Archives for May 2009

Wonderful Woman

To Kelli:

I love you very much!!!!  You are a wonderful mother.  Our children are blessed to call you mom.  Thank you for your hard work, great attitude, consistent training and Godliness.  Our kids will grow up with a mom who is cool, hip and loves them very much.  What a blessing you are to me.  You are loved and appreciated.

Your Husband

So Much, So Little

Short bits of information I know you’re all dying to know…

My internet at home has been down for a couple of days now, so I feel like I am slowly suffocating from lack of computer love.  There is a very distinct possibility that I am an addict.

The kids had their russian concert last night.  Pictures and perhaps video to come (aren’t you excited?).  They did amazing.  Tia stood up and said her russian poem right into the microphone!  My Tia (or Katyoosha as they call her at school – I love russian names)!  I was shocked and proud.  It still baffles me how well they both do is those classes given that they get so little practice at home.  Kids are amazing little beings.

I have so much I want to say, but most of it would be boring so I’ll keep it to myself.  I will leave you with a few snippets from the last couple of days:

-When I had my hair colored the other day, the hairstylist found a grey hair.  I made her pull it, then told her to never tell me again if she saw any, but to discreetly pull them while combing my hair.  She laughed, but I’m pretty sure she thought I was nuts.

-Speaking of hair, she gave me a $15 gift certificate that I can give to a friend.  I am going to give it to one of my local commentors.  Just leave me a comment and let me know if you’re interested.  Her name is Olga and she’s great.  She works at The Face and the Body spa and salon in Chesterfield and she only charges $31 for a haircut, so this certificate gives a 50% discount.  It’s a good deal.

-I talked to the bug people yesterday about our mouse situation.  They said that the mice are likely nesting and the only thing that will stop them is if we find where they’re coming in and close it up.  Riiiight.  Our house is 45 years old.  They could be coming in anywhere.  I may have to just construct mouse hotels in the basement.

-My brother recently started his own blog.  Go over and give him some love.  His first story is from back in his Navy days – he’s got some good stories to tell and his blog should be a fun read.  Brett’s a great writer (much better than me, but don’t tell him I  told you that) so I’m excited to start reading his stuff.

Okay, that’s all for now.  I have to go.  It’s thundering and I’ve left my kids in the child care at the gym.  But Sloan is so terrified of thunder that I fear he may be clawing the poor workers to death in there.  I better go rescue him.

Happy Mother’s Day to all my mommy friends and, of course to my own mother and mother-in-law.  I love you guys!

Harry Potter

I’m not going to talk about American Idol today because I didn’t like the show last night at all.  I didn’t think anyone sounded very good and I was nearly blinded several times by Paula’s plunging neckline, which left me feeling uncomfortable and nervous for her.  The only thing I liked was Allison’s hair.  It was rockin’…

I will tell you, however, that I finally finished the Harry Potter series.  I know I’m a couple years late on this, but I have to say that those books were brilliant.  Brilliant as in that may be the best series of our generation.  I am actually a little sad today that it’s over.  I miss Harry, Ron and Hermione.  The story was written so well that I actually felt I was a part of that world when I read the books and when I closed book 7 last night, I felt a pang of regret that it was over.

I must admit that I was one of those people who did not read the books because of the witchcraft aspect of the storyline.  I bought the whole idea of them being evil hook, line and sinker.  But, I was wrong.

Yes, the books center on young witches and wizards in training and I don’t diminish the fact that we have to be careful how closely we tread to such practices, but the storyline of Harry Potter is complete fantasy.  It’s the folklore surrounding witchcraft that makes up the story, but the theme is good verses evil and the power of love to conquer evil.  In fact, after awhile, the magical part of the books became just a back story.  I was more enraptured with the characters – with Harry’s reconciliation with the death of his parents; with Ron and Hermione’s obvious attraction; with Dumbledore’s wisdom on life, love and peace; with Fred and George’s ability to find the humor in any situation, no matter how bleak.  Those were the things that stood out to me.  The magic just faded into the background.

In fact, book 7 is ripe with Christian imagery and from the research that I’ve done on J.K. Rowling, that was intentional.  I was pleasantly surprised by this fact. 

Rowling does not practice witchcraft, as was widely circulated among Christian circles.  She simply had a story to tell.  And, we must remember that Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia also involved witches, wizards and magic as a means to tell a story.  Gandolf was a good wizard, much along the lines of a Dumbledore.  The White Witch in Chronicles was evil, much along the lines of Voldemort or Bellatrix Lestrange.

I do not think that the Potter series is as rich in imagery as Lord of the Rings or Chronicles, but in ranking those three series, I would place Rowling’s books third on the list.  It’s that good.

I don’t think that I would read these books to my kids, however, for several reasons.  First, there are over 4,000 pages to read and my kids can hardly sit still for a short picture book.  Second, there are themes within those books that I think are far too mature for young children.  I won’t even show them the movies for that reason alone.  The story is fantastic, but it is dark and I just don’t think my kids are ready to process the messages and images presented at such a young age.  I also won’t allow them see Lord of the Rings for the very same reason.  It’s too dark and too scary.

When they get older, I will be happy to let them begin reading these stories and possibly see the movies if they’re even interested by then.  But before then, in my opinion, these books are a little too much.

It is my hope that my children will one day have an appreciation for good literature and good story telling.  I hope they will consume books and fall in love with the characters.  Harry Potter is an easy character to fall in love with and at the end, his story is redemptive. 

Now I am going to take a break and catch up on sleep because I am just exhausted.

Feifel Goes (Mid)West


“What Sloan?!”

