Archives for January 2010

It Can Only Go Up From Here

That’s what she said…

Sorry, I couldn’t resist.  So inappropriate…

It’s been a morning.  Said morning began at 1:00 am when Landon woke up crying for the second night in a row due to a nasty cold.  I gently nudged Lee out of bed to deal with it (read gave him a shove and a grunt) since I was on middle of the night duty the night before. 

But I might as well have gotten up with him myself because all I did was lay in bed wide awake for an hour listening to him cry and cough on Lee’s shoulder in the other room.  And pray that God would give him some sweet rest.

Then I got hot so I turned the fan up.  Then I got cold so I turned it down.  Then I just felt like I was going to explode out of my skin from being so tired yet unable to sleep.

I finally slept.  And I had weird dreams that I had trouble distinguishing from reality when I woke up.  I hate when that happens.

I am observing in Tia’s preschool class today, so when Lee got up at 6:00 this morning, I rolled around in bed for a few minutes trying to convince myself that it would be fine to go with wrinkled clothes and bed hair.  I even wondered if I was careful not too stand too close to anyone I could get away with not brushing my teeth.  Ultimately I decidede that might be a little extreme. 

Then I heard the older kids up wandering around and Landon crying again so I dragged myself out of bed and took a shower.  I thought Lee was out there with them.

I took my time getting ready because I assumed my husband was holding down the fort.  A half hour later when I finally emerged clean and with makeup firmly packed over the bags under my eyes, I was surprised to find Landon still in bed and Sloan sitting in front of my laptop at the island.

I assumed Lee was working in his office in the basement and didn’t hear the kids upstairs destroying the house.  I fought back frustration.  I got out clothes and started on breakfast then went to check my email only to find that whatever Sloan was doing on my laptop messed it up.

It won’t start.  And the error box tells me it’s not going to start then gives me some big long code that is apparently supposed to tell me why it won’t start – either that or it’s the key to the universe.  Blast!  Why don’t I speak computer! 

I consider tarring and feathering my first born.

I call down the stairs to Lee that I need him to be my hero and fix the computer.  He doesn’t answer.  I yell a bit louder.  He still doesn’t answer.  I mutter under my breath as I exert the effort to actually walk down the stairs (oh the horror!) only to discover he’s not there.  He left early this morning.  That would have been nice to know…

At this point, Landon is crying from fatigue; Tia is absolutely sure, positive from the very fiber of her core, that she is going to starve to death before I finish the oatmeal and Sloan swears up one side and down the other that his shoes are nowhere to be found.

And there is an odd odor beginning to permeate the house.  I soon discover it’s Landon.  His system doesn’t handle cold medicine well.  Then I discover the wet sheets and pajamas on the floor from a certain someone who had an accident.  They’re lying in the hallway, so the hallway smells.

When I fetch Landon’s diaper I notice that the medicine cup has fallen on the floor and the residue Sudafed has left a lovely pink stain on the carpet.  I dab it with a wipe then pull his bear blanket over it.

I finally send off the 6 year old, still considering whether or not tarring and feathering him would constitute as child abuse then exercise my motherly awesomeness by setting the younger two up with the Disney Channel. 

I look one more time at my useless laptop and wish again I spoke computer before settling back at the desktop that now feels sooo 2009.

*sigh* It’s only 8:00.

How was your morning?

The Grammar Lesson – aka The Day My Head Exploded

Pull up a chair and join us, won’t you, around the kitchen table (actually, if I’m gonna get technical, it’s an island, but whatever.  I mean, really, that’s neither here nor there). 

It’s time to work on a little grammar.  It will be fun!  We’re gonna conjugate verbs…in russian*.  Just you, me and the six year old…

Pretend you’re a fly on the wall…or the screen.  Of course, you don’t have to pretend to be anything if you don’t want to.  You can just sit there and read out loud…or to yourself.  It’s up to you.  Sheesh…let’s move on.

“Okay, buddy.  We’re going to learn about verbs tonight.” 

“What’s a verb?” 

“It’s a word that has action.  A word that moves.”

“Words can move?”

“No.  I mean, well…yes.  It’s a word that shows action.”

“What’s action?”

“Action?  Uh, well…action is movement.”

“Oh…” Clear confusion.  He’s not understanding.  It probably doesn’t help that I’m switching back and forth between Russian and English as I try to explain this to him.  I stick with English for a minute because God help me I cannot explain a verb in Russian.

