Friday, October 31, 2008

October 31st

Busy day ahead. Bullet point blogging commencing:

1. Taekwondo in the morning. Oops. Overslept. Never mind about that one.

2. Regular school work to finish.

3. Regular cleaning / house routine.

4. Parade at Toys 'r Us for the two big girls and their daddy. A new thing we've added this year.

5. Pumpkin soup & harvest salad for supper. The pumpkin soup is a recipe I cut out. You float crescent roll cut outs (in leaf shapes) on the top. We'll see. I really hope it is good. The girls are sceptical.

6. Gram's house for trick or treating. We do this every year. It used to be we would take the Bear with us but he's outgrown us. One of Polly's friends went with us several years in a row, but not this one. Oh well. Polly is still looking forward to tonight. I think she has visions of covering the entire neighborhood at record speed. If she talks her daddy into going with her, the little ones and I may be on our own. Fine by me!

7. The great candy sort.

8. Bedtime snack. (We usually let them have one piece of the candy they just brought home)

9. Bedtime. Ridiculously late for the girls who will be hyped on excitement, adrenaline, sugar, and brisk night air.

And, before I forget, Belated Happy Birthdays to my Grandma (yesterday) and Airman Dan (Monday). Grandma's birthday I remembered in real life. Airman Dan...I did not.

Better get back at it! And if you don't hear from me for awhile you'll know I'm in a chocolate bar induced coma.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

A Princess, A Dog, and a Bunny...

Walk into a church. No, this is not at joke. At least, not that kind of joke. Last night was our church's Harvest Party. It's big. Huge. Flooded with kids, candy, and excitement. We do have rules about what type of costume you can wear, so many of the children don't wear their costumes because they would not be appropriate. A lot of children do, though. Ours included. Polly dressed as Princess Leia. I bought the dress as part of an angel costume. We disposed of the Christmas garland type halo, added a belt we already owned, and I bought a long length of fake hair at the beauty supply store. The hair was the best part - tons of fun to do. Polly has always wanted buns. I think she got more than she ever wanted!

Tigger was a dog. The costume was a bit too small, but it's what she wanted and it was $6. Can't beat that. Plus, it actually has battery powered barking. That feature was a real selling point for Tigger. For me, not so much.

Sweet Pea was a floppy eared bunny. She was not really into the whole dressing up thing. Her face is hurting a bit right now, for one (eczema flair up). She was, however, really into the getting candy thing. We found no less than two tootsie rolls with bites out up them. Still wrapped.

We still have a trick or treat parade to look forward to on Friday, followed by our tradition of going to Gram's house and trick or treating her neighborhood, even if The Bear is too old to want to be seen with us.

And we're under orders to bring home "lots of chocolate." Prince Charming's wish is my command.

*I really don't want to get into the whole "Christians & Halloween" discussion right now. If you disagree with us trick or treating, that's fine. I don't like all the negative things about it, either. But we do really like the candy. =)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Name Dropping

My second favorite online activity these days, after blogging of course, is Facebook. I love connecting with people I haven't seen in a long time and checking up on people I see every day. Except, you know, not in a stalker-ish sort of way.

Anyhow, Facebook is interesting. You should try it out. When you do, you will find that lots of notable people, famous people, infamous people, etc. are also on Facebook.

And as of this morning, I am close personal friends with Ken Blackwell. (Our former Secretary of State and he ought to be our governor, but that's another story.)

So watch out, folks, I've got connections.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Hard Reality

Love is the difficult realization that something other than oneself is real. - Iris Murdoch

Two fundamentally flawed (people used to call it a sin nature) people marry. Then one comes to the horrifying realization that the other is primarily a self-absorbed individual. Even more frightening is the insight that you yourself are equally as enthralled in the absorption of all that makes self "self".

Here's my definition: Love is seeing what needs to be done for your family, and getting up and doing it. And doing it again tomorrow. And the next day. And the next. Whether anyone else is or not.

