Sunday, November 30, 2008

You'd think I was starving him

Josiah just came up to me and asked, "So, is there anything you'd like me to do?"

"What?!" I wondered, "Is he offering to do some chores?"

I asked him what he meant...since my initial thought was, well, unlikely.

"Oh, I dunno...I thought maybe you'd feed me or something."

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good;
His love endures forever.

1 Chronicles 16:34 (NIV)

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


During a lesson on chess, Jason explains that the king moves very slowly--just one square at a time. Josiah immediately comes up with the reason: "It's because his armor is very heavy...and he doesn't want his crown to fall off."

Grace was sitting at the table during the lesson/game of chess, seemingly hanging onto every word. I asked her if she was going to learn how to play chess, and she answered, "Yes, when I turning 5."


Grace, seeing a political ad on TV, points and excitedly says, "Bakamama!" One more example of Obama's celebrity status? I don't know. I think maybe our two year old knows the name "Barack Obama" because Josiah enjoys doing an impression of him now and then...but I really don't know how she actually recogizes him in a photo shown briefly on TV.


Grace: "I wanta kowawa."

Josiah [confused]: "You want a koala?"

Grace [thinking she's enunciating by speaking louder]: "No! I wanta KO-WAH-WAH." (She wanted cold water.)


Robert: "Hey, Mom! I found Josiah's favorite book of the Bible...Lamentations!" [laughter]


Jason: "Wait a minute...You mean that the telemarketer gets on the blog, but your husband who says clever and witty things all the time doesn't?"

Sunday, November 23, 2008

"If you do it again, I'm putting it on the blog!"

Maybe I should start with a disclaimer:

There. I feel better now.

The Drama King reigned for a good fifteen minutes (at least), and I got these pictures of him in all his glory. He kept calling out for "help" from his bedroom, which usually means he's purposely gotten himself stuck in some way. So I grabbed my camera, of course.

He yelled, "No!! Don't take a picture of me! Don't show this to anybody!" I told him I wouldn't, unless he did it again. After helping him out of his toy box, I asked him how in the world he managed to get stuck in he showed me, and got stuck again.

It was at this point that I said, "If you keep this up, I'm putting it on the blog." He had been a little upset that I was taking pictures of his dire predicament (mad faces alternating with giggles)...but then, I guess, the "starved-for-attention" middle child decided that attention was good, especially if it bought him a little notoriety on the blog.

I went back to what I had been doing, only to be pulled back to my closet by Grace who told me he was stuck again and needed "hep."

Really, if I knew you were going to be seeing my closet, I would have picked up a bit. This is where all of the unloved (read: un-picked up) toys go to sleep until they are loved again. As well as unloved (read: unloved) dumbbells.

He demonstrated again, although this time I didn't ask. (Going by his version, he was sucked back in through the clothes.)

See why Jason (repeatedly) tells people that this blog is cathartic? It saves my sanity.

That, and chocolate.

Friday, November 21, 2008

How I make telemarketers hang up on me

I had an interesting phone call yesterday. The warranty on our computer is running out soon, and the company is pushing us to asking us if we want to extend it. The customer service guy (who didn't really have much of an accent, but spoke with a rather suspicious monotone voice) started with, "Good morning, blah blah blah."

I asked him, "You're not calling from the U.S., are you?"

He stammers for several moments ("Where is that on the script?"), then finally, reluctantly says, "No."

I continue, "...because it's 4:00 in the afternoon here--not morning."

He asks, "Is that a problem?"

I say, "No, go ahead."

He very quickly says, "I'm sorry. Have a good day." AND HANGS UP.

It's an odd feeling when the telemarketer hangs up on you.

Revenge...tween style

A certain boy who will remain unnamed but whose identity is obvious got in trouble. Twice. In one day.

Taking his frustration out on ME (the one who caught him...twice), he decided to get a little revenge.

So he hid my pocketbook and my Bible.

I spent some time that night looking around for my Bible, then settled for another one from the bookcase...oh, who am I kidding? From the pile of books and papers on the kitchen table.

