Saturday, December 5, 2009

I Haven't Got Time For the Pain

Just over a month ago, I rounded up all the kids I could find that share my gene pool and curious hairline. I bathed them, coiffed them and dressed them in quasi-coordinated clothing culled from the backs of closets, the clearance racks and GapKids (I was desperate). We enjoyed a merry jaunt to my in-laws' home where the only sounds in the MomMobile were the dulcet tones of children bickering over the proper pronunciation of carmel/caramel, accompanied by my desperate pleas that they not wrinkle their clothes, take off their shoes or touch anyone's hair, and occasional shrieks from the little bald one that just discovered volume. We arrived at the in-laws' and began the process of taking family portraits in their lovely garden. We took off our shoes because we're hip and oh-so-casual. Christian and Holly of Prints Charming Photography were veritable fountains of patience and enthusiasm, and things were progressing nicely in the fading light of a warm, early November evening.

While moseying, as we hip/casual types are inclined to do, from an open grassy spot to the wooden deck I happened to step on an exposed tree root. I heard and felt a POP and then I saw little cartoon birdies. And then I took a deep breath and kept right on posin' and smilin' and moving a certain 13-year-olds bangs out of her eyes (what is WITH that?). We finished the portrait session, gathered our stuff and our progeny, and went to our FAVORITE pizza place for dinner to celebrate all of the Me Not Killing One Of The Kids As A Warning To The Others. After dinner (which was, to coin a phrase, a little slice of pure heaven on a Chicago-style crust), I stood up. Then I sat down. The birdies were back, and they had brought stars. The hot burning searing throbbing aching poking pain in my right foot made me wonder if I hadn't pulled a little somethin' when I stepped on that silly little tree root.

We deposited the kids at home, charged the older girls with getting the younger kids ready for bed and decided that nothing sounded nicer than a little visit to our friendly neighborhood after-hours clinic. The x-ray showed no broken bones, so I was instructed to see a podiatrist. The next day, Dr. Walker (not kidding) confirmed the no broken bones, and said helpfully that "it would be better if you had broken something." He gave me a lovely black boot and offered me a prescription for pain relief, which I declined (I later recanted and he hooked me up). He wrote orders for me to have ultrasound therapy and to told me to make an appointment to see him in 3 weeks.

Blah, blah, blah, time passes, and here we are, 4 1/2 weeks and a very uncomfortable MRI (birdies!) later, I've been diagnosed with "a very stubborn tendonitis" (I've always been an over achiever) and a bone bruise. The tendon is swollen and frayed, but not entirely torn, and the bone is deeply bruised but not broken. More physical therapy, trying to get around a little bit without the boot and praying to fall into a deep sleep for, oh, 8 to 12 weeks.

On the bright side, the pictures are pretty good, considering what the photographers had to work with.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Thanks, Y'all

I feel that it is time to update the Blog World on my hair. I read every comment on this post, and thank each and every one of you for taking the time to share my dilemma. I went about 3 months without coloring, and had my hairdresser cut it as short as I could stand it. I tried to love it, I really did, but I just couldn't do it. My hubby's hair, though a touch thinner than back in the day, is still as dark brown as ever. I started to feel a little haggard with my wiry gray outgrowth, especially when standing next to my handsome, dark-haired honey. So I gave in and went back to the brownish with blondish-y highlights. I can't thank you enough for your input.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Need a Sitter?

I'm blessed that our two older girls are such loving and capable sitters. It frees me up to indulge in all manner decadence, namely, going by myself to my Girlie Parts Doctor and having hot dates with Dan that usually end at Target. Actually, to be honest, we haven't had a date that ended at Target since January 26, 2008, when I picked up a pregnancy test on a lark and, behold, we now have a 14-month-old lark. As an aside, by all appearances, this post is sponsored by Commas R Us. Or possibly The Society for the Advancement of the Overuse of the Parenthetical Statement.

Where was I? Oh. Sitters.

