Let’s lighten the mood

The last two posts were fun for me to write.  I like creative writing and I love to write about the moments in my past that comprise who I am today.

What I don’t like, however, is loading you all down with too many wordy, serious posts.  Life’s too short for that, yes?  So today I will merely throw up a couple of pictures before I tackle the pit that used to be my home.  First things first…diging myself out from under the laundry that appears to be reproducing at night while I sleep.  Seriously.  Piles of clothes everywhere.

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This little girl is going to be sporting a very different look possibly by as early as this afternoon, but definately by Monday.  More pictures to come.

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What better way to spend your morning off school than looking at a toy catalog and telling each other what you want for Christmas?

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Compassion International: Tell Us Your Story

It is no secret that I love Compassion International.  Sponsoring a child has been such a great experience for our family.  Our kids love to talk about our sponsored child, Jonri, and what he’s doing.  We love to receive letters in the mail with a picture he’s drawn.  And there is no sweeter prayer than that of our four year old daughter: “Deaw Dod.  Pwease be wif Jonwi an helwp him know about You.”

Let’s all say it together…Awwwwwww.

So when I received an email today from the Compassion team asking if I would join with others to tell my own story of how I was impacted as a youth and how the praise and love poured into me by an adult has shaped me into who I am, I quickly jumped at the chance.  First the premise:

Wess Stafford, President of Compassion, shares the “Tell Us Your Story” idea here.  You can read his words and his encouragement, or you can watch the video.  The basic idea of it is that all of us have been impacted in some way or another by someone in our past.  Whether positive or negative, we are all a product of our youth.  So what or who shaped you?  Who are you today and what led you to that point?

In thinking back to the many adults who have poured into my life in the past, I realized how deeply blessed I have been and how much encouragement I received in my formative years.  But when I thought about who I am today and what weighs most heavily on my heart, one specific incident came to mind that forever altered and shaped who I have become.  Here is my story:

“You have a real knack for languages,” he told me as I sipped my cup of hot tea.  I was freezing….the kind of cold where you can no longer feel your extremeties.  We were in a pizza parlor in Red Square, right in the heart of Moscow.  I was fifteen.

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“I mean you hear the sounds really well and you repeat them perfectly.  You should study russian.  You could come live with Helen and I.”

Five years later, I did just that.

Sergei Petrochenko was the interpreter for the squirrley group that made up our missions team on my first trip to the former USSR.  I shared with you how I wound up taking that trip and the man responsible for it here.  Gary Varner is another person I can quickly point to who spoke wisdom and grace into my life as a youth and drastically shaped who I am today.

Sergei and his wife Helen were young and adorable and I shared an immediate connection with them.  Maybe it was because I took such an interest in their language.  Perhaps it was because the moment I stepped off the plane I fell in love with their country.  It’s likely because when God Himself knit me together He placed a special place in my heart for that area of the world.  It was ordained from the beginning of time.

As Sergei and I stood and ate pizza, a dirty, wild looking man approached our table.  He held out dirt encrusted hands and mumbled something in russian.  I looked at Sergei who studied him closely then gestured his hands toward our unfinished pizza.  The man mumbled Spaseeba, grabbed two slices and quickly exited the building.  I looked curiously back at Sergei who for a solid week had engrained in all of our heads never to feed someone who came begging.

“Why did you give him food?” I asked.

“Because he needed it,” Sergei replied matter of factly, taking another sip of his tea.

“How did you know?”

“He had russian eyes,” Sergei replied.  And that was the end of the conversation.  It is a brief moment in my life that I have never forgotten. 

Fast forward five years.  I am twenty years old and I am spending a semester in Kiev, Ukraine with Helen and Sergei studying russian.  It turns out Sergei was right.  I did have a knack for languages and I had fallen in love with the nuances of russian.  It was during my four month stint in Kiev that I experienced another defining moment…and this moment was a direct result of the pizza parlor conversation with Sergei five years earlier.

I was on a taxi bus when I noticed an old man laying in a busy street.  He was close to the sidewalk, but fully on the road and he looked injured.  I tossed money at the cab driver and jumped out of the van, dodging cars as I dashed across the street.  I knelt down in front of the man, who smelled of liquor and had a deep gash on his forehead.

Pomogeetya, Podjalusta, he wept.  Help me.