Ah, but how difficult the death of the self cult comes! My self fights this concept. My self kicks and screams. My self will ruin me and others if I let it.

There are real people, real things, reality, that must be acknowledged and treated with care. But self will grow to fill the expanse, if I let it.

This is why the Bible describes daily dying to self. Because that's how persistent it is. Self must be pushed back daily, hourly, minute by minute.

And how we hate the process.

Friday, October 24, 2008

A Craft Bleg - Or: No, that's not a Typo

Something about the cooler weather makes me want to get out my craft stuff. It could be inspiration, it could be cabin fever. (Yep, the second one seems more likely to me too).

Cold weather also makes me want to put on my flannel jammies and curl up in my bed with hot chocolate and a book. But people look at you funny if you try to do that all day long. Which is why I try to keep that habit in check. I win some, I lose some.

Where was I? Right. Crafts. My main deal is scrapbooking. I love the papers, I love the glue and all the neat little do-dads. (O.K, yes, I realize that sophisticated people call those fun little things "embellishments". Whatever. ) I've made some tentative forays into card making, stamping, etc. And I've attempted a few sewing projects.

I am not a seamstress. I do not rhapsodize about my humble little sewing machine. I'm fairly convinced it hates me anyway. (Or that could just be me projecting my feelings...) But I'm willing to try. I've got lots of clothing reconstruction ideas that I want to be able to complete.

Anyway, craft season (fall-winter) means I need more inspiration. That's where you all come in. What are your absolute favorite craft blogs or sites? I'm looking for some more and I figure anyone who reads my blog must be the smartest, best connected blog reader in the blogosphere. (Hey, a little buttering up never hurt, right?)

So: post 'em in the comments. Yes, even if it's your own site. I need all the inspiration I can get if I'm going to resist the big pillows and paperback calling my name.

(By the way, "bleg" is short for blog beg. See? I know stuff.)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Plink. Plank. Plunk. Pow!

Sorry about that headline (blog title, whatever). The piano tuner is here, tuning a piano that hasn't been tuned in, at the very least, a decade. It's probably more like two or three decades.

I play our piano every day so I know I'll be pleased with the improvement but (you knew that was coming, right?) right now it's as if a very persistent toddler is in there playing every single note four or five times. Oh, wait, I know what that sounds like. This is just the piano tuner.

Have I mentioned our piano is in our kitchen? Why, you ask? Honey, that's an easy one: it's the only place in our tiny little cottage that a piano would fit. And yes, I am now referring to our home as a cottage. It makes it sound nicer than it is.

If this tuning keeps up much longer I'm going to become the crazy lady with the piano in the kitchen who lost all her marbles. I heard that snarky comment you just muttered ("Already happened") That wasn't nice, you know. I'm only half-way round the bend. Just pray the piano tuner doesn't send me the rest of the way.

Meanwhile, how about giving a new blogger some traffic? My very own mother is starting up a blog: On a High Hill. Like I told her, the plan is this:

1. Get everyone in our family to start blogging.
2. ???
3. World Domination

We're part way there already.

And would you please remind me, the next time the piano needs tuned: take the girls and go shopping. Or to the library. Or anywhere, really.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Interesting Art Quiz

Your result for What Your Taste in Art Says About You Test...

Balanced, Secure, and Realistic.

15 Impressionist, -6 Islamic, -10 Ukiyo-e, -11 Cubist, 0 Abstract and -17 Renaissance!

Impressionism is a movement in French painting, sometimes called optical realism because of its almost scientific interest in the actual visual experience and effect of light and movement on appearance of objects. Impressionist paintings are balanced, use colored shadows, use pure color, broken brushstrokes, thick paint, and scenes from everyday life or nature.