When I was getting ready for bed, I realized my pocketbook was missing. I found it in the dark, crawling around to look under the bed, using a flashlight so I wouldn't wake up Grace, who was sleeping peacefully and, no doubt, photogenically, in her crib. I found it under my bed, nearly dead center. It was no accident. And, at that point, I realized the missing Bible was no accident, either.

I eventually found my Bible the next afternoon in a crate where I keep infrequently-used school resources. I had decided to give the unnamed child some extra schoolwork. And there it was, tucked underneath enough things to make it not too obvious that it had been hidden, yet completely hidden from view. In a spot I have never put my Bible.

Now, I can laugh about this little bit of craziness, because I know it could have been a whole lot worse. The thing is, I was looking for my pocketbook because I needed my inhaler. And when you need your inhaler, you generally need it quickly. And the last thing I wanted to be doing was crawling around on the floor, fetching my pocketbook from waaaay underneath a dusty bed.

(For the record, I don't think it ever entered his mind that, by hiding my pocketbook, he would be hiding my inhaler.)

But now I've gotten my revenge by blogging about it, right? BWA-HA-HA! [evil laugh]

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The month of no sleep

Grace has been sick with a cold. She's perfectly happy--she has a valid reason to ask for medicine. She still manufactures reasons for needing more medicine ("Mommy, my lip hurts!"), but she's happy. She is happy to be given medicine, happy to drink the medicine all by herself (oh, the thrill!). Happy, happy, happy!

But that's during the day. During the night, there's not much of this going on:

(Yes, that is an actual picture of Grace sleeping. She is so photogenic she poses even in her sleep. See those sweet hands tucked under her chubby cheek?) When Grace even starts getting sick, she stops sleeping well, especially at night. I told Jason that I was going to change "November" to "The month of no sleep." It all started with our mini-vacation to Chattanooga, Tennessee, at the beginning of the month (closely followed by an all-nighter plus an ER trip).

But we'll start with our vacation. Grace slept with us the first night in the hotel, and soon after we all settled down to go to sleep, she began doing impressions--impressions of a crocodile doing a death roll. And sustained this for several minutes. You think I'm joking?

The next night, in a new hotel with a fold out bed for the boys to share, Jason slept blissfully in another bed. Well, he should have slept blissfully because he left me with the little crocodile, but I don't think he actually slept that well after all. What a waste. (I think he would agree.)

The daytime part of our vacation was more fun. We went to a nature center, the Chattanooga Zoo (where we lost Robert for several minutes when he wandered off without us--NOT fun), and let the guys play mini golf at a really cheesy (but animated) themed mini golf course. What can I say? We had BOGOF coupons for it. And they had a go kart track, where we saw Jeff Gordon racin'.

This next picture was taken at the zoo. I'm pretty sure this is not what they had in mind when they placed this statue of a "Faithful Horse Groom" at the snow leopard exhibit, but it was the first thing that entered Grace's mind. She immediately ran over to put her beloved baby Emily ("Nimily") in the lap of the Faithful Horse Groom. And then she stood back as though she knew I was going to take a picture.

Grace really enjoyed the petting zoo, but wasn't too excited about actually going inside the petting zoo area. But, you know what? If I were as short as she is, I don't believe I'd go, either. She delighted in telling the animals, "Boys, you can't come out hee-ya [here]!" Over and over again...And, yes, she even wagged her finger at them while saying it.

There was something a little scary at the mini golf course (It was, after all, Halloween weekend):

I managed to get pics of all three kids sitting on this little table, without them knowing why. And that just tickles me. :) Please note the legs sticking out of the orange dinosaur's mouth. I'm hoping that was only there for Halloween.

Now, back to this week of no sleep...I have to give a huge thank you to my husband Jason. He let me sleep in after a very sleepless night with Grace. I woke up in time for LUNCH. It made for a much better day. And if the kids understood exactly what that meant to them, they would have thanked him, too.

The next night, Josiah woke me up at 1:00 a.m. because he wanted a cold drink of water (translation: not just out of the faucet but from the pitcher in the refrigerator). As I was walking him back to his room, he looked up at me and--quite seriously--asked, "So, is tonight goin' any better for you than last night?" I looked down at him and reminded him that I was awake at the moment and would rather be asleep.