There was a time when I was consumed with envy over my friends who had either younger siblings or older children who acted as on-call sitters. These carefree moms could grab their purses, toss a "Back in a few!" over their shoulders and leave the house without two diaper bags, a double stroller, and a change of clothes for every member of the household just to go buy stamps. THAT was livin'! Someday, I sighed...

With 18- and 13-year-old daughters at home, that dream is now my reality. The girls provide excellent care, supervision and nutrition to their younger siblings, engaging them in educational pursuits and cultivating their developing minds. It is a thing of wonder and beauty. Or so I thought, until I uploaded the contents of our family's digital camera recently.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go put my foot up because of the tendons I tore in what I can only refer to as The Unfortunate Incident.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I'm Caught in a Trap

Good morning, and thank you for stopping by for your daily dose of Elvis lyrics.

Today's dilemma: how do I get out of coloring my hair? Oh, how I wish someone had mentioned to me back in 1985 that the highlights I got to camouflage my premature gray would suck me into a swirling vortex of hair swatches and 40 volume developer. Now, at 41, the color of my hair changes slightly (or drastically, depending on the emotional state of my hairdresser) about every 6 weeks or so. For the last few years, I've been applying the root touch-up stuff from the grocery store between visits to Madame Mercurial because my WHITE grow-out line is more than I can take.

Which brings me back to the question of how to get off this merry-go-round. All I can come up with is to skip a couple of visits to the salon and then put a #4 guard on the Wahl clippers and go all GI Jane. Except without all the buffness. When I try to imagine what that will look like, visions of a stubbly Stay-Puf Marshmallow Mom dance in my head. So I consider just going low-maintenance and growing the whole mess all the way out, so that I have 6 or 8 inches of mostly gray, then a little brownish "transition" hair, followed by dried-out streaks of blonde. I'll braid it. It'll be fine. What?

As you can see, I need to harness the power of the Internet to solve this besetting problem. You have the floor.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Let's See Now...Where Were We?

Hello, virtual friends! Please don't think that because I haven't written a doggone thing that I haven't been thinking of you with fondness. Because I have. A lot. In fact, I'm pretty sure that's been my problem. I'm so stinkin' fond of every last one of your blessed little souls that I can't bring myself to type out the drivelly mush that's been swimming in my brain. But then I missed you. So I visited your blogs, commented a little here and there and I felt better. For a while. And now I just feel like having a good old-fashioned one-sided chat. You know, like the kind we have with palaverous 4-year-olds who talk without taking a breath. Those are fun. So I'll chatter away, and you can pretend to pay attention and do other things and we'll get along just fine.

Summer has come to the middle of the country, and it's a beautiful thing. If, by "beautiful thing", I am understood to mean "thank God for swimming pools, air conditioning and snow cones." The homeschooling schedule has loosened up a bit, though the three older kids have a few academic goals they're still working on. Mostly, they all need to really cover some ground, math-wise. Progress is being made, so we just need to keep plugging.

We're also continuing to read. The two older girls belong to mother/daughter book clubs, so we just keep on reading all summer long. I can't say enough good things about our book clubs. I've read some of the most wonderful and challenging literature with my girls over the last few years. We've had really fascinating discussions both at home and in the book club meetings, and we've formed some of the sweetest friendships with these moms and daughters. Right now we're working on Pride and Prejudice for the middle school group and Around the World in 80 Days and The Silver Chalice for the high school group. When I look back over the last 3 years at the list of books we've read, I'm amazed and so, so grateful

In other reading news, Seth is now picking up books to read on his own. As you all know, Seth has autism and all language is a challenge for him. It has been a special joy to watch him develop a love for reading. He is so sweet when he reads things to/for Claire that it just melts my heart. Then I find the cup hook he screwed into the middle of the wall in the living room and that brings the melting to a screeching halt. For what it's worth, if I had been designing little boys, I'd have put an OFF switch on that rascally Y chromosome. I'm waiting for that upgrade.