“Okay – run.  That word has action.  When you run you’re moving, right?”


Score one for mommy.  I’m starting to feel good.  I can do this – I can teach this kid to conjugate a verb in a foreign language…oh yes I can.

“Great.  Talk – that’s a word with action.  Play, stand, drive…all these words have actions.  Can you think of a word with action?”


*awkward pause and the feeling of unbridled grammatical success from half a second before pffffts out like a stiff balloon.  “Nnnnooo.  A telephone is a noun.”

“What’s a noun?”

Oh geez.

“A noun is a person, a place or a thing.  It’s doesn’t have action.  It doesn’t move-but that’s not what we’re learning. We’re learning verbs today.You can talk on a telephone, right?”

“Right!  Hey – can I call my friend Chris on the phone?”

“Focus, Sloan. Look in my eyes. Okay (here I switch back to Russian) now we’re going to work on verbs in Russian.  Let’s start with Want.  How do you say ‘I Want’ in Russian?”

“Ya Hochu.”

Feeling of success eases back, this time a bit more cautiously.

“Maladyetz! Very good.  Now how do you think you would say ‘You Want’ in Russian?”

*Long pause.  He’s thinking about it.  I see the wheels turning behind his eyes.  I can almost taste victory.  Then he breaks out in a wide grin. 

“You Vant,” he says in English but using a russian accent.

(sigh)  I think I might be in over my head.

*for the record, I didn’t learn to start conjugating verbs until I was in college and truth be told I wasn’t very good at it then and I’m not great at it now.  In Russian, there is a different ending for every verb depending on if it’s plural or singular, present, past or future tense.  And those endings vary based upon the words, meaning that while there’s a basic model to follow, every word is different and you just have to learn how to say the words correctly.

Tonight we worked on the present tense verbs ‘To Want,’ ‘To Whisper,’ ‘To Scream,’ and ‘To Cry.’

Tomorrow we will work on the future tense.

I think my head might explode.

Not here, but over there

It’s a crazy morning and it’s going to be crazier if I keep sitting in front of this computer screen! I’ve got one kid bundled and shipped off to school and two more dressed, fed and plopped lovingly in front of the television.

And now I need to get myself showered and ready for what is to be a busy day. So I don’t have time to spend with you this morning, dear readers.

I did, however, have the privilege of writing a guest post for my sister-in-law, Becke’s, site today. Becke’ is a beautiful writer and photographer and God has blessed me with her as I never grew up with sisters and she has filled that void in my life. Her heart for the Lord challenges me daily and I’m honored that she asked me to write something for her site.

It’s funny, really. I wrote that post last Wednesday after much prayer and consideration. And within a day, God answered a pretty random prayer of mine in a way that I did not see coming. How I wish I could share more of His answer, but I can’t. Not now, anyway. But hopefully soon.

In the meantime, head over to Becke’s blog and check out my post. I pray that you are blessed and challenged by it.

Top 10 ways to know you’ve watched too much Little House on the Prairie

10. When the kids are exasperating you, you burst out, “I declare,” in a huff.
9. Your six year old comes to you, clutching his stomach and says, “Mom, I don’t feel good. I think I’ve got the mountain fever.”
8. You have a sudden and bizarre urge to sew something…even though you don’t know how to sew.
7. You wish you owned a pair of snowshoes and a rifle.
6. You ring a bell to signal to the kids it’s time to eat.
5. You have a hankerin’ for a raspberry pie.
4. You use words like “hankerin'” in conversation.
3. You’re craving cornbread and honey.
2. You feel the need to read your Bible in the King James version.
1. Your kids are calling you Ma.

Day two of a snow day (this time due to frigid temps) means we’ve been bunkered down in front of the fire watching more of the adventures of the Ingalls family. We’ve seen Carrie fall down an old mine shaft and Laura survive the Spotted Mountain fever (although in reality she only had poison ivy). We’ve seen Pa swim through a creek and battle three armed men to get Doc Baker and we’ve learned that Mr. Edwards lost his first wife and child to the fever.

And we’re experiencing a little cabin fever of our own. We will have to go out later because there are a few necessities that we need, but otherwise, we’re in for the day. Here are a few shots from our snow fun yesterday. I did manage to get the kids to a park to sled, but the wind was whipping and it was so bitterly cold that we didn’t last long. In fact, Tia, Landon and I sat in the car and watched Sloan sled for most of the time.