I pulled off my scarf and pressed it to his head and began yelling for help.  And people just passed me by.  They looked right at me as they walked by on the sidewalk.  Two younger men laughed at me as they passed.  I heard one of them say to the other, “Stupid American.  He’s drunk.”

But as I looked into his eyes, I knew there was more to the story.  This wasn’t a man who stumbled in a drunken stupor into the road.  He had the “russian eyes” that Sergei had mentioned.  Eyes that conveyed a true sense of need, of pain, of desperation.  Yes, by the smell I could tell he had been drinking, butsomehow I knew that wasn’t what caused his fall.

Finally, after what seemed an eternity, someone stopped and offered help.  In my broken russian I told the story as an ambulance drove up to us.  They loaded the man into the back of the truck and whisked him away…I never even knew his name.  The man who helped me shook my hand and introduced himself.  Pavel.  He spoke english.

“The man was robbed.  He said he was in the street for much time.  Why did you stop?”

I shrugged and offered the only explanation I had – “He had russian eyes.”

He looked at me for a moment, nodded, then turned and walked away.

I have the distinct blessing of having been poured into by many, many people over my lifetime.  A few names of the people who have impacted me: Gary Varner, Robert Burkhart, Mrs. Baumbach, my high school Liturature teacher who told me I had a gift with words, Richard and Candy Martin, the list could go on and on…

But Sergei Petrochenko’s words when I was fifteen set me on a path that God created me for from time’s inception.  Because of Sergei’s words my children are learning russian, my husband and I are praying about how we can have an impact in Russia as a family, how we can minister to orphans, if we should even adopt an orphan.  The last time I heard from Sergei was December 30, 1998.  After I came back to the States he and Helen divorced and I lost track of him.  How my heart longs to see him again.  How I yearn to show him the impact he had in my life…to introduce him to my children and let them show off their language.  I hold out hope in my heart that God has that reunion planned for someday…

Words have a powerful and life altering effect.  They can change a life for the worse…but, as in my case, also for the better.

How were you impacted as a youth by the words of an adult?  If you feel so inclined, please share your story.  I would really love to hear it.

The Ribbons and the Ribbon Maker

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There were six ribbons.  Each was a different length, a different size and all were quite unique.  The Ribbon Maker looked at His ribbons and decided that they would be better if woven together so He carefully and skillfully began braiding them.  One over another with careful precision He wound the ribbons until they were a cord.

It was a strong cord and the weaving made each ribbon stronger.  Until one day one of the ribbons felt a tug.  She looked up and watched as the Ribbon Maker began pulling her away.  She looked at the other ribbons in the cord.  “I think the Ribbon Maker is calling me away,” she said.  The ribbons looked up and saw that it was so.  Though it saddened them to see a piece of the cord leave, they were thrilled when the Ribbon Maker left behind a thread – a splash of the ribbon He was taking away.

“I’m going to make a new cord using this beuatiful ribbon as my starting point,” the Ribbon Maker said as He lovingly carried away his ribbon.

Then there were five ribbons.  They were still strong and with time they grew tighter and tighter as a unit.  Until one day one of the ribbons looked up.  She felt a tug and noticed that the Ribbon Maker was looking at her.  “I think the Ribbon Maker wants to take me away,” she said to the group.  The other ribbons were sad.  How could they remain a strong cord if another ribbon was pulled away?

Once again, as the Ribbon Maker carefully unwove His ribbon from the rest, he left behind a thin cord.  Next to the other four ribbons, the two cords left behind revealed a lovely pattern.  “Don’t worry,” He told his ribbons.  “I’m going to take her someplace new and begin a new cord.  And you all will be stronger for it.”  And with that He carried the ribbon away.

For some time, the four ribbons remained and just as the Ribbon Maker promised, they grew stronger and tighter.  The threads of those who were carried away remained a strong presence in their unit and they each grew strong individually as well.  But one day the Ribbon Maker looked at His cord and decided it needed a new ribbon.  So, as only the Ribbon Maker can, He brought in a new, vibrant ribbon to weave into His cord.  It took a bit of work to fit her in just right, but with time He had her woven in such a way that it was as if she had always been there.  And the cord was strong.

Until…

One of the ribbons looked up.  She felt the tug and knew it was time.  All of the ribbons began to wonder why the Ribbon Maker continued to pull them away when they were so strong together.

“Trust me,” said the Ribbon Maker.  “I need her to start a new cord, but her presence will always remain within this cord.”