Oh, you should probably know that this post is brought to you by my sweet husband and his resurrected PowerBook. It's not as nifty as my little MacBook, but I'm as grateful as I can be to have it. You see (public service announcement), laptop computers do not, in fact, fare well when doused in ramen soup. Stupid health food. So Dan graciously took all my remotely backed up (the man's a genius!!) data and now this old PowerBook has all my old MacBook stuff on it and the clouds parted and the angels sang and I think I even heard KC and the Sunshine Band. That's the way, uh huh uh huh, I like it, uh huh uh huh. The only drawback is that my photos are now all on the desktop computer, so adding them to blog posts won't be easy. What that means for you is that you will not be subjected to macro-lens photos of things I'm scouring Google for a diagnosis for. You're welcome.

Tomorrow is Father's Day. My husband is an exceptional father. The best. And that blesses me in ways that are hard to describe. And that's all I have to say about that.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Did You Bring Your Brain? Can I Pick It Please?

Yesterday, Jesse and I took a little trip north to Newton, KS. We went with my sweet friend Angela for the purpose of meeting with the director and board president of the Newton Children's Choir. Angela and I are starting a community children's choir here in central Oklahoma.

Okay. Typing that last sentence made me catch my breath a little.

Community children's two moms. Angela is a degreed music teacher, and a mighty gifted one at that. She has a vision for the group, and has been doing extensive research online, over the phone and in person. And I'm, uhm, good with forms. Also, as a French Horn player, I have the ability to count to 4 over and over again. Obviously, Angela has very high standards for her associates.

On the one hand, there isn't a community children's choir in central Oklahoma, which makes us think the avenue is wide open. On the other hand, there isn't a community children's choir in central Oklahoma, probably because nobody wants one. You see the dilemma. I'm sure you're all wanting to partner with me in a bold venture in the near future. I have that effect on folks. I try to use my powers only for good.

We're not affiliating with any church or school, we're looking to have grades 4 through 8, rehearse once a week, perform locally, give two main concerts annually and take trips of varying durations to perform at regional music festivals. We will take all interested singers, musical background not necessary. We will charge tuition, and will be writing grant proposals to keep tuitions affordable.

Here's where you come in: does your area have anything like what I've described? Is there a website we can visit? What do you think? Are families too overscheduled as it is? Would you consider something like this if it were available?

We're giving ourselves a year and a half to launch the choir. We plan to hold our first rehearsal in August of 2010, which seems so very far in the future, but feels like it's right around the corner. I'm anxious to know your thoughts.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

My Field Trip Report

Dan and I went to Arlington, TX, for the homeschool book fair there. I decided that Jesse would have a better day at my mom's, where he is the king of all he surveys, than with us in the car seat, stroller and sling. He had a good day with Mom, but now doesn't want me out of his sight, so I'm paying the piper for my day of kidlessness. It's a good thing he's so dang cute.

On the way to the book fair, I twittered our plans and got messages from Connie (Smockity Frocks) and Renae (Life Nurturing Education) suggesting we meet up. I was on that like a duck on a junebug! We set a time and place to meet, but darned if Connie didn't spot me in the vendor hall. How did she DO that? Anyway, she's a doll and her daughter is quite the photographer. As a bonus, I got to meet Heather (Spirittibee)! Dying to know more? Want photographic evidence? Go see Connie. I'm the one who's not thin (those girls are skinNY) nor dressed cute (is anyone's best color beige? What was I thinking?), and generally resemble something that was pulled backward through a knothole (hello, Texas! These are my pores. Thank you for opening them for me.)

And now, as I've succumbed to the kids' cold from last week, I'm going to take my new pet tissue box and curl up in bed. Have a blessed week, y'all!

Friday, May 8, 2009

I'm pleased to report that we've weathered MucousFest '09. I'm stocking up now in case our house turns out to be a stop on the Fall Tour. Time will tell.