Ah well – I tried. Happy snow day everyone!






Battoning Down the Hatches…or something like that.

Well we didn’t get the eight inches of snow they were predicting yesterday (it looks more like 3-4 inches to me) but it’s still flurrying a bit out there so we’ll see what happens.  The kids are enjoying their first ever snow day and right now are all piled up on the couch in their soggy pull ups and diapers watching Micky Mouse Clubhouse.

The weatherman says that the snowstorm is finished (but what does he know?) but our temperatures will be falling throughout the day.  Falling from 17 with a windchill of 1.  They’re saying by midday we should have wind chills hovering somewhere around -15 to -20.  I told you the other day about my extreme hatred for cold weather.  It makes me all flustered and cantakerous.

To compound things, Lee is currently at the airport waiting on a flight to take him to Phoenix for a work meeting.  Phoenix…where it’s warm.  (mutter, mutter, grumble, grumble)

So, like Ma Ingalls, the children and I shall power on.  We will survive our manless estate during these record low temperatures.  I will brave the weather so my kids can sled down the small hill in our front yard.  I will throw salt on the driveway and shovel away some of the snow.  I will churn the butter and bake corn bread from scratch…

Okay, I’ll probably just rip open a box of Mac and Cheese.  I’m more of a modern day Ma.

And we will likely spend most of our day inside where I pray the children do not eat each other alive.  If you try to call later and I don’t answer it’s because I’ve locked myself in my bedroom and curled up in the fetal position.

Hopefully all our together time looks like this:


Happy and Gettin’ Along:


We’ll drink hot cocoa and eat the oatmeal cookies that Landon and I made yesterday:



Yes, we will enjoy this snowy morning and we will gather before a roaring fire when the wind chills dip to dangerously low levels.  We will read books and eat cookies and watch movies.

It may not be so bad after all.

I’m married and dating a younger man!

Did you ever fear when you got married that you would miss dating?  That you might long for the excitement of going out with someone new and different – the butterflies, the joy of a shared moment, smiles exchanged, hands held?

I will confess – I did worry about it.  It wasn’t a worry that kept me up at night or made me question whether or not I should marry Lee, but I did think about it some in the months leading up to our marriage.  I was barely 22 when we got married.  I was very young and I knew that by marrying so young I was giving up a bit of “life.” In fact, when Lee proposed to me I was only eighteen months out of my teens.

In short, I was a baby.

Of course, I didn’t think that at the time.  I felt more than grown up and I was mature enough to step into marriage.  But looking back at it now, 22 seems so very young.

So yes – a couple of times during our engagement, I wondered if I would miss dating.  I worried that maybe the thrill of the chase would be over and I would never get to experience that excitement again.

Now that I’m so old (eyeroll), though, I have a little perspective.  First of all, I’m happy to say that I still get excited to go out on a date with my husband.  How naive I was to think that marriage would squeeze an ever tightening noose around the neck of excitement.  If anything, I get more excited to be alone with my husband now than I did back in those early days when I took for granted the endless alone time we had.  My husband can still make me giggle and he still gives me goosebumps when he comes out all dressed to the  nines and dapper.  That didn’t die when we said “I do.”

But, I also now have the opportunity to date someone else.  And going out with this young man gives me a new and different kind of excitement.  When he smiles at me, my stomach flutters and my heart skips a beat when he holds my hand in public.  And he’s only six years old.  I never imagined it could be so fun to date my child.  Seeing his eyes light up at the prospect of having alone time with me is better than any new romance I ever experienced in college.

I also get to date my daughter.  Tonight she and I went swimming at the gym.  Just the two of us.  We giggled and laughed.  We talked directly to one another without interruption.  We played and splashed and hugged and kissed.  And I had the time of my life.  And soon Landon will be old enough to date – although I have to say that the alone moments he and I get when the older two are at school are priceless and precious.

So gone are the feelings and fears that life will somehow be monotonous with the same person day in and day out.  I experience a lot of feelings on a day to day basis and I can guarantee you, monotony is not one of them.  I am dating more now than I ever did before and while Lee and I don’t do the best job of carving out alone time with one another, the fact is we don’t really have to.  I’m perfectly content sitting right here with him as he plays LEGO Star Wars on the Wii and I type away on Lucy.  I don’t need the fancy dates that I needed back when I was but a whipper snapper.