Last night he woke me up at some point and asked for some tissue for his nose. I think I hissed at him, "Get some toilet paper!!"

Maybe next month will have more sleep...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Yes, Jesus loves me!

"Jesus loves me! This I know, for the Bible tells me so."

--Theologian Karl Barth, when asked what was the greatest thought to have ever passed through his mind.

Grace's exact lyrics:
Jesus loves me, this I know
For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones want Him be strong.
He is strong.
Yes, Jesus loves me.

We do want Him to be strong, don't we? And He is strong!

Friday, November 14, 2008

20 guinea pigs and counting

A few days ago, I emailed a friend about how I was the guinea pig for trying one of those tips we all get emailed to us, which may or may not actually turn out to be helpful.

This particular one was about applying Vicks Vapor Rub to the soles of your feet to stop coughing at night. I am not the best guinea pig for this one since I have asthma, but it seemed to be helpful enough before my asthma symptoms really kicked in.

And my feet are softer than they have been in years after doing this for three nights now.

Well. The night after that email with the guinea pig reference, I dreamed that I was at a friend's house and we were sitting in her den, just talking and catching up on what's going on in each other's lives. It is a good thing that this was a fictitious friend, because I don't know that I could face any of you if I had dreamed this about your house! As we were talking, I kept seeing a small furry thing zip by under furniture. Finally, after I couldn't stand it anymore, I said words that you would absolutely dread saying to a friend while in their home...

"Was that a rat?!?"

"Oh, no," my (fictitious) friend quickly assured me. "That's a guinea pig! I have several guinea pigs." Well, that was an understatement. On cue, at least twenty guinea pigs hopped out onto the carpet towards the center of the room. (Note to subconscious mind: guinea pigs don't hop like rabbits. But I think that detail was brought in because of a children's book I read aloud that day that had one hundred rabbits in it.)

But wait! There's more!

"That is my rat." And, sure enough, my (fictitious) friend pointed to a very large rat who wandered out among the guinea pigs mingling (and multiplying like rabbits) in my (fictitious) friend's den.

Clearly, the Vapor Rub fumes went to my head.
But at least I didn't dream about doing laundry.

The great outdoors

I've seen some strange things in my back yard, but I have never seen a brick baby.

Josiah loves his little sister. He wanted to give her something new to play with in the back yard in case she was tired of swinging on her swing, so he made her a baby using bricks. He even drew features on the bricks with chalk--a face and clothes.

Grace? She loved it! She sat near her baby, played with her baby, and ran back over to her baby when Josiah made crying noises as the voice of the baby.

Josiah has been anxious to start raking leaves. I told him he could rake whenever he wanted to, so he got busy. Here he is adding to his pile. Note the blue milk crate, the birdbath, and the plank hanging out of the tree (near the upper corner of the photo). I'll say more about that in a minute...

I think he has mostly raked a pile of pine straw from the tired, neglected landscaping. Do you see the green leaves around him on the tree? This is what our trees still look like:

Our trees always seem to be the last ones to drop their leaves on our street. We only have these two trees, but I think these should keep him plenty busy based on what I've seen today. After he added to his pile, the first thing he did was to plop once into the little pile of leaves. Then he was all business...He began using the milk crate like a wheelbarrow to transport the pile of leaves from where it was in the photo above to the (empty) birdbath. He would fill the birdbath with leaves, push them off to make a new pile beside the birdbath, and then refill the milk crate and meticulously repeat the whole process over and over again...Well, until he ran out of leaves! When he tired of this, he perched the milk crate on top of the plank sticking out of the tree and used a tennis racket--yes, a tennis racket--to fill the milk crate with leaves. This didn't work out exactly as planned, though, and...

CRASH. Back to the birdbath...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Grace's tidbits

Grace was standing in front of the refrigerator asking for a piece of cheese. (She likes to eat American cheese slices by themselves. Ewww...) She had just finished supper, so I asked her why she wanted the cheese.

Her answer? "'Cause my leg hurt. Cheese will make it better."

Really? Because I thought it was bandaids that will make it all better, judging by the number of bandaids this little girl can go through in a week for a multitude of real and imagined boo boos.

