Sunday, June 28, 2009
Colsen: No, God didn't make the clouds. A monster did. No, I did. I climbed up a ladder and I was flying. Did you see me?
Colsen: Oh, you was in the house.
[Later that night he asked Pete if he could show him how to fly.]
Strider: Mom, can I have some Craisins and peanut butter? They're for my new show called, "Gross Snacks with Strider."
Me: Ok... well, did you wash your hands?
Strider: No -- that's why it's called, "Gross Snacks with Strider!"
Colsen: I need to make lunch. Can you get me a spoon for this pot?
Me: You can go get one.
Colsen: No -- I can't reach! I need a special-wa! (He meant spatula, of course. I think this might be one of those cases where Pete and I adopt the new term. Years from now we may still be using special-wa's!)
Pete: Who is coming over for the meeting tonight?
Me: Just Anne and Wendy.
[After a pause] Pete: Oh, I didn't realize it was only Beth and Awara.
[I think he needs a vacation]
[I think I do, too]
Thursday, June 25, 2009
The Lord surely knew I needed to learn some patience (an obvious fact to anyone who has ever met me), and so almost 7 years ago he sent me my sweet daughter, whose hair has grown slower than I would ever have imagined hair could!
She was completely bald for the first 2 years of her life, and then we started to see some feeble wisps of hope, but even at that point it was yet to be years before it looked like an actual head of hair! It was a good thing she had such a cute little face to make up for it! :)
Age 2 years and 2 months...
A couple of years later -- 4th birthday...
So, years later, my delight has been great, now that the days I have waited and waited for are finally here! She has real hair. She has even worn braids lately! Never did I think I would be so excited for that day...
Her hair has gotten pretty long, by my new standards, lately and even Pete has been thrilled to see her with her "flowy" hair. But, with the feminine tresses a greater messiness has come, so she often has looked like a ragamuffin. Since I refuse to actually blow-dry and "do" my 6-year old's hair, we have decided the summer has called for a shorter cut once again.
So off we went yesterday to our neighborhood hair salon to get all this long-waited-for hair cut off...
Some "before" shots...
And the "after" shots!
It has been so good to see at last the day of fulfillment of promises. Everyone told us for years, "She'll have hair eventually"... and we're thankful now for hairstyle options, something I would have otherwise taken for granted!
And speaking of RAYNA, we're so thrilled that there is a new Rayna on the scene! We can't wait to meet the new little Hines baby, ETA October!
So...Strider, in 7 words or less, describe Cousins Camp this year.
Cousins Camp was really, really fun.
Mom, I don't get it. Fun at the Great Wolf Lodge.
Oh my gosh. There's a water park, an awesome hotel room, putt-putt, and a lot of other things that are fun.
Ok. We did the slip-n-slide, we played basketball, we had a lotta laughs about the Irish blessing.
I'll tell it to you. May the road rise to meet you, may the wind always be at your back. May the rain fall and soften up your fields. May God hold you at the palm of His hand. Isn't that funny??
I don't think I see why it's funny...
Too bad. We were laughing a lot. One dinner I had to keep getting up from my chair every 5 seconds to breathe because I was laughing so hard.
Oh, we stayed up until 11:30 - the latest I've ever stayed up. And we played Tripoly! I betted all my chips.
No, that's dumb. I already knew how to do that.
Great Wolf Lodge was the best place in the whole world! Thank you Nonna and Poppa!
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
The Challenge: How to keep a toilet brush in the house without it being touched and/or used for any other purpose. The only place I have found to store such brush is behind the toilet. However, anything on any floor surface anywhere in the house appears to be "fair game" for use as a toy by children under the height of 4 feet tall.
The Players: A few children under the height of 4 feet tall, and an experienced mom.
Step 1: Buy a cheap toilet brush at Ikea.
Step 2: Let the children carry it around the store triumphantly, pretending whatever they want to with it, with the hope that the novelty of this new toy will wear off.
Step 3: Set the still-clean, unused toilet brush behind the toilet at home in its new spot, expecting that the children will come find it, play with it, etc., until the novelty wears off. Wait 3-4 weeks.
Step 4: After seeing diminished play activity with the brush, actually use it to clean the toilets.