And He carefully pulled out a thread and left it behind.  The cord was beautiful and strong, though the ribbons left behind felt sad as they looked around and saw how many had been tugged away.  What began as six ribbons had become five, then four, then five again and now four.  Four ribbons with three vibrant threads woven in.  What was the Ribbon Maker up to?

“I am weaving you together to make you strong,” He told them gently.  “I need you strong so that I can use you to start new cords, strengthening my other ribbons.  If I leave you all together too long what use is that to the ribbons who have no one to join with them?  Don’t you know that there are threads of each of you left behind in different cords?  Don’t you remember how I’ve tugged you away and used you to start new cords?  My ribbons are each created with a unique beauty and that beauty is only enhanced when they are woven amongst one another.  But I can’t leave my ribbons in one place for too long or they get tired, comfortable, and they lose a bit of their shine.  You are a beautiful cord and you have grown into strong ribbons.  I am using you to weave a beautiful tapestry.  Trust Me.”

“If one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him.  A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart.”  Eccelesiastes 4:12

To the women who have been woven into my heart by the Ribbon Maker over the last year and a half, I love you.  I am stronger because of you.  I am grateful for you.  The threads of those who have gone on (or are preparing to move on) are still visible and we continue to pray for you as you begin braiding a new cord of ribbons.  You are being delicately woven in Costa Rica, in Dallas and, soon, in Cleveland.  And for those who remain, I’m hanging on for ride because it appears to me that the Ribbon Maker has a grand plan for our braided little group.

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Baggage

I’m carrying a little extra baggage today.  It has settled in a most unattractive place.  It’s not flattering.  I don’t like it.

It’s under my eyes.

I haven’t been sleeping well lately.  It is likely due to the fact that I have so much going on it is hard for my brain to unwind and calm down at night.  Combine that with an almost three year old who has developed wonky sleeping habits and you have…baggage.

Landon is a crafty little bugger.  I go back and forth as to whether I should put him in a big kid bed or keep him in the crib.  I’m not sure I’m ready for the battles of a big kid bed, but him laying in bed and whining “Mommy” over and over throughout the night (and starting most mornings around 5:45), is killing me softly.  Purple under my eyes is not my color.

Dangit.

This is what I hear many mornings and, recently, in the middle of the night as well:

“Moooommmyyy…I’n firsty.”  “Moooommmyyy…I needa go potty.”  “Moooommmmy?  Tan you tome hewe pwease?”

I don’t know what it is with our boys but both of them have been difficult sleepers in their toddler years.  I’ll have to share sometime the nightmare we went through with Sloan when he was 3.  Just thinking about those months makes me shudder.  I’m praying we don’t have to endure that kind of difficulty with Landon too, but his recent nighttime behavior is scaring me a little.  The biggest problem of all is that he is so dang cute!  And he knows it and is workin’ it.  And me?  I’m just really, really tired.  There is no rest for the weary.

Take last night, for instance.  I had a rehearsal at church for our upcoming Christmas Musical.  It was a pretty intense scene we were working on with lots of movement and singing so it took me a bit of time to unwind when I got home.  At midnight Landon started crying.  Thankfully he fell back asleep after only a few minutes.  At 12:49 Sloan came into our room with an issue that needed to be dealt with.  Fifteen minutes later I crawled back in bed determined to fall asleep.  I did, thankfully, only to be awakened at 4:00 by a massive wind storm that shook our walls so violently I found myself wondering if I should move everyone to the basement.  And at 4:30 the smoke alarm in the basement started chirping every 30 seconds indicating a dying battery.  At 5:27 Landon started calling for me and intermittently singing Jesus Loves Me.  By 6:30 he was done being patient and his cries escalated to the point that I knew I needed to drag my weary body out of bed.

And today we start all over.  There isn’t time to rest, no time to sleep and it will be another late night.

Please…someone tell me I’ll sleep again someday.  Please?  Puh-leeeeeze?

The day I questioned everything I knew to be true

Saturday night found Lee and I in the minivan, kids in tow, heading out to the mattress store to purchase two new mattresses.  Never mind that the kids desperately needed them.  Never mind that Tia’s mattress was so cheap that is was literally falling apart and becoming a potential hazard.  Never mind  that both mattresses had been peed on so many times they could be deemed a health code violation.  Never mind any of those things.  The fact is simply this:

I went out on Saturday evening to buy mattresses and thought it was fun.