People that like Impressionist paintings may not alway be what is deemed socially acceptable. They tend to move on their own path without always worrying that it may be offensive to others. They value friendships but because they also value honesty tend to have a few really good friends. They do not, however, like people that are rude and do not appreciate the ideas of others. They are secure enough in themselves that they can listen to the ideas of other people without it affecting their own final decisions. The world for them is not black and white but more in shades of grey and muted colors. They like things to be aestically pleasing, not stark and sharp. There are many ways to view things, and the impresssionist personality views the world from many different aspects. They enjoy life and try to keep a realistic viewpoint of things, but are not very open to new experiences. If they are content in their live they will be more than likely pleased to keep things just the way they are.

Take What Your Taste in Art Says About You Test at HelloQuizzy

H/T: Life Nurturing Education

Practically Wordless Wednesday

Here are a few shots of our family from last week. The red eye is absolutely horrendous in every single shot. That's the price of everyone having beautiful blue eyes, I guess.

Polly and Tigger with their beloved Aunt Princess and their brand-new uncle. This is the guy who has been called "us boyfriend" by my girls for just about as long as they can remember.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Whys and Wherefores

I got more sleep last night than last Sunday night. Why? 'Cause last Sunday I got none.

I lost a brand new contact Friday night. Why? I went swimming with my contacts in. Not a brilliant move, that.

I didn't eat breakfast yesterday. Why? No time. I didn't eat today, either. Why? Someone, not to name names, *coughPollycough* finished the last of the good cereal.

I've got a lot to do this week. School, cleaning, grocery shopping, library, and a laundry pile as tall as my head. Why? Most of those things didn't get done properly last week.

I finished a book last night and I'm celebrating. Why? Because this book was 1,463 pages of tiny print. It took me several weeks to finish but it's worth it. Now I really need to read some other stuff.

I've got two more family members now. How, you ask? Princess got married last Tuesday so I have a new brother-in-law. I haven't thought of a suitable blog name for him yet. But I imagine you'll be hearing about him in the future. The other family member? I'm going to be an aunt for the first time! It's taken a week for this news to sink in. There are some sad feelings to be dealt with, unfortunately, but I'm really excited about the baby. My girls are excited to have their first "real" cousin. As opposed to, you know, all those "fake" cousins running around.

And anyway, I know I'm going to be an awesome aunt. I'll have to try pretty hard if I'm going to compete with Lulu. Just kidding. We're not competitive any more. Right? Right.

Friday, October 17, 2008

In Which I Relate a Possible Coincidence

Sometimes I manage to creep myself out. Today for instance. Here's what happened: the two oldest girls were off to Taekwondo with their Gram. Prince Charming was off teaching. I was home, with Sweet Pea, doing some baking in preparation for our family reunion this weekend. (Chocolate Covered Cherry Brownies, in case you were wondering. Yes, they are amazing.)

That's not the creepy part. While baking aforementioned brownies I had the sudden but strong inclination to listen to my Evita Soundtrack. Yes, I happen to own the two-disc deluxe Evita movie soundtrack. That's not weird, is it?

Anyway... Once the brownies were in, and while listening to disc 1, I googled Eva Peron, which I have never done before. In my research casual reading I came across this interesting fact: October 17 is, to this day, something of a holiday in Argentina, because it's the day Juan Peron was released from jail. Wikipedia article here.

Today? October 17.

See? Creepy.

And yes, I am fully aware that the Evita musical is not at all historically accurate, thank you. Sometimes I'm just in the mood to listen to a spectacle. (Unpack that mixed illusion!)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Sleep or the lack thereof

I don't have the ability or, frankly, the willingness, to discuss exactly what's up with my family right now.

Sunday night I got absolutely no sleep. I read, I prayed, I cleaned, I prayed, I watched the early morning news, I prayed, I wrote...You get the idea. Lots going on but no sleep happening. So Monday I took a long nap, thanks to Prince Charming, and went to bed early.

Sleep seemed like the most precious commodity for about 36 hours. How wonderful to wake up feeling rested and able to do the next thing.