And because I am an experienced mom now, I have added Step 5:
Step 5: Expect to see, on the very next day, the toilet brush being used as a wand, hairbrush, toothbrush, dog brush, or mixing spoon by one of the children. Realize the home and children will never be as clean and sanitary as one would wish.
I performed Step 4 yesterday, so I’m just waiting to see how Step 5 manifests today…
If anyone has any suggestions for the plan and/or solutions to this problem, please do let me know!
Sunday, June 21, 2009
I love living so close to a lot of my family and being able to celebrate special things with them!
Soon-to-be dad, Graham, with Miles
A lot of the fam (we were just hanging out like this -- it was not posed, of course!)
*Before they left for their weekend in the mountains, 2 of the guys, Andy (nicknamed Soup) and Bryan Stewart (nicknamed Stew), came here for the night, giving us the opportunity to have "Soup and Stew for breakfast" -- get it? Here's some shots of everyone that morning on our new trampoline...
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Part of the reason for this, I think, is that we moms have a lot to manage. There are a lot of situations that need our attention, people who need us to hear their joys, complaints and stories, and entropy that needs to be fought.
But on top of all that, we have to answer so many questions in a day! I started thinking about this recently -- how I am called to provide answers over and over and over -- and decided I would actually count how many questions I answer in a day.
So, over a 2-day period, I did just that -- counted how many question marks were thrown my way. I did NOT count all of the rhetorical questions, demands, repeated questions, or crying squawks from the baby -- only real, actual questions. I also did NOT count all of the questions coming from people outside this family -- so nothing I got asked on the phone or through email. Just real, live, in-house questions.
And the average, for ONE DAY, was approximately 216.
In the span of the 13 hours that I and my children are awake, I get asked about 216 questions. That means, that in a week's time, I must answer someone over 1400 times. And in a year, that's... wait, let me switch over to Excel... 73,000 questions. And, starting next year when Miles may begin adding to the conversation, that number may actually go UP! This, I must say, is daunting for a brain-depleted, decision-making-challenged person such as me.
The questions in this period of analysis ranged from the mundane ("Do you want my pickle?") to the trivial-pursuit type ("Who is the mayor of Lake Park?") to the more complicated ("If we have a President, why do we need a Mayor?")... But all of them required an answer.
I did notice some patterns... here is my estimation of how the questions broke out:
1.) It let me use Excel and charts... something my depleted brain gets starved for sometimes.
2.) It helped me to conclude why it is that I feel like such a dingbat much of the time: When a person has to say "I don't know" over 100 times a day, it becomes a self-fulfilling cycle! I know less and less and less...
I would have some other, stellar conclusions I'm sure... if someone wasn't asking me something right now...
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
The other night, though, this was the scene when Colsen came downstairs to report, "I get baptized!" Sure enough, Strider had poured water all over him. When we asked Strider about this, he said, "The only problem was I baptized him in the name of the Father and the Son, but he ran away before I got to the Holy Spirit!"
It's hard to get mad at them when they're playing "church"-- and when they're so pleased with themselves!
Monday, June 15, 2009
Rayna and Ava were the first batch of cousins to go through my parents' exciting fun-filled program this year, and once again they had a great time! I interviewed Rayna, so we could hear about it all in her own words (and believe me, she had plenty of words!):
So, Rayna, what was your favorite part of Cousins Camp?
What kinds of things did you guys do?
Well, sometimes we went to the pool. And we went to Imaginon. We don't go to Chuck E. Cheese's. Ava did her seat belt. Poppa helped me with mine.
Yes, but what else did you do?
I wore my Cousins Camp shirt.
Did you make a Cousins Camp shirt?
Yes. We used different colors. I used, let's see, I used purple and yellow and black, and let's see, and orange.... And we did marshmallows! And I had a hot dog for dinner. And beans. And begetables. And we did marshmallows, too. We got sticks and put them in the fire, and I got sticky!
And what else did we do? We went out on the porch, and more porch and more porch. We went on a picnic and we got this blanket. And we went to take a bath. And I played with the towels with Ava. And we washed our bathing suits.
Ok, but Rayna, didn't you ride on a train -- or even 2 trains -- and go to a restaurant and everything?
Yeah! My soup was really, really hot. And we got these plates.... [And it goes on like this for awhile...]
Is there anything you want to say to Nonna and Poppa?