I just need my husband by my side and my children close by and all is well.

Although a glass of wine would be nice too…

Excuse me.

In which I ramble on about nothing

It’s cold outside. Not brrrrrrrrrrrrr chilly. It’s freeze your face off cold. It’s single digits with wind chills below zero cold.

My husband is checking out real estate in Florida and in the Bahamas. He typically starts this process every October and it tapers off around mid-March. It’s like clock work.

I loathe cold weather. I despise it. I’m not a cussing kinda gal, but if I were this weather would lead me to make sailors blush.

Just to remind you – it wasn’t that long ago that I was here:

I know – that picture makes you want to cry doesn’t it?  So ya know – I’m allowed to gripe about the weather.  Gripe, gripe, gripe

Coffee gives me a stomach ache.  But I’ve stayed up way too late the last two nights so coffee has been a necessity.  It’s either a stomach ache or mommy the zombie. 

I drink coffee so rarely that I don’t even know how to make a pot of it.  I think I’ve made all of three or four pots of coffee in my life.  Good thing Lee got this coffee maker for his birthday.  It’s going to make addicts of us yet.  And grown ups.  Because there’s nothing that makes me feel more like a grown up than a cup of coffee in the morning.

Seriously, I tried to clean Lee’s windshield while driving the other day and the water froze as it sprayed out leaving streaks of ice up and down his windshield.  That’s how cold it is.  I almost cussed.  But I’m not a cussing kinda gal.  See above.

It’s Day 5 of the new year and I’ve already slacked on one of my resolutions.  My goal is to be more productive with my time.  One of the ways I’m hoping to do that is by getting up earlier in the morning and getting my writing done before the kids get up.  I’d also like to be dressed before they wake up so that the mornings run more smoothly.  I did great yesterday and I was super productive.

But Lee and I stayed up too late the last two nights.  Did I mention that already?  We’re busy watching Season 5 of The Office.  We got it for Christmas.  We only planned on watching one episode, but the show is so doggone funny that we couldn’t stop. 

In order to accomplish the aforementioned resolution, I think I need to add to it that I get in bed at a decent hour.

My hands are cold right now as I type this.  I got new gloves at Target the other day.  They have no fingers so I can wear them while I type.  They look kind of like this – only not as cute…

And I’m wearing them right now.  My hands are warm…but my fingers are still cold.  Not totally sure what the purpose is, but I’m going to wear them anyway.

My husband is a bit of a nerd.  He keeps yammering on about Facebook and how ridiculous he thinks it is.  He’s leaving nonsensical status updates.  Right now I do believe he is claiming to be a Greek god on his Facebook page.  As nerdy as it is, it’s making me laugh.

I think that means I’m also a nerd.

Okay, I think it’s time for me to close this out.  I need to make a second cup of coffee.  And I need to put on another shirt because I’m freezing my arse off.  It’s not cussing if you write it with a Scottish accent is it?

I also need to start the car.  If I let it run for the next 20 minutes it should be warm when we have to leave to take Tia to school.  Did I mention it was cold outside?  If any of you hear of a job opening in the medical device field in Florida or the Bahamas, let us know…

Okay, seriously – I need to go.  This not a productive use of my time.  I’m failing abismally at my new year goal. 

Stay warm everyone!

2009 – A “Wordy” Review

I got this idea from C-Jane’s blog. I’m not quite as spunky a writer as she is, but I liked looking through my 2009 posts and remembering the fun and crazy words that composed and marked the past year.  


The Inauguration: Thoughts From a Conservative: This was one of my few ventures into politics on my blog. I don’t do it often, but sometimes the urge to comment on the political temperature of our country gets the best of me.  Political posts always lead to interesting comments.  I also ended up on the news during this particular event. 

Boredom Leads to Strange Things: An Epic Battle: In which Sloan and I developed an entire story using his Star Wars figurines and a doll house.


Hoops and Tears: This was one of my more poignant and introspective posts of the year. I don’t often venture into the recesses of my heart on my blog, but this was a decisive moment in my year and it’s a prayer that my heart still whispers for my child.

The Master Cleanse: A Reflection: Perhaps one of the funnier moments of our year. This was the description of mine and Lee’s abismal attempt at the Master Cleanse diet. 


Minivans are HOT!: I got my new site up and running with this post.

Memo to My Husband: My kind (and fecicious) way of asking my husband not to screw the lids of the kids’ sippy cups on so tight.