Grace came in from the back yard, crying and holding out her finger.

"My fin-gur hurt, Mommy!"

"Why does your finger hurt?"

"'Cause I put it in some durt."

"Why did you put your finger in dirt?"

"'Cause der was ants in it."

She is Josiah's sister...That is his kind of "logical" explanation!

Grace climbed into our bed last night because she really didn't want to sleep in her "kib." She pulled the sheets up to her chin and without skipping a beat she asked me, "Mommy, can you turn the light off, please?" Too bad--she lost that struggle! She slept in her crib. But first I took a picture, of course.

She doesn't look a bit sleepy, does she?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The littlest Grandma

Ever since Grace fell in love with one of the "Little Critters" books about going to the beach with Grandma, she has created a new persona in her pretend play. "Gan-ma" is how she says "Grandma," and when she pretends to be Ganma, she answers to nothing else.
Last night, Ganma came and stayed for a while, taking excellent care of me because she apparently thought I needed medicine. Lots of medicine. Lots of invisible medicine dispensed from her play dishes and cups. She keeps all of her medicine beside the TV...where she also says she has a microwave, a dishwasher, and even a drink dispenser that serves everything from sweet tea to Diet Coke.
I believe I like her kitchen better than mine.

This Ganma is strict. She told me that if I didn't listen to Ganma, I wasn't going to get any more medicine. She even wagged her finger at me! And she stayed so tickled at herself that it was hard to even pretend to take her seriously.

Tonight I took this picture of Grace begging for medicine with a completely unconvincing, " belly hurts." What a bummer when you are completely well again and can't get your mom to give you any yummy medicine, huh?

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Compassion International

You can go here to see hundreds of photos from the bloggers who went to the Dominican Republic this past week. There is also a link to the page where you can find all of the bloggers who went on this trip, as well as a link to sponsor a child.

While you're clicking on links, read this post by Shaun Groves.

If you are curious about Compassion and how it works, read this post from Shaun Groves.

One last thing...Shannon has put together a list of "must reads" by the Compassion bloggers.

Friday, November 7, 2008

I Need You to Tell Me Why

Does this happen in your family, too? And if so, WHY?

It is pouring down rain, and we are all racing to get into the 4Runner without getting soaked. The guys have all gotten in and I am trying to hurry Grace along into getting her arms in the straps so I can buckle her in. I'm still standing halfway in the rain, and Josiah says, "Mom, can you open that window [indicating the moon roof cover]?"

Jason is sitting in the driver's seat, inches away from the handle of the moon roof cover. I am still outside the car--at the back seat--and yet I am the one who gets asked.

This is not an isolated incident. The kids do this all the time. This is just one of the more exaggerated circumstances.

Why do you think they do this?

Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion

This page makes me so happy. (Thank you to Shannon, since I found the link through her blog!)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Update on Grace

I was sooo hoping to tell y'all that Grace was just fine and it was all over. Jason had taken the boys to church tonight and I was feeling a little silly for keeping Grace home. After all, she seemed fine, aside from not wanting to eat all day, and it had been over 24 hours since her last "incident."

Then she asked for a few graham crackers.

Shortly after her little snack (probably the only solid food she'd eaten all day), I was getting her ready for bed and suddenly she started whimpering and crying out. All day I'd been pestering her every single time she made a noise--"Does your belly hurt?"--because I wanted to get her off of carpet in time. And this time she nodded. I ran across the room with her in my arms and made it to the bathroom just in time.

That was a good thing and a bad thing. Good thing: easy clean up. Bad thing: the little girl who hates being messy saw all of the messiness, and it only upset her even more.

(Last night, she happened to be in the bathroom when she threw up. She looked down in horror, shrieked "MESSY!" and ran out of the bathroom to throw up some more on the bedroom floor. She really doesn't like "messy.")

I was trying to be cheerful with her (and to keep her from looking at herself in the mirror) and said in a joking way, "It seems like you just wanted another bath." She looked at me sadly and said, "Yes! Messy!!"

