack an elephant (okay, that one bothers me a little), but eeeewwww, I don't like the segments about ants with parasites in their brains or cockroaches feeding on mites in bat dung. Come on, get back to the grizzly bears already.

Aren't you glad I shared that with you?


Heading to Georgia very soon. Sarah, be sure to hook me up with some good songs in church. :)

Check out more - and less disgusting, I'm sure - QT's over at Conversion Diary.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Hide-n-Sleep Seek

"1 . . . 2 . . . 3"

I could hear Lauren counting downstairs as I searched for another perfect hiding spot for our thousandth round of hide-n-seek.

"4 . . . 5 . . . 6"

Hmm, I wonder if I can fit under Lauren's bed; it's pretty high.

"7 . . . 8 . . . 9"

Yes! It's actually pretty spacious under here. I can stretch out with plenty of room.

"10 . . . 11 . . . 12"

I don't hear the boys' footsteps anymore; they must have found hiding spots.

"13 . . . 14 . . . 15"

Okay, I have at least 15 more seconds before she comes upstairs. Since I have to lie here and be still and quiet anyway, I may as well close my eyes, right?

"16 . . ."

Do I really need to tell you how this story ends?

Suffice it to say when I awakened from dozing off under Lauren's bed, there was a lot of fighting going on about whether Lauren had told Ethan where Joshua was hiding, but they were still all completely in the dark as to where mommy was. In my defense, I only debated with myself for a moment (or two) as to whether I really must come out from under the bed and intervene.

It's a good thing there was no snooze button under there.

If you ever come to my house and can't find me, take a peek under Lauren's bed. It just may be my new favorite place in the house.

Monday, January 25, 2010

And the winner is . . .

Comment #3 - Kim!

Kim, email me your address, and I'll get the book out to you this week. So glad A, B, and C will get to enjoy it. :)

(I was going to paste an image of the random number generator screen in case anyone doubted my random selection process, but I can't figure out how. Guess you'll just have to trust me. Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got to go fix some hanging chads . . .)

Friday, January 22, 2010

7 Quick Takes


Lauren has turned into the polar opposite of a germ-a-phobe. She will not use a toilet if it has been cleaned recently. (Lucky for her she lives with me!)

Every time she goes to the potty, she asks me, "Mommy, did you clean this bathroom or is it fine?" She is freaked out by the idea of cleaning stuff on the toilet. Sounds a little odd to hear myself assuring her that the bathroom has not been cleaned. "No, Lauren, it's nice and filthy . . . so go ahead and use it!"


In church on Sunday the sermon was about, well it was about a lot of things, but one of the things involved setting aside a place for private prayer. About the importance of having a private, secret prayer life not just publicly throwing around spiritual-sounding prayers to gain the applause of men like the pharisees did.

So at the end of the sermon the pastor asked (as seems to be customary in our church) everyone who was going to commit to creating a "prayer closet" to come forward to the altar. I didn't want to go because it seemed a little counter-intuitive to me to step publicly to the front of the church to say, "Yes, I'm going to pray in secret."

Sort of like wearing the "Most Humble" pin.


It has been one year this week since David moved to Pennsylvania. On January 22nd last year, he and I loaded up his car and set off for the tundra.

At that point our house had been for sale for almost 6 months, but we had barely even had any nibbles. There was no hope on the horizon for the house to sell, so realistically we did not know how long it would be until we were reunited. (Of course I couldn't even blog about the fact that he was gone since I was a little worried about all the psycho ax murderers who read my blog. You know you're out there.)

So long story short, we sold our house one week later. One week. God is good.


A lot has changed in a year. This time last year we were fresh off of a trip to Disney World, we owned a psycho poop-crazy dog, and I was struggling with whether God was really going to work things out after all.

It's hard to believe how much a person's life can change in twelve short months.


Okay, back from Memory Lane. It's great to remember the past and look forward to the future, but the present is the only place worth living.

This deep thought brought to you by Beck.


I'm starting to think the boys may be playing too much Star Wars Lego on the Wii.

The other day we were playing something else, and one of the questions was, "If you could have any superpower, what would it be?"

Joshua's answer: "To dominate the world!"


Very excited about a trip to Georgia coming up soon. I cannot wait to hug my family, see my friends, worship in our PCA church, eat at Chik-fil-A (and Mike 'n Ed's and the Yogurt Shoppe and El Vaquero), and bask in the non-frigid weather that makes up a Georgia February.

See you soon!

Check out Conversion Diary for more Quick Takes!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

It's giveaway time!

It's about time for a giveaway around here, don't you think?

I decided when I mentioned our family worship time that I wanted to give away a copy of the Bible storybook we use, The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name.

There are not even words to tell you how much I love this book. It tells all of the major stories of the Old and New Testament, but instead of simply recounting the events of the story, it also shows how every story - how every word of the Bible - points to Jesus.

In the first chapter, as the author is explaining what the Bible is, she says this: "The Bible isn't mainly about you and what you should be doing. It's about God and what He has done."

I always keep a supply of these on hand to use as gifts and recommend them to anyone - not just families with young children.