I couldn't help thinking about Sweet Pea during my quest for sleep. The girl can sleep anywhere. Just the other day I noticed her like this:
Yes, I had been working at the computer. She came and fell asleep right next to my chair. She had been so quiet I didn't even realize she was there.

Oh to be so secure!

Monday, October 13, 2008

3:00 A.M Thoughts

the road beneath quaking -
the plans I was making
are shattered and lost
missing, defeated,
wish it were different
it's not what I thought it would be

dreams lovingly cherished
gone, quickly perished
change in mere minutes.
the song I was singing
fell flat in my ear -
and it's not what I thought it would be

something is lost now
must think of somehow
to pull it together.
forget all that didn't
seem likely at all anyway -
'cause it's not what I thought it would be

tears have withered inside
my cries shuddered and died
despite my heart breaking
sleep won't be coming
my brain is still pounding
it's not what I thought it would be

nothing to say here,
anyway, this year -
all good intentions
can't mend what is broken
even if everyone wanted,
it's not what I thought it would be

could be tomorrow,
joy comes from sorrow,
all works together for good.
maybe I'll see it,
perhaps even believe it,
but it's not what I thought it would be

I don't know how else to say it: I need you - anyone who reads this blog - I really need you. Pray. Remember us. I'll explain later, when I can get past the cloud of words in my head.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

True Story

Whilst waiting for Aunt Princess to come and fetch them for an afternoon Buildin' A Bear, (Side note: isn't whilst a lovely word? We Americans should really use it more. Can't let the Brits have all the good words, you know) my girls are outside playing.

It was reported to me that Sweet Pea may have eaten a fistful of dirt. Just maybe.

So her sisters have ensconced her on our screened in porch. And, lest she be lonely, are now also playing on that porch.

Seconds ago what should drift to my ear but the faint strains of my two oldest girls singing "Kum-ba-ya" together.

And to think, I thought that would never happen.

Friday, October 10, 2008


To the best Mom I know. (Yep, that'd be mine) Happy, Happy, Happy Birthday!
Now, when do we eat get to eat cake?

Chasing Sweet Pea

Sweet Pea, honey, the nice folks that read Mommy's blog would like to see some pictures of you. What do you think? Not sold on the idea, huh? Well, what if you don't have to get dressed up for the occasion? Like, you could just wear your cute little jammies. How 'bout that?
Still not looking. Okay, what if you wear your new Elmo overalls? You'd sit still then, right?
No, honey. Much too wiggly.
Um, a little too close to the camera, sweetie.
Not into pictures today, huh? Well, folks, when Sweet Pea isn't avoiding the camera, she can also be found:
Eating. Sweet Pea loves her food. She loves eating it. She loves wearing it (hence the rain smock type bib). She loves carrying it around with her until you find her grimy little fist clutching the last three crushed goldfish crackers smeared with jelly. Not that that actually happened or anything.
Sweet Pea can also be seen sporting such fashion forward apparel as orange pumpkin socks with red Crocs. She can put the Crocs on herself. So she wears them all the time often. The socks are a relatively new development. As you can tell from this picture, Sweet Pea also enjoys playing with dolls. This doll, a Tigger birthday gift, is one of her current favorites. That doll also makes sounds and wiggles. Well, she did. The makers fortunately included an off button. As compared to Sweet Pea, who has no off button.

She does have a Mommy and Daddy who get to cuddle her for roughly 5.6 seconds a day. And, just in case you were wondering, she prefers Mommy to Daddy. I'm not bragging or anything, naturally, just stating the facts. When she's hurt, or her nose is running, or she's mad: straight to Mama.

Who wouldn't have it any other way.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Make It Stop!

Okay folks, my apologies but I've had to re-enable that annoying little strip of words when you post a comment. I got 3 (!) spam comments just this afternoon.

I'm sorry 'cause that little blurry image of words annoys me, too. But that's the way it has to be for now.