Maybe I'll give them a call.
Well... are you thankful?
Yeah, I'm thankful! I LOVED Cousins Camp. I did! It was really awesome! And we went to bed, and we got up and had breakfast, and we had cereal, and Ava had cereal.... [I'll just edit out the rest to cut down on typing!] :)
Our little Miss Detail obviously had a great time. We missed her very much while she was gone, but are so glad she had this opportunity. Thanks, Mom and Dad!
Friday, June 12, 2009
She did a good job taking order, serving drinks and bringing in the orders -- she was definitely in her element. It was actually fun for all of us, although next time I'm raising my prices.
His response, man after my own heart, was to offer coupons! He made an official announcement that there would now be flyers and various coupons scattered around in hiding places around the house. Some were definitely better deals than others. And Wednesday was "double coupon day" which was a nice option.
Colsen, meanwhile, took a trip with Pete to a weed-whacker repair shop, which sent him into a complete, blissful tizzy. He talked about it a-mile-a-minute for the whole day afterwards. And now he's got his own repair stations set up around the house, if anyone has anything they need to have fixed...
So there have been a few "Tips" jars around the house. There is, as we all know, always a reason to tip someone! I guess as parents who teach economics and marketing classes, we should not be too surprised by all these marketplace endeavors...
Oh -- and one last business note. I have discovered a marketing campaign (for Shredded Wheat) that I just LOVE -- in fact, I have been showing some of the webisodes in my class this week. Check it out here (http://www.thepalaceoflight.com/) if you're interested... The "Speech on Progress" is my favorite.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Monday, June 8, 2009
For my part, I can't believe my first baby is about half-way through with his childhood... That is a very weird thought.
Here are some scenes of his big day:
And here is the result of using a too-cheap plastic bag as a frosting bag when trying to decorate the top of a giant cookie... POP!
Oh well, it still tasted good.
Saturday, June 6, 2009
But still we find an occasional one inside! I can't handle it. We had that first slug-sighting in the house 11 nights ago, so every night since then I've been totally creeped out. Unfortunately, Pete has been gone for 7 of those nights, so I've had to cope on my own. It's horrible: each evening as the sun starts to set, I find myself frantically preparing to be invaded, getting more and more worked up as the moments go by and darkness begins to settle in. It's like I'm afraid a werewolf is going to show up or something! I've never in my life dreaded nighttime so much before. And I've never been so upset about rain, either.
I don't like living this way, so tonight I decided to try to change my outlook. If I serve a God who has a big overarching theme of redemption, then there must be some ways I can see Him redeeming even this yucky situation, right? So, I've given it some thought, and here are some good results I've seen come out of this slug season...
- Reminder that I have a wonderful community around me: When I brought this up at our last Life group meeting at our house, I told them I didn't know what I would do if I saw a slug when Pete wasn't home because I certainly would not be able to kill it, but I would also feel foolish going to get a neighbor to get it for me. Several of the men in the Life group immediately said I could call them and they would drive the several miles from their home to ours to get any indoor slugs!
- Time for Strider to shine: While Pete's been out, Strider has had to be my man of the house, walking into rooms ahead of me, and scoping out if there are any invaders. He's also had to deal with the outdoor beer traps. And he's risen to the challenge!
- Greater self-awareness: Now I know that I still haven't grown out of the same strategy my 2-year old uses for situations he doesn't like -- denial. Every night I just pack up all my stuff and head upstairs for the evening. I figure if there are slugs somewhere downstairs, it's just much better if I don't see them. So as I type this, I am upstairs in my room, with the child-gate across the top of the stairs locked. I know this won't really keep anything out, but it works for me anyway!
- Greater appreciation for Hulu.com: Since I can't stay downstairs to watch tv in the evening, I have taken our laptop upstairs and become a big fan of Hulu. My new favorite show: "Trust Me." If I can't watch old episodes of "Ed" this is the next-best thing. And I might even be able to use some clips in my marketing class!
- Better health?: I can't snack as much at night when I'm stuck upstairs, and when I'm bored watching Hulu, I can exercise... a little anyway.
- More time for blogging stupid stuff. Case in point.
*I think slugs are named onomatopoetically, but my brother tells me I'm wrong. They don't sound sluggish... but the name sure suits how they make me feel!