Hi, my name is Kelli and I am a  bona fide minivan mom.

Ah, but we haven’t even got to the best part of the story.  What?  Surely you know there would be more to this story than the fact that I had a hoot buying twin mattresses on a Saturday night, right?  A hoot!

It was the incident that occurred when we returned home that sent my world aspinnin’.  It started simple.  We came home so Lee could drop the kids and I off and return to the mattress store to pick up our most exciting purchases.  We had to remove the car seats and fold down the back seats and clean up a bit.  And it was during this event that I began to question my entire identity.

The title of my blog is Minivans Are Hot.  With the operative word being Hot.   I know, I know…Minivan and Hot together in a sentence is an oxymoron.  And most days I would beg to differ and would launch into a diatribe about how it’s sexy to be a mom and how minivan moms have it goin’ on and I would work my hardest to convince you that I was right.  Until Saturday night…

What I found in the back seat of my minivan was anything but Hot.  Let’s start with what I found under the seat, shall we?  It was sticky…it was brown…it had flecks of leaves and dirt stuck to it.  What was that?!

From there I removed the kids car seats to find enough dried, crumbled food to feed a small pack of wild baboons.  It was sealed into the lining of the seat fabric and had to be scraped out with my fingernail.  *heave*  Don’t even get me started on what  I found in their seats.

But the piece de resitance came when I crawled into the way back and looked inside the cup holder.  It is here that I gasped, looked at my husband and exclaimed, “Gross!  This is why minivans are NOT. HOT.”  Then I clutched my chest with the gravity of my statement and fell in dramatic Disney Princess fashion onto the seat, the back of my hand against my forehead…

No I didn’t.  That last part didn’t happen – mostly because I wouldn’t want to lay on those seats for $100.  Maybe for $1000, though.

In the cup holder sat dried, crusted, molded bread.  It appears my children are stock piling food in the back seat of our minivan in the event that a giant meteor should come crashing down to earth and we need to seek shelter inside the car for a significant amount of time.  It also appears that they have eaten portions of a sandwich and then shoved the remaining portion in the cup holder and have, every day for who knows how long, been looking at this rotting sandwich and ignoring it.

It’s like I’m raising little cave people!

I promptly dug out the rot and marched to the trash can.  My husband, sensing my impending melt down went dashing for the Shop Vac in the basement.  Being the super hero that he is, he spent the next half hour sucking the muck out of our minivan while I went inside and lectured my children on the importance of throwing away rotten food.  I also tried to talk myself out of changing my blog title from Minivans Are Hot to Minivans Are A Place Where Horrors grow Beneathe the Seats and in the Cupholders While You Yourself Obliviously Drive From Here to There Thinking You Are Looking Fine When Really You Are Controlling a Moving Science Experiment.

But in typical Hero fashion, my man came inside just as I was certain that my entire online identity was going to have to be realtered and yelled “Ta-Da!”  I walked outside to see the seats clean (hey look!  The fabric’s grey…) The cup holders clean…er.  They still have a sticky substance that I can only assume will need to be chisled out at some point (probably just before we decide to sell the car).  And it smelled much more pleasant too.  It was actually quite nice in there.

I smiled at him and jumped into his arms.  Small birds flitted about our heads as he spun me around and when we kissed little animated hearts floated up into the dusky sky. 

Alright…that last part didn’t happen either.  Sometimes I wish I lived in a cartoon.

Despite the cleanliness of my car, however, I couldn’t shake the fact that I had outwardly acknowledged the un-hotness of my minivan.  And so I’m here to retrain my mind.  And if any of you are having a hard time believeing that Minivans Are Hot like I am, then why don’t you join in with me as we repeat the mantra over and over.  

Minivans are hot, minivans are hot, minivans are hot, minivans are not, minivans are not…

NONONONONO!!!!

Let’s try again.

Minivans are hot, minivans are hot, minivans are hot…

Do you believe it?

It’s Friday! Let’s Partay!

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The bug sprayer came today.  Because I almost died three days ago trying to get away from a cricket in the basement and I called them with instructions to come asap or I would likely leave the house and never return.  We also had a lovely little colony of ants trying to make a home on our fireplace and a few spiders thinking it was okay to seek shelter in our living room. 

Let it be known, I don’t run a hotel for critters. 