A Tigger Tale

This is Tigger. She's the Birthday Girl. There is a large party in her honor being held. Most of Tigger's Fan Club is in attendance. She is calm in the tumult. There are gifts to open.
When Tigger gets a much wanted gift she smiles sweetly. Jumping up and down, squealing, and just making a spectacle of yourself is not Tigger's M.O. (when she's being good).
She maintains her poise despite the ever present Paparazzi.
And when baby sisters commandeer a really neat new baby doll.
Tigger always chooses fashionable party themes and cakes. And she has her cakes made by the best private cake decorator in our circle, who happens to be a member of the Tigger Fan Club. (And no, it isn't me. But she is my friend. Some of her glory must spill on me for that little point, right?)
Tigger is sure to wear her fine jewels while eating cake. Appearances and all, darling. Can't be too careful!
Now Tigger is four. She knows lots of new things. She can do lots of things to help her Mama and Daddy around the house. She knows her letters. She knows a lot of numbers. She can sing a lot of songs. One thing she hasn't learned yet:
How to get Mommy to put that camera away. Because how can anyone resist this face?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Polly's Dreams Fulfilled

It's been awhile since this blog has seen much pictorial evidence of the three cutest girls on the planet. (Um, those would be our girls, just for clarification). Some of the goings-on around these parts have been quite momentous. We'll start with Polly, 'cause, you know, she's the first born, and therefore, gets to go First. Often. Except when Tigger won't let her or when Sweet Pea line jumps. Sweet Pea is quite the buster these days.

So what's up in Polly's world? Well, she had her first pony ride. Last weekend at our annual hayride/corn maze/ farm visit / bonfire extravaganza, Polly's grandad treated her to something that Polly has wanted "all my life!" (Direct Polly quote there.)

So she rode this dashing steed sweet little pony around this fenced area. And she had a ball. Her only regret? "I should have brought my cowgirl hat!"

The big news for Polly (and for her disbelieving parents) is this (and this is yet another thing that Polly has long awaited):

Yes, the tooth fairy has made her first visit to our little house. Do you know that the tooth-fairy brings dollars these days? Actual paper money as opposed to the lovely little coins she brought back in my day. 'Tis true. Polly told us that Gram told her so. Who am I to doubt Gram or the tooth fairy?

This brings up several questions: a) How can my baby girl be old enough to have lost a tooth? and b) Why is it that the child that knows the truth about Santa Claus and has never believed in such a creature as the Easter Bunny, is so convinced that there is a Tooth Fairy?

Be sure to tune in tomorrow (or whenever I get around to it) for Tigger Tales.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

We Interrupt this Blog for a Random Complaint

You know what I hate? Well, other than water trickling down my neck, rude people, tobacco, alcohol, spiders, non-minty toothpaste, overdue books, snooty people who make and sell coffee, crumbs in the sheets, being out of milk, cheaters, and liars?


Back to my post - I hate emerging from a blissful chick-flick watching cocoon in the restful quiet that means my children are asleep and my husband is off doing academically-spiritually-admirable things that we will talk about late into the night because we like to talk to each other about academic-spiritual-sometimes random things (deep breath, 'cause that was a doozy of a run on sentence), I hate emerging from my blissful romantic thoughts cocoon, coming to check my email and headlines and, low and behold, the world is still the same. Same old politics. Same old depressing stuff that I just do not want to think about and yes, I'd prefer if I could go around with my fingers in my ears - la, la, la, I can't hear you, stupid mainstream media.

I hate it when that happens. Maybe I'll watch my movie again.

Monday, October 6, 2008

What The...

Lately I've had lots of potential blog posts floating around in my head. You, my dedicated band of five readers, have not had the pleasure of reading these posts. The reasons why?

- Some require picture accompaniment and I haven't a) taken the needed pictures yet; b) scanned the appropriate pictures yet; c) downloaded the necessary pictures from my camera yet.

- Some require a deft touch and my writing of late has been lacking the necessary finesse.

- Some I can't quite figure out the know...just the exact thing I'm trying know...say. Words, in other words.