So, y'all know how Olivia plays the harp, right? She loves her harp and she practices willingly most every day. I think she's pretty good, and we all enjoy hearing her play. She gets the occasional gig around town and enjoys playing for an audience. She's 12 1/2 now, and she's been playing just over four years.

Well, last Tuesday we went to her harp lesson. Her teacher is 80ish, lives in an assisted living center, and is a living legend in the harp world. She played for Eisenhower's inauguration and was a protegé of the greatest harpist of the 20th century, Carlos Salzedo. Her son recently set up a computer in her apartment, and she's learning how to use it. When we got there on Tuesday, she wanted Olivia to watch this. We enjoyed it, and I hope you do too.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Hello? Anybody Home?

Well! Wouldja lookie here? I bet you thought I'd forgotten about my little bloggy home. I think most bloggers can identify with the feeling of having so much you want to say, and not being able to get it out in any kind of coherent way. We resort to lists, memes and just posting lots and lots of photos. Then we neglect the blog for about 6 weeks or so, only to find that the problem is completely out of hand. And that is where you find me, your intrepid author, today.


I want to tell you about a little phenomenon I like to call Trickle-Down Behaviornomics. It's what happens when one kid gets in trouble and ALL the kids just snap in line and all of a sudden, I'm surrounded by helpful, respectful goody-goodies.

We had an issue yesterday with our oldest, who will soon be 18. It was fairly serious, and I treated it as such. The real-life consequences of her choices will be borne, along with some loss of privilege that will have to be earned back through trustworthy actions. First, I have to give her credit...once the error became known and the consequences began to be outlined, she took it exceedingly well. She was humble and contrite, and we were closer at the end of the discipline session than at the beginning. Her parting words were, "I'm going to earn your trust back by Friday..." I love it when discipline has its desired effect.

Well, you've never seen 3 such well-behaved younger siblings in all your life! I believe I might have contracted a touch of the sugar-diabetes from all the sweetness that flowed in our home yesterday. I think they wanted to help Hannah over her difficulty, and I know they wanted the atmosphere to lighten up, but I hope that they also took a little lesson for themselves from their sister's misbehavior and will perhaps spare themselves at least a little trouble later on by learning from someone else's mistakes.

I should tell you, however, that my cherubim were somewhat less cherubic today. All 5 of the kids woke up with cold symptoms. Little Jesse has been re-named Snot Rocket, Seth told me today that he almost sneezed his eyeball out and Claire's lips are "chack" so she's using "chack-stick" like it's her job. Seems like low-grade temps are also uniformly distributed throughout the tribe, along with the perfunctory whiny voices, short tempers and general crabbiness. School today consisted of learning the first verse of our church's hymn of the month and lots of reading aloud because those are the only things this teacher can do with an 8-month-old who seems convinced that nursing is the cure for all that ails him.

So, now you know where we are. If I get a turn at the computer again before Jesus comes back, I'll fill you in on some fun things that happened at Easter and ask some probing hair coloring questions. Or I'll just post a bunch of photos. Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Seinfeld Post - Or, Here's Something About Nothing

I'm still spending most of my computer time working on the homeschool convention. Looking forward to a great couple of days of fun and fellowship and encouragement. And cinnamon rolls.

And, serioulsy? I've been sitting here for over 30 minutes and that's all I can come up with. I will now go sweep the floor.

Man! What I wouldn't give for a good meme...

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Alpha Waves Have Eroded the Surfaces of My Corneas

It is the time of year where I spend every spare (and not-so-spare) moment in front of a computer. The Oklahoma Homeschool Convention is just over a month away and one of my responsibilities is recruiting, scheduling and managing convention volunteers. This year, the best part of the job is that this sweet lady and her darling hubby have agreed to consider taking over these duties, which means we've had the pleasure of their family's company a few times over the last several weeks. It has been such a privilege getting to know this dear family.