Tia has a friend over and Landon is fulfilling his pesky little brother role by toddling after them and being…a pest.  They are exascerbating the situation by goading him.  I’m pretending I don’t hear any of it.  Because it’s Friday and I figure I deserve the day off from umpiring duties, yeah?  No? 

I am slowly but surely becoming convinced that Landon is never going to get the hang of using the toilet.  I know everyone always says they won’t go to college in diapers, but I’m not all that convinced with him.  The child doesn’t care.  There’s no ambition.  He’s all, Dude I’m cute and I have a smile that melts hearts so who cares if I drop a load in my underwear?  I’ll just grin and squint and go on my merry way because I’m the free spirited third child and that’s how I roll.  Word.

I am still wearing my dotdotdash clothing…have been since Tuesday.  But today is laundry day so I’ll probably wash it so I can wear it all week next week too.  I left my coat at the store the other night so I need to go back and pick it up.  Oh darn…I might need to shop a little more.  Have you had the chance to go yet?  Don’t forget to mention Minivans Are Hot for 15% off!

We’re having dinner with the sweetest of sweet group of friends tonight.  These women have been my accountability group for almost two years now and I love them to the core of who I am.  One of us is moving to Cincinatti in a couple of weeks and we’re having a family gathering to celebrate friendships.  Oh how I’m thankful for these women who have allowed me to pour my hearts out to them every other week and have encouraged me and spurred me on to be better and work harder and love my husband, my children and my God deeper.

I took a picture of myself to show you what it looks like when I I haven’t had a shower in a couple of days.  Do other moms have a hard time showering every day or is it just me?  Don’t answer that.  While I’m on the topic of motherhood (at least I’m sort of on the topic) do any of you moms struggle with mom guilt like me?  I wrote about it the other day at STL Family Life.  I’m trying to take my own advice…

Um…I think I need to go.  I hear crashes, squeals and laughter.  They’re having too much fun.  I need to see what’s happening.  I think I should feed them too because I hear you’re supposed to feed children multiple times a day every day. 

Crazy, huh?

DotDotDash

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Last night I had the wonderful opportunity to join some local bloggy ladies at a boutique here in town where we enjoyed wine, appetizers and shopping!  It was like a beautiful dream.

Organized by the lovely Lisa (my partner at STL Family Life) and Ria Sharon of My Mommy Manual, a group of us got together and talked all things blogging, mommy and fashion.  We were blessed by Alyson, owner of a Clayton boutique called DotDotDash, who provided the goodies and acted as our personal shopper for the night.

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It was a Fall Fashion Haul and was geared specifically toward the busy mom.  That’s me!  (And probably a lot of you…except for you guys that read here daily – you know who you are).  Alyson provided us with $100 store credit and pulled outfits for us based on our lifestyles.  My outfit included yoga pants and a wrap. 

Awe-to the-Some.

I also pulled several cute dresses off the racks, eyed a rockin’ hand bag and drolled over the racks of jewelry.  Alyson’s shop boasts styles from the fabulously casual (ala yoga pants) to super chic and sassy.  She even had Jeggings (Jeans + Leggings = Jeggings).  I tried a pair on and guess what?  I’m not ready for Jeggings.  Extraordinary Mommy,  Danielle, however, put them on and looked all kinds of awesome…IMGP6090

Alyson also stocks adorable gear for the wee ones and I guess I probably could have used some of my store credit to purchase something for the kids…

But they don’t need anymore clothes.  They have grandmother’s who act as their personal shoppers and they do that very well.  I, however, am convinced that one can never have enough pairs of yoga pants.  And now that I am the proud owner of my first wrap, I have a new wardrobe essential.

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Alyson’s main purpose behind her store is to outfit moms.  She wants to be a blessing in mother’s lives by providing comfortable, fashionable and affordable clothing that suits our busy lifestyles.  It’s a noble ideal and I am so glad to know about this little gem of a store! 

Alyson is offering a discount to any of our blog readers who would like to come in and shop.  Mention Minivans Are Hot and receive 15% off your purchase!  Or send your husband and tell him to mention Minivans Are Hot when he buys you Christmas presents.  Here is the one of the completed looks that Alyson pulled together for me:

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Yoga pants, tank top, long sleeve cotton V-Neck and a lovely wrap to pull it all together.  The three shirts cost under $100 total (the pants were mine).  I also got a rockin’ sweater that will work well with the yoga pants or with jeans, or khakis.  I can easily make five to seven outfits out of those pieces.  FOR LESS THAN $100!

