Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Just when I thought I couldn't get any more harried...

This week has started out very crazy for me…  I started working yesterday, doing SAT tutoring, so that’s on my mind, and then we also have several other things going on at home.  Among the things I had to work on yesterday were:  planning the women’s Bible studies for church (finding homes to meet in, leaders for the groups, communicating all the plans and info to everyone), making decisions about our new flooring, making decisions about our new countertops, looking at new cars to buy, and finding financing for the previous 3 projects.    Plus I’m trying to make plans for 2 upcoming birthdays in our house.  To give you some idea of how crazy it was yesterday, here’s one measure:  our house received 23 phone calls in one day.  Plus I called several people too!


Anyway, on top of being very harried, God apparently thought I needed some “furriness” to go with the “hairriedness”!  We were responsible for watching a neighbor’s dog for the day while she went to the hospital while her husband had surgery.  Pete’s “lunch” with someone turned into an all-afternoon series of errands, so at 4:00 I had to take all 3 kids with me down around the corner to take care of the dog.  We took a very slow walk there because Rayna insisted on scootering, then falling, then walking, and Strider was off climbing street signs.  By the time we got to the house I was already hot and tired.  I let the kids into the backyard, and went into the house through the garage to get the dog.  As I let the dog out from the kitchen door, I noticed Rayna standing by the open gate in the back of the yard.  I yelled for her to close the gate….  But by the time she heard me, Shag (the dog) was already jumping at her…. So she did the most logical thing in her mind:  move out of the way so he could get out.  Yep, off he ran.  And in that split second I realized we had just become the worst dog-watchers in the neighborhood, if not the county.


So off I ran after Shag, yelling oh-so-sweetly, “C’mere Shag!”  But Shag, who gave me the “I don’t know what in the world you were doing in my house, much less my yard.  I’m outta here” look, kept running.  I frantically kept chasing him, even attempting to lie to him, telling him I had a treat in my hand, when I didn’t.  Shag didn’t buy it.  I chased him for 3 houses and around the corner…. And then remembered I had left 3 kids back at Shag’s house.  Now I was torn….  Do I go back and rescue my kids before one of them tries to follow me or run in the road (or Colsen tries to vault out of his stroller), or do I pursue this dog?  The last thing I wanted to tell my sweet octogenarian neighbor, whose 90-year old husband was lying in surgery, was that I had lost her precious dog!!  I realized I had to go back for the kids.


So I ran back, rushed into the house to grab some real dog treats so I wouldn’t have to lie to Shag next time, grabbed everyone and frantically hurried everyone back to our house.  (The whole way back Strider was pleading in a high voice, “Mom, is Shag going to be alright?  Are we going to find him? Where is he?  What are we going to do?  Mom?  Mom? “  and Rayna kept asking, “I let Shag out? I did?  I let him out?  He ran away?”)  We finally got back to the house, where I remembered that Pete had taken our regular car to his “lunch.”   I had to put everyone in our little car – which has no air conditioning and barely runs.  So Colsen had to sit in a car seat that’s meant for a 30-pound toddler, Rayna had to ride with no car seat, and Strider didn’t have a full seat belt.  (And don’t think I didn’t have to hear about THAT over and over and over)  So off the sweaty lot of us went down around the neighborhood to look for the dog.


Thankfully (after earnestly praying to Jesus that He would help us find this dog), we did find Shag a couple blocks away.  I jumped out and again told him I had a treat.  Either he could detect that I was telling the truth this time, or he was just tired of exploring, because miracle of miracles, he actually came close enough so I could grab his collar.  I piled him into the front seat, and off the 5 of us drove in the sauna-car back to his house.


Fortunately Pete returned right then, and was able to help me get everyone home.  Quite the mid-day adventure.  A couple of hours later when our neighbor (Shag’s “mom”) came to our house, both kids were quick to tell her ALL about it.  Poor Lorrie.  She must be desperate, though, because she asked us to watch Shag again today.  But today NO kids were allowed anywhere near their house.


So that’s my harried/furried story for today.  Now I’m off to the next hundred things I need to do….

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Ohio Trip, '07

One of the highlights of our big trip to Ohio this summer ocurred the very first night we were there.  We celebrated Bud/Grandpa's 70th birthday!  Since Boy Scouts has been such a big part of his life, we had a Scout-themed party -- with a ceremony and everything.  Here are some of the pictures:


The party included some serious elements, like a gift presentation of a photo album, a speech by Grandpa, and the pledge of allegiance... and also some fun things, like presenting Grandpa with numerous "merit badges" that he's "earned" in his life.  There was also a funny skit by the 3 oldest grandsons, and some funny dancing by the youngest grandchildren at the end...


But my favorite part -- and a moment that made me very proud to be a member of this large Frank family -- was a song that a lot of the grandkids (and a couple of the adults) did about Grandpa.  The main part of the song was something like "I'm glad I am a grandkid, there's nothing I'd rather be, but if I weren't a grandkid, a ____  I would be."  And then they each sang a separate verse.... all at the same time.  The cacophany was great!  I have some video of it, but apparently all the files are too big for this web site... bummer.