The magical pill is doin' its thing, and hopefully she will sleep better tonight. And hopefully we won't even have to use the magical pill tomorrow, 'cause it's our last one.

Trying to look on the brighter side of things...all of these baths are giving me more opportunities to see freshly washed, sweet baby toes on the bath mat.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

If I'd known what kind of night it was going to be, I would have gotten the Happy Meal

On my way home from the ladies' evening Bible study at our church, I stopped off at McDonald's and got a small order of fries. Once I got home, Jason said he was going to take a shower. "Oh, and Grace [who was still awake] has been complaining about her
B-E-L-L-Y hurting, but I don't know if she is just wanting
M-E-D-I-C-I-N-E." [...because she is like her brother Josiah and will manufacture complaints just to get medicine, and excitedly jumps up at the mere mention of medicine.]

He walks down the hallway towards the shower. I ask Grace why her belly hurts and she says it's because "Daddy wouldn't give me any peanut butter." OK...when I had left for the Bible study, she hadn't eaten much of her supper. Maybe she was hungry (whether or not it was true that Jason "wouldn't" give her peanut butter) I fix her a small spoon of peanut butter. She turns around, takes one step, and then throws up on the spoon of peanut butter.

Jason hadn't been gone even two minutes. I don't think he could have timed that any better.

I had almost cleaned up the kitchen floor when Grace threw up in the next room. That's when I was wishing I had eaten a little more than a few fries. A long night was ahead of us...

By 3 a.m., Grace had thrown up several times. By 3 a.m., after sleeping for one hour and doing three loads of laundry, it occurred to me that she had hit the back of her head that afternoon when she fell on our driveway. So I call the pediatrician's office and after talking with the nurse on call, we are soon on our way to the ER.

Grace was given anti-nausea medicine (which, of course, she loved) and was soon quite perky, despite the fact that she had slept, oh, about 3 1/2 hours, counting the drive over to the ER. Medication that is supposed to make children drowsy typically has the opposite effect with my children.

After waiting, waiting, and more waiting, Grace was taken to have a CAT scan. She had to be strapped down in the papoose to keep her still, and all I could hold of her hands were the tips of her fingers. At one point, she was crying and moaning, "Save me, Mommy!" She may be scarred for life. I managed to hold it together to attempt to comfort her, even with the pleas of "Save me, Mommy!" She didn't stop crying until she had a firm grip around my neck.

After waiting, waiting, and more waiting, we were finally told that the CAT scan was normal, it was probably a virus, and we could leave...eventually...after waiting to get the written orders. It was worth the wait, though, because the doctor gave Grace some of the magical anti-nausea pills in case the vomiting persisted.

It did. And the magical pills are, well, doing their magical thing and letting her sleep now (after the initial perkyness wore off).

One of the highlights of our trip to the ER was when an inmate was brought in at 6 a.m., splattered with blood, with injuries from a fight that broke out at the county jail. His injuries? He had been bitten. Bitten. Through the skin. Needing sutures. And poked in his eye, possibly to the point of doing damage to his vision. He was right next to us on the other side of the curtain in the exam room so I listened closely and kept an eye on his armed guard sitting in the chair at the edge of the curtain. Because, y'all, I've watched way too many episodes of "ER" and you know what always happens whenever a prisoner is brought in. And I wanted to do my part and make sure the guard wasn't overpowered by the handcuffed and shackled prisioner.

Did I mention how little sleep I got last night? :)

Good night!

A Timely Reminder from Daniel

Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever;
wisdom and power are His.
He changes times and seasons;
He sets up kings and deposes them.
He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.
He reveals deep and hidden things;
He knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with Him.
Daniel 2:20-22

Too tired to actually post anything...

...But that story will come later. After I get some sleep.

I wanted to share a post from a blogger who is currently in the Dominican Republic with a group of Compassion bloggers. "Big Mama" is one of the bloggers Jason refers to as my imaginary friends...which is entirely appropriate since she doesn't know I exist, right?

Here is her most recent post. And just below that, if I remember correctly, is where she has links to the other bloggers' sites if you want to read further about this trip.

Click on the banner at the top left corner of my blog if you'd like information about Compassion International or how to sponsor a child!
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