And here is look number two – an amazing wrapknit sweater with oversize buttons and loads of sass. Makes me feel cute..and warm. I love it.

DSCN6104If you’re interested in fun, affordable and chic fashion, visit Dotdotdash.  Happy Tuesday!

You can follow Dotdotdash on Facebook here.  If you have a chance to head to the store and you end up buying something, leave me a comment and let me know! I’d love to hear all about the goodies you got!

Remember When?

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Remember when you could wake up slowly and relish the morning?

Yeah…me neither.

Remember when you could look at the clock and smile, then roll over and sleep another half an hour.

Nope. No recollection.

Remember when you were first married (if you are married, of course) and you would look lazily over at your spouse then burrow deeper beneath the covers just because you could?

It’s vague.

Remember when you could slowly eat breakfast and maybe even read a little or watch TV in the morning?

Not so much.

Remember when mornings were relaxing?

Kind of.

Remember when you didn’t have to hit the ground running, making sandwiches, gulping down the breakfast off of the plate of the kid who refused to eat, making beds, brushing teeth, breaking up fights, keeping potty training little ones from peeing on the couch, waiting-for-the-bus-in-the-freezing-cold-without-shoes-or-undergarments-on-and-hoping-the-neighbors-don’t-drive-by?

Remember those days?

They’re long gone now.

It dawned on me this morning that it will probably be 25 years before I have a leaisurely morning again.  That’s a little depressing.  Not that mornings are horrible.  They’re just hectic.  I look at the clock each morning and give myself a pep talk:

You can do this.  You are in control.  You are strong and confident.  You will survive.  Today’s gonna be a great hair day.  You’re good enough, you’re smart enough and doggonit – People like you.

Some mornings it really works.  I hop out of bed and I am on.my.game.  Like a ballerina I float through the house leaving peace and cleanliness in my wake.  (And my hair looks fabulous!)  Most mornings, however, I’m more like the proverbial bull in a china shop.  I’m stumbling from here to there and by 8:00 it appears that a natural disaster has swept through our walls.  I’ll give you one guess as to how this morning has been.

Thank God for caffinated tea (and sometimes coffee)!  I couldn’t move without a cup of hot, legalized uppers to get me through the mornings.  Can I get an amen?

Top of the mornin’ to you all!

It’s a Mash Up – Boogie Woogie Woogie

*You should be forewarned…this post is as random as they get.  It couldn’t be MORE random.  I’d like to think of it as a mash up post.  You can mash up songs so why can’t you mash up a post.  Let’s see how it goes…

This first section will find me fulfilling my mom blogger duty in which I talk about my hair.  Every mom blogger is required to talk about her hair in at least two posts every year.  It’s in the contract…

Shortly after we got married, I returned home from work one evening to find Lee sitting on the floor in our tiny apartment bedroom.  He had our hair dryer in his hands, pieces of it scattered about the floor around him.  He had a Q-Tip and was gently swabbing the inside of the hair dryer, his tonge sticking out of his mouth just slightly.

“Um…what are you doing?” I asked.

“This hair dryer is a fire hazard!  Have you seen all the crap inside here?”  And back he went to picking the dust out of the disassembled hair dryer.  It was then that I knew I had married someone slightly OCD.  And if you think I’m kidding, you should see the way he tackles projects.  I’ve come home to see him in a suit and tie painting a wall because it just needed to be done.

After he finished his hair dryer deep cleanse, he put it back together…and it never really worked properly again.  So a few days later I headed out and bought a new and improved (and clean!) hair dryer.  And she’s been with us ever since.  She’s seen me through a lot of hair tragedies over the past decade, with the worst being this one.  And she stood by me, never failing.

Fast forward ten years and you’ll see us in present day still using our trusty old hair dryer.  She’s like 842 in hair dryer years now, but she’s still kicking.  Of course, she doesn’t have as much punch as she once upon a time did.  And she makes a weird clickety click sound when you use her.  And it takes roughly 23.7 minutes to dry my hair.  But she’s so comfortable.  Still…it was time.