Sick and Twisted or Just Plain Funny?: If my children ever end up needing professional counseling, this post may contain some explanation as to why.

Easter Blunder: My husband made a man blunder on Easter Sunday of all days. It made for a great memory…and gave me a reason to laugh at him – good naturedly of course.


Can I Just Go Back To Bed?: The Infamous haircut heard ’round the world. It was Sloan’s lone foray into hair maintenance – he was fired, effective immediately and lasting for all of eternity.

The Art of Taking Tea: A friend and I threw a kick-butt tea party.


The Lotus in a Field of Mud: I love yoga – I just don’t understand it…

Why I’m in Turks and Caicos: I got to take the trip of a lifetime with my mom as we travelled to her childhood home in South Caicos. It was amazing.

July: This was a big posting month for me…

Six Years: My baby turned six. *sob*

Then and Now: I took these comparitive shots of Landon on our favorite stretch of beach.

Heavy and Light: In which I go all introspective again.

I’m sorry but it’s all I’ve got today…: My pitiful, yet painfully honest, admition that I would gladly allow Zac Efron to make a Cougar out of me (though since I’ve written this post I’ve been informed that a woman in her thirties is actually referred to as a Puma).


On Immunizations: I ventured into another hot topic and posted our decision to alter and withhold some immunizations for our children.

Missions Week: I hosted my first Missions Week in which I featured missions organizations and missionaries that are near and dear to my heart.  You can read all of the posts by clicking on the link at the top of my page.


The President’s Address to Our Children: I got political again and in doing so stepped in a big pile of *&%!  This particular post ended in me getting an email from Fox and Friends to be interviewed on their morning program.  Unfortunately I was out of town when they needed me and was unable to do the interview.

A Party in the Heavenlies: My son asked Jesus to be his Savior. A momentous day for sure.


Don’t let the door hit you in the –: The one where I admit that sometimes my mothering skills are reduced to clapping my hands.

Pumpkins and Funnel Cakes – A Lovely Combo: I worked on taking and posting better photographs with this post.


I Blame it all on Them: This post found me lamenting my dying brain cells – a phenomena I blame entirely on the children.

Mature Woman my BLEEP: My dermatologist had a severe case of verbal diarrhea. 


The Three Wise Men, The Construction Worker and the Lady Down the Street: This one is pretty self-explanatory. 

The One Where My Mom Claws Come Out: I almost had to take a girl out at the mall. Don’t make mama bear angry!

Whew – It’s been a fun ride, this blogging thing.  I’m so glad I have these stories documented and I’m so grateful to have you guys journey with us.  I know I’m not the most talented writer out there and I don’t always spin the most fascinating stories, but this blog has been a fun release for me and I enjoy your company!

I’m hoping to improve my writing skills in this coming year, while also providing a fun and witty journal for my children to look back at one day.  This is the literary road map of their childhoods.  I just pray that I do them justice.

Happy 2010.

Which, can you believe it’s 2010? I really thought we’d have flying cars by now…and Hoverboards. 

Blast those Hollywood movie makers…

Good Friends, Good Fun, Good Year

We ended the decade last night with our neighbors, eating, drinking and dancing.  Adults and children all joined in on the fun as we played the Wii game, Just Dance.  If you don’t have this game, I recommend you get it – we will be after playing last night.

This has  been a good decade.  Exactly ten years ago, I was engaged to the man of my dreams.  Lee and I went to downtown St. Louis to ring in Y2K, watching the fireworks and waiting for the world to end.  I’m so glad it didn’t because our first ten years together have been filled with more blessings than I ever though possible.  We began our family with just the two of us in 2000 and we have now expanded to five.  We’ve made dear friends along the way and are more than excited to see what the next decade has in store.  If it matches this first decade of our marriage, then we are in for another good ride.

Happy New Year everyone! 

Chocolate dipped marshmellows on a stick?  Oh yes, 2010 will indeed be a good year.

Chocolate dipped marshmellows on a stick? Oh yes, 2010 will indeed be a good year.





FAME! I'm Gonna Live Forever...

FAME! I'm Gonna Live Forever...

It's 10:00 and Landon is beginning to wind down.

It's 10:00 and Landon is beginning to wind down.

He had one last dance in him though...

He had one last dance in him though...


We ended up the night at home, in our jammies, where we counted down to midnight then shared New Year’s kisses all around.