Now the site is telling me something is wrong with my other pictures, so I can't share them today... I'll try again later!










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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Coming home

Our trip to Ohio and Pennsylvania was a lot of fun, but today we had the always interesting experience of re-entering life at home. 


At one point this afternoon I decided I had to start to chuckle about it all – or else I would strangle someone.  So here’s a look into the happenings at our home today….


We arrived home around 11 this morning – having made it as far as Huntersville last night around midnight.  (All 3 kids excitedly woke up when we arrived, so it was a bit of a challenge getting everyone bedded down for the night.  We finally fell asleep around 1 am, then Colsen woke up a few times throughout the night, and was ready to get up for the day at 7 am.  So much for a restful night!)


Anyway, we pulled our car (a.k.a. “the visual case for why we need a minivan”….  we were stuffed to the gills in that thing) into the driveway at home this morning, and everyone piled out to scatter in various directions.  First we had to listen to the “lawn woe” song from Pete and the “garden woe” song from Amy, gather the miscellaneous packages and flyers from the front of the house, and pull out all the bikes we own from the garage (thank you, Strider and Rayna... we really didn’t have enough to put away already.)


Upon entering the 2-week deserted house, we found it was VERY hot, and I was immediately greeted by the fact that some of my houseplants had not survived, despite my neighbor’s attempts to keep them alive.  Just as I was realizing that I was going to have completely re-pot everything,  and re-strategize my plant distribution in the house, the aforementioned neighbor came to the door and proceeded to tell me about all the ills of my plants.  (bad dirt, bad plant food, lack of plant showering – in the bathtub!—and poor lighting)  And she announced she was coming over to help me re-pot everything on Saturday.  Ok, then.


So, off I went to clean up that whole mess.  At the same time, we were also bringing in 47* suitcases and shopping bags, changing the water filter, vacuuming, cleaning the kitchen from dust (due to someone fixing our ceiling while we were gone), getting drinks for all the very parched people around here, etc., etc.


Meanwhile, the kids were celebrating their homecoming in their own ways.  Since Colsen learned to crawl while we were away on our trip, we returned to a veritable playground for him.  And a not very safe playground at that.  We have not yet baby-proofed everything for a crawling one, so we had to keep following him around today, taking cords and plugs out of his mouth, stopping him from pulling lamps down on his head, keeping him out of various items he shouldn’t be in, etc.  We set up some temporary gates, but he quickly pulled them down on his head.


Rayna was alternating between her 2 personality extremes: one minute she was provoking someone with a suspicious gleam in her eyes or doing something else decidedly not-helpful,  and then the next she “wanted to help.”  So she kept asking “Mommy, what should I do NEXT?”  And I would send her sweaty little head off with another errand around the house… only to find her back 30 seconds later, asking that question again.


And Strider.  Oh, Strider.  He was also very wound up to be home, so being the boy that he is, he was jabbering incessantly about something or another, with a lot of “Mom- watch this!”-es interspersed.  He was climbing up doorframes, jumping backwards over the couch, putting yucky things on Colsen’s head, provoking Rayna to scream, etc.  He was even pretending he was in a video game, as he was “swimming” on our ottoman.  Then, he told me, the boy (playing the video game) messed up, and Strider landed on the floor with a thud.


But then to top it all off…   I started to make lunch.  I made lunch for Strider and Rayna, then made a second lunch for Colsen, and then just as I was reaching for the tuna fish to make yet another lunch for Pete and me…  I discovered our pantry was completely overrun with… fire ants.  Yup.  So….  We had to pull every single item out of the pantry – I think there were close to 700* things in there – and spray everything down, caulk the floor, and then put it all back.  This was of course a job that lasted well over a couple hours, and was punctuated by yells from Pete or me as we occasionally got bit by the angry ants.


And while all of this was going on, Strider was feeding Colsen his lunch, which, as I’m sure you can imagine, ended up all in his hair, clothes, furniture, etc.  Yay, we get to do a bath!  And then Rayna walked through 2 rooms carrying her cranberry lemonade—and sloshing it out of her cup with every step.  Yay, I get to mop today, too.  Nothing like adding a bunch of deep-cleaning projects to the agenda on the day you arrive home from a 2-week trip.


And, then in case there weren’t enough special things to welcome us, Strider opened a package that had been sitting on our front step – a dvd from McGraw-Hill for one of my classes….. and a dead skink.  Yup, a dead lizard thing fell out of the packaging onto our floor as he opened it.  To which Strider remarked, “Oh… that’s what smelled really bad!”  I didn’t get close enough to verify this fact, but it was enjoyable even without that extra sense.


Ahh… it’s good to be home.


(I’ll post about our actual trip later)



* Numbers MAY be slight exaggerations

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