So, if you'd like to win a copy of this awesome book, just leave a comment between now and Monday night. I'll use a random number picker to choose the winner. The comment doesn't have to be anything specific, so don't feel like you have to plead for the book or make up stories about how you never owned a book when you were a kid or how you have seventeen handicapped children and all you've ever wanted was a book for them.

However, should you decide to gush about what a great blogger I am and how I'm the most awesome giver-away-er ever, I might enter your comment number in the drawing twice. Just kidding. Maybe.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A klutzy girl and a volleyball is a bad combination

I have a sprained wrist. As I type I'm wearing one of those ultra-fashionable wrist brace things so that it doesn't bend . . . because bending is bad.

How did I acquire a sprained wrist? Two words: volleyball and me. Need I say more?

Sadly, this is my third volleyball related injury, which is especially embarrassing because I'm so very bad at volleyball that I don't feel worthy of sustaining injuries from it. You know what I mean? If someone says they have a football injury or they blew out their knew playing basketball, you kind of think, "Oh, he's a football player," or "I guess he plays basketball."

But, I'm not a volleyball player. I'm a person who tries desperately to keep the ball off the ground and off my face when it comes near me.

The thing is there's this guy who plays volleyball with us. I'll call him Steve. Because that's his name. Steve is a really good volleyball player. He possesses the two qualities that frighten me most in a volleyball opponent: he plays well and he's very, very tall.

Every time he goes up (well, even more up) to hit the ball, my insides cringe and panic. I've never been afraid of balls in sports before, but ever since the near-face-shattering-incident this Fall, I've become afraid. Very afraid.

He doesn't always spike it. Sometimes he just gives it a normal bump or push over the net. Every time he doesn't spike it, my insides have a little party. They laugh and dance and break out the champagne.

But, sometimes he does spike it. He spikes it hard. That's when my aforementioned strategy comes into play. Just keep the ball off my face and off the floor if possible. So, last night as the ball was coming - hard and fast - I made a split-second decision to put my hand out and at least keep the ball off the floor. Just keep it in play and maybe someone else on my team could salvage the play.

Sadly, I don't think my poor little hand even put a damper on the speed of the ball as it bent my wrist back like one of those little flap-things you shoot at at the county fair. You know how they just flop back when you shoot them or hit them with a bean bag or whatever? That's what my hand did, much to my wrist's chagrin.

Not to worry, Steve, I don't blame you for my being a lousy volleyball player. Really, don't feel bad; it's not your fault. Unfortunately for you, I'm not a quitter, so the consequence for the sprained wrist is that I'm gonna insist on being on your team next week. I'm sorry. I just feel safer there.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Worship songs by Lauren

We have recently started having "family worship time" with the kids, or as Lauren calls it, "playing church." Last night Lauren said that she had the perfect song for us to sing. "It's very gloriful," she said and then proceeded to sing song after song that she made up on the spot.

I didn't have my video camera charged last night, so this morning I asked her to sing them again for the camera. I wish she could have remembered what she sang last night, but she came up with two others.

Friday, January 15, 2010

7 Thankful Quick Takes


Thank you, God, that all of my children are playing safely in their rooms right now and not trapped under a mountain of concrete.


Thank you that when my children are hungry I can feed them, and when they are thirsty, I have only to go as far as the kitchen sink to find clean water for them.


Thank you that the sound I am hearing from my children right now is laughter. I know that it will turn to crying and screaming soon - it always does - but I am confident that their cries will not be caused by true pain or suffering or affliction.


Thank you that the things my children fear today are monsters under the bed, a too-dark room, and dogs that bite. They are not acquainted with the fear of being orphaned, of being wounded and stuck in a dark and scary pile of rubble, or of the ground giving way beneath them . . . again.

Thank you that, at least for today, everyone I love is alive and well.


Thank you that You have a heart of compassion and that You are even now looking down on Your suffering children with love and mercy.


Thank you for using unspeakable tragedy to remind me of all that I have to be thankful for today.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Sunday Sledding

Last year I considered 75 degrees to be a nice day and 22 degrees to be arctic blast. Nevertheless, I got up this morning, saw that it was sunny outside (I just knew there was still a sun up there somewhere) and that it was supposed to get up to 22 today (despite the fact that it was -1 at the time), and thought, "Looks like it will be a good day to do something outside."

Yes, that's all it takes now: sun and a double-digit temperature.

So after going to church, eating lunch, and spending 52 minutes putting on our snow gear, we found a hill a few blocks from our house.

This was the kids' first time sledding, and having grown up in Georgia, I am not exactly an expert at it myself unless you count sledding down my grandma's hill on a cookie tray every six years. So, I'm still learning about this snow stuff. I thought snow + hill = good sledding. How naive I was. Apparently, there is wet snow and dry snow, and what we had today was dry snow.

We arrived, and I led the way to the top of the hill like a general leading his troops. I was as excited as the kids. I put my sled down (and by sled, I must note I mean a plastic saucer from Dollar General), hopped on it, and pushed off.