- Blogger has apparently flagged my blog as a potential "spam blog". Which means after every post there is a blurry line of letters (at least, they're supposed to be letters - I have my doubts) that I have to type in. Frankly, it's not worth straining my eyes. I, like Mr. Darcy or Elizabeth Bennet, do not like to talk (or blog) unless I can "amaze the whole room or expect and be handed down to posterity with all the eclat of a proverb." Typing in a blurry line of figures isn't worth it if I'm just posting a line or two.

So you can see the difficulty. Stay tuned for further updates...

Friday, October 3, 2008

Where We're AAA-T

Tigger has finished learning all the short vowel sounds and the primary consonant sounds. That means the next step is - ominous organ music here - actual reading. After two days of low key blending attempts ("AAAAA-T", "AAAAA-N", "AAAAA-M") we were supposed to move on to real words today.

We struggled through "cat", we giggled through "fat", we wiggled through "pat". And then Tigger looked up at me and announced, "I do not know how to do this."

We may be here awhile.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Books of 2008 - September

Okay, this has not been a prolific reading month. I have, as you might imagine, numerous excuses as to why this is so. Here's the list in all of its pathetic non-glory:

1. The First Born Advantage. Non-fiction by Kevin Leman. Eh. I'm not the big fan of birth order psychology that I used to be. Dr. Leman is growing a little repetitive for my taste. Suffice it to say: firstborns are best. Oh, wait, that's not what the book said. Whatever.

2. A is for Atticus. Non-fiction by Lorilee Craker. Awesome baby name book. I love names. I'm fascinated by names, why people choose certain names, and why we have the reactions we have to certain names. Yes, I have a blog about names. No, it is not available for public consumption just yet.

3. Cousin Phillis and Other Tales. Short stories by Elizabeth Gaskell. As always: don't get attached. Death is a main function in Mrs. Gaskell's works. Along with completely implausible events. Some of these stories you should not read before going to bed as Mrs. Gaskell enjoyed a good ghost story. That's all I'm sayin'.

4. Note To Self: On Keeping a Journal and other Dangerous Pursuits. Non-fiction by Samara O'Shea. Fascinating but repulsive.

5. The Streets of Babylon. Fiction by Carina Burman, translated by Sarah Death. Odd. Very, very odd. Translated from the original Swedish. I wanted to like it, I wanted to enjoy the characters. Unfortunately, neither thing happened. The mystery is implausible and sewn up too quickly. The characters are strange. The situations bizarre. I think I'll avoid Swedish literature in the future.

6. The Criminalization of Christianity. Non-fiction by Janet Folger. Sobering essay type chapters. Not difficult to read or understand but difficult to process and comprehend. What has happened to the United States? I don't mind telling you: I'm afraid of what my children will have to deal with as they grow up. If I wanted socialism, I'd move to France. If I wanted religious suppression, I'd move to China. America is more than flirting with both concepts. Must read for Christians or anyone concerned with our culture.

7. The Oxford Book of Prayer. Non-fiction, edited by George Appleton. As a Baptist, I don't use rote prayers or liturgy in our corporate worship. These are beautiful and have merit just for reading's sake - like poetry, in personal devotion. Beautiful. I read these in the few hours of daylight during the multi-day power outage. Something about having no electricity and reading some of these ancient words was very peaceful and reassuring to me.

8. Whirlwind. Fiction by Cathy Marie Hake. This is Christian fiction. It's okay. I'd never read any of the author's other works and I suspect that this would have made more sense if I had. Nothing offensive. Nothing brilliant. I'm beginning to suspect that I am very hard to please in the fiction category.

So, as to my excuses. Did I mention that I scrapbooked over 50 pages in one week? Or that we started our ladies' Bible study again? Or that our power was out for three days? Or that my mother-in-law gave me 75 awesome decorating magazines? Or that I'm reading Les Miserables (unabridged) for the first time? And that I'm on page 549 and I'm not even halfway finished?