I bought a new hair dryer this weekend.  I felt like a traitor.  But this one has a turbo button.  I push it and BAM! My hair’s dry.  It’s dry and actually looks good.  And when I flip my head, my hair swings to the side in slow motion…

I gingerly laid old faithful in the trash can yesterday.  And when I flipped my hair over to dry it with the turbo charged new girl I could swear I saw a tear of resentment trickle down the side of her scratched and beaten nozzle.  I tried to tell her it was me and not her…

I don’t think she believed me.

Switching gears.  Now I will transition into another mom blogger must – talking about my child’s weird and random rash.  Mash up, folks…it’s a mash up.

Last weekend I posted this photo of Landon’s leg on Facebook with the caption: Landon’s had this random rash for a couple of weeks now. Should I be worried?”

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Across the board the concensus was that this looked like ringworm, which was what I was already concerned about but I’ve never seen ringworm so I wasn’t sure.  So thanks Facebook.  Once again you have confirmed that the world needs you to keep on spinnin’.

I went to the doc the day after I posted the picture and he was completely baffled by this bizarre rash.  So he brought in another physician who was also baffled.  This was a Saturday so it wasn’t our own pediatrician we were seeing.  Because the circles resembled ringworm he decided to treat it as such with instructions to call if it didn’t change in a week.  I walked unsure for a few reasons.

A.) The doctor couldn’t tell if it was ringworm.  This isn’t how ringworm presents itself.  Ringworm is usually one circle that spreads larger and larger.  All four of these circles appeard over night and none of them got bigger.

And,

B.) Ringworm is apparently contagious but Landon sported these lovely marks for a solid two weeks and no one else was showing odd crop circles on their limbs so it didn’t appear to be spreading.  I’m not sure if ringworm spreads like chicken pox, though, where it takes a couple of weeks to show up. 

Speaking of chicken pox, I kind of wish I could get my kids exposed to it so they could build up a natural immunity…

This is the part where I remind myself to stay on topic.

So I called our personal pediatrician back on Thursday and wished I would have just waited to see her in the first place because she pretty much diagnosed him over the phone without the co-pay.  And that is why I love her.  I’ve been putting Tinactin on his leg for a week.  No go.  It’s still there.  Ah…but that’s because he probably has Nummular Eczema, which can present itself in small circles but is really an irritation of the skin. 

Hydrocortisone cream has become our new best friend.  And it doesn’t sting when I put it on his skin…poor kid.

Insert pithy transition here.

On any given night you can find our family piled up on the couch listening to this cacophony of…I guess we could call it music.  It is a family musical mash up and I think it’s the perfect way to end my mash up post.   

Sloan is singing a song he made up.  He likes to write music.  I find it terribly adorable.  Tia was fresh from her bath and not yet dressed so she’s wrapped up in a blanket strumming her guitar.  Naturally.  And Landon is just so adorable you’ll want to cry.  I give you: My children.

Boogie Woogie Woogie!

Linky Loo’s

There will be no post here today.  I’m buried under a mountain of work.  You can read the post I wrote for STL Family Life, however, and I really hope that you do because I want as many local folks as possible to go see this show!  An organization called Variety the Children’s Charity has initiated a first of it’s kind theater experience merging children with disabilities with professionals to put on a Broadway style production.  Last year they did Tom Sawyer and this weekend they are doing OLIVER!  I spoke with some of the kids the other night and they are amazing.  I really hope that a lot of people have the chance to see the show because these kids will bless you!  Read more about it here.

I will be writing more in depth about this group and the kids I spoke with tomorrow on Tonic.com where I’ve been brought on as a contributor.  I will also have a post up tomorrow on Artistic Sensations.com where I’ve been contributing for the last several months.  Lots of work to do, which is good but makes for a tired mama.  I planned on getting up at 5 (in the MORNING) today to get some things done but apparently my body had other plans as I involuntarily shut the alarm off and no one woke up until after 7.  Yeesh!

A couple other links for your viewing enjoyment.  A friend of mine recently started a new church here in town called Broadcast.  Their button is on the sidebar.  Check out the website and I encourage you to visit one of their services if you’re looking for a new place to get plugged in.

Also, if you’re not reading Shaun Groves blog…you should be.  He is such a great writer, both funny and poignant, and he has a real depth to his writing.  I always finish his blog posts and walk away thinking a little more deeply.  So add him to your daily reader if you haven’t already.

Alright, I’m off!  I have pumpkin bread in the oven and it’s making my eyes water it smells so good.  I need to peel the kids away from that electronic babysitter called the television and get Tia to school.  Onward!