And slid about 4 inches. It was rather anticlimactic as I sat there with a saucer full of snow, going nowhere. I was ready to throw up my snowgloves and go home, but fortunately, David had a plan. Apparently, you have to create a smooth path in the snow, so the first few rides are just sort of trailblazing. Once there is a path, the "sled" goes much more quickly . . . at least for the sledders who weigh about 100 lbs less than I do.

Here are some pictures, but as usual I'm behind the camera for all of them.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Snowy Quick Takes Friday


I don't usually have a theme to my Quick Takes, but this week there is one pressing thought drowning out all my other thoughts: I'm cold!!!


So, I thought I'd share with you a little of what our new life looks like. (This is not meant to rub salt in the wound of those of you currently living with the bitter disappointment that is children in Georgia who were told they would get snow and then didn't. Really. Sorry about the timing. Go egg the weatherman's house or something.)


My kids are really sort of over the excitement of snow. They love it, of course, but they no longer ooh and aah over it as it's become sort of commonplace now. They are, however, completely enamored with icicles.

The boys are constantly finding ways to get them down and use them as swords. They like to bring them in the house, set them on the counter, and then go back outside, leaving them to melt on my kitchen counters.


This morning when we pulled into Lauren's preschool, she said, "Mommy, look at that HUGE icicle on top of my school!"

(In case you can't tell, it's a steeple.)


Speaking of Lauren's school, she goes to a church school. It is a CMA church, which apparently stands for Christian Missionary Alliance. I am not at all familiar with this denomination, and apparently neither is Lauren.

She asked me of the denomination's logo on the side of the building, "Mommy, why is there a toilet on my school?"

Note to self: remind daughter not to refer to sacred chalice as toilet.


So on to the snowy pictures. Lauren after school today playing on one of the mounds created by the snow plow:

Last night's accumulation of snow:


Fact of life in Snowymountaintown, PA: if you don't have a garage and you don't go anywhere for a few days, this could happen to you.


I will admit it's pretty. Our town:

Our courthouse:

Our town square:

Mailboxes I'm glad are not ours:

Head over to Conversion Diary for more Quick Takes . . . maybe it'll be warmer there!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Awesome Blog Link Wednesday

No, this is not a real feature on my blog, but it seemed like a good way to point you to one of my favorite stay-at-home mommy bloggers.

If you are a stay-at-home mom of young kids (I can't believe I don't fit that category anymore . . . how did my kids become 4, 5, and7?), you must read Lenae's latest post. That's right, must. Trust me, you'll be glad you did.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Christmas Gifts

I'm sorry to report that I took very few pictures on Christmas. And by few, I mean one. Here it is:

My parents went in with us to buy a the kids a Wii. The boys are addicted to MarioKart and have become good enough at it that they sometimes finish in first place. My record is 11th. Out of 12. And that was only once.

Lauren loves the bowling because it's the only thing easy enough for her to do well. I'm with Lauren.

(This was not technically a Christmas gift since David bought it for himself, but my feeling is that anything purchased the week of Christmas counts as a gift and totally absolves me of guilt for the purely functional jacket I bought for him and the men's body wash I put in his stocking.)

So, have you ever heard the Bible read by Darth Vader James Earl Jones? It's slightly disconcerting. "I am the God of your faaaathers . . ." David likes to have it playing in the background as we go about our day. I keep expecting Yoda to chime in.

Yes, David got me a snuggie, and yes, I actually asked for it. I love it and find no shame in it whatsoever. Though I must admit I don't look quite as happy as the woman in the picture when I wear it. I must find out what book she's reading.

We gave each of the boys one of these costumes for Christmas as Joshua had been asking for one for months. It was by far his favorite gift. (Ethan's is the Wii.)

Joshua put his costume on, walked over to me, and said, "It's official. I'm officially a dangerous guy."

David's parents gave the kids a set of marbles. They LOVE playing it with Grandma. However, as was bound to happen, one of them dropped the container in my bedroom yesterday and spilled 163 or so marbles on my bedroom floor. We did get them all cleaned up but not before I pulled a Lucy Ricardo and slipped on them. Ouch.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Lauren's ballet debut

Lauren has been taking ballet lessons from a sweet teenager at church. Yesterday they performed a dance to the song "I Will Rise" by Chris Tomlin.

(Lauren is toward the left and has pig-tails. The camera gets shaky about halfway through because the girls switched places, and I couldn't see her anymore, so I had to pass the camera off while I changed seats.)

Without further ado, let the tutu tugging begin!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Saturday Evening Post

It's time for the Saturday Evening Blog Post, a monthly event held by Elizabeth Esther in which bloggers are invited to share our favorite post from the month.

But wait, it gets better! Since this is the beginning of a new year, we've been asked to share our favorite post from the whole year.

It was a tough choice because my blog is so schizophrenic. Do I share my most insightful spiritual musing? My most moving and poignant parenting moment? The event that impacted our family most this year?

Nah, I decided to share the one I had the most fun writing. It's a story of the ill-fated love affair I had with a GPS device this summer.

Check out more of people's favorite posts over at Elizabeth Esther's!