“We caught another one!”

With a slight medium insane amount of trepidation, I walked slowly down the stairs where my kids knealt in front of a near decapitated mouse hanging off the trap.  Flecks of peanut butter clung to its whiskers, a fact that did not excape Sloan and Tia.

“Look mom, look at the peanut butter on his mouth,” Sloan said.  Is that delight I hear in his voice?

“Eeeeewwwww,” Tia said, giggling.  Well, at least she has common sense enough to think it’s gross.  “I touch it,” she cried, her little finger edging toward the mouse.

“NO,” I yelled calmy said.  “Don’t touch it – I’ll get a bag to throw it away.”

As I lifted the trap off the floor, the mouse’s feet swung off the end of the trap and it’s tail hit my wrist.  With a yelp, I threw it back down and leapt to my feet.  My kids screamed and jumped too.  Yes, I am passing on my neurosis to my offspring.  Yay me!

I stared at the mouse for a moment, visions of his little eyes popping open and and his little mouth issuing out a war cry to his little friends, who would then swarm my house and take me captive.

“Mom?” Sloan’s voice broke me out of my horror.  “I’ll pick it up for you if you want.”

I hesitated for only a moment, then decided, yes, this is good.  Kids need responsibility, they need to feel like they are helping around the house.

And so my five year old disposed of the mouse for me.  And I felt a mixture of relief and shame that I let him do it.  But you know he did feel really good about the fact that he had done a “daddy job” and I for one am glad to have given him that boost in self esteem.  I’m a good mommy.

In case you’re wondering, that’s the ninth mouse we’ve caught in or around our house.  Maybe tenth.  It’s hard to remember.  Apparently there’s a colony all trying to infiltrate.  We’ve sealed up the dog food tight in the garage, but I’m still finding dog food in my laundry, which leads me to believe that they have a surplus somewhere, which naturally leads to the idea that they are gathering arms to lay siege upon us and take over our house one and all.

And, if it comes down to that, they can have it.  I surrender.  I’m a pansy…

Anyway – we’ve got glue traps, mouse traps and poison and we’ve caught several mice with each of those contraptions.  Even the dog caught one, delightedly dropping it’s mangled, bloodied body at my feet as if looking for a reward.  Yeah, I handled that great – I think I clamped my jaw down so hard that I chipped a tooth in my attempt not to spew chunks all over the place.

I hate mice.  I don’t think they’re cute or cuddly.  I think they’re scary and ugly and if one scurries across my foot while I’m gathering laundry there’s a good chance I’ll break my neck trying to get away.  And I am pretty sure these mice aren’t going away.  I wonder if I should charge them rent…

You think I’m kidding, but I’m pretty sure I heard the mournful strains of Somewhere Out There last night as I fell asleep.

No time for words…

Today is our busy day, which means I hardly have time to breath, much less hang out at the computer.  So I leave you a picture (or three), then I’m off…

Eating yogurt by himself for the first time

Eating yogurt by himself for the first time


I love that smile.  And yes, that is a toad on her shoulder courtesy of her cousin Cade.

I love that smile. And yes, that is a toad on her shoulder courtesy of her cousin Cade.


He's got a great laugh.

He's got a great laugh.

All Hoity Toity…You Know Da Type?

The title comes from the movie, Newsies, spoken by the adorable Christian Bale as Jack Kelly.  Just a little useless entertainment trivia for you – I’m full of that sort of information.  Today, I am feelin’ all hoity toity.

I’m sitting in the cafe at Lifetime Fitness with my little HP Mini 1000 feeling like a rock star diva while sipping on a healthy smoothie.  The internet is down at our house and so I came here to get away from the kids to get some work done.  I really think I might cry when I have to send this computer back.  It’s so fun! and, unfortunately, I did not win the laptop on the Momlogic contest, so all hope has flickered out – at least for the near future. *sigh*

Honestly, though, while I’m a little disappointed, I’m not all that upset.  I have spent some time the last few days reading posts like this, and those stories do amazing things to one’s perspective.

Lee and I are very blessed. Blessed beyond measure, really.  When I look back and see the way that God has provided for us in the past, in times when it didn’t seem that we were going to make it, I am humbled.  Because even in those moments, we were surrounded by good things.

We have so much.  We have our own health and the health of our children. We have amazing parents and siblings, such a godly network of family, that surround us with love and joy.  We have a home and working cars and more food than we need (much more food than we need)!  I mean, it’s just so much.

And it’s time to share.  I grew up with parents who gave and gave and gave.  My parents opened their home to anyone who needed it.  They gave money where it was needed. They sacrificed time for the benefit of others.  And I married a man who loves giving as much as they did.

Over the years, however, I am ashamed to admit that Lee and I got lost in our quest to make and earn and acquire and we forgot the simple joy of giving.  This past year, we went through the Crown Financial Ministries class and were reminded, once again, of God’s desire for us and the way we use our finances.

So we began praying. And the Lord laid people on our hearts and we, grudgingly at first, gave.  And it was a wonderful feeling.  So we gave a little more.  And it  was even more fun.  And we realized that giving really is more fun than receiving, as cliche as that may sound.  And so, we’ve been impressed to give just a little more.  And we’ve been praying about where we should give.  And after reading the stories and seeing the photos from the Compassion bloggers, the Lord answered that prayer.

If you haven’t read any of the stories from the Compassion trip to India, I highly recommend it.  It’s astounding the power that ministry is having all over the world.  Lee and I are excited to sponsor our own child through Compassion.  We’ve been praying about it for several months and we finally feel like the time is right.

And I am so very excited about it…