If you want to see what I did today instead of mopping the kitchen and unpacking my suitcase, click here. Feel free to nose around and give me whatever feedback you have. I particularly like feedback that includes the words "incredible", "beyond awesome", and "skinny", but of course I just want you to be honest.

If you are a homeschooler in Oklahoma, please consider taking advantage of the opportunities to shop and learn at the convention. From seasoned home educators to those just starting out, we've worked to provide something to encourage everyone. Wanna know something? I have a blog dedicated to OCHEC activities that I've neglected even worse than this one, and that's saying a lot.

And now, with the 3-hour nap I took between 5 and 8 this morning having completely worn off, I'm going to peel my eyeballs away from my MacBook and put myself to bed. Have a blessed Lord's Day.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

If BooMama Can Do It... can I! Lookie here! It's a list! And it must be cute and oh-so-sassy because I've seen it on the most fashionable blogs. I will commence with the list, post haste, lest all the wordiness detract from the impact of aforementioned list.

One more note, real quick: whereas it's Stupid-thirty in the morning, and whereas I'm living the reality that mother's milk is composed entirely of maternal brain cells, this list will be neither orderly nor logical. You've been warned.

1. Watching 24 should qualify as aerobic exercise. I clinch muscle groups which have yet to be named while I watch Jack Bauer single-handedly attempt to save humanity from certain doom. Again. As usual.

B. While I LOVE being a mom, and I'm OVER THE MOON about my five (count 'em, F-I-V-E) (seriously, somebody count 'em, 'cause I might've left one at the library) (HA! I had you thinking we go to the library!) (where was I?) kids, and I am BEYOND GRATEFUL to be able to stay home with them, and I KNOW in my KNOWER that we're supposed to home school...Y'ALL! Doing all these things at once is like juggling cats and I'm getting scratched to pieces! Therefore, henceforth I shall only Mother on Mondays, Teach on Tuesdays, Wash on Wednesdays, Train on Thursdays and File on Fridays. On Saturdays, I shall Sit and on Sundays I will Sing. Man! Am I glad I got THAT worked out!

III. I got home from a trip to Colorado exactly one month ago today. I remembered to tell you about it because THE SUITCASE IS STILL ON THE FLOOR OF MY ROOM. You'll want to come back here to read the rest of my housekeeping tips.

Four. My blog reader runneth over, but I'm reading them here and there as I have a spare moment. I mostly read on my phone, which means that I'm not commenting as much. If your sitemeter stats list a visitor from Oklahoma City using a Mac, assume it's me and try to imagine me nodding, mm-hmmm-ing and muttering the occasional "you go, Girl". Because I totally am.

Cinco. I love Twitter.

The end.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Theology of Suffering

Joni Eareckson Tada's message begins about 5 minutes in, and is about 25 minutes long. It's worth the viewing, I think. I hope you agree.

Two of our children have disabilities. I've learned over the last 17+ years that all people have disabilities, only a few of which are visible. All people suffer. Only a few of them do so publicly. May we all have the grace to submit to all of God's sovereign plan, and to deal gently with each other as we participate with Him in our transformation into the likeness of our suffering Savior. Thank God for the suffering "driving me down the road to Calvary, where otherwise I might not naturally be inclined to go."

Friday, February 27, 2009

Did You Ever Have One Of Those Days?

Hello, folks! Look who didn't fall off the planet!

As usual, it's been so long since I've written that so many things have happened that I don't even know where to begin. Dangit. Again.

So, I'm just going to jump right in. I will tell myself that I'll be a more faithful blogger. And I'll mean it. And we'll see what happens.

Today, little Jesse is 6 months old! How come it seems like it CAN'T possibly be 6 months since he was born? I have personally dispensed every single meal he's ever had. That's something like 1,480 meals. Give or take. Have we discussed my OCD?

Anyway, here's a photo of the child I can't keep from calling Rabbi Shmuly (no particular reason to call him that...I heard it one day and the sound just made me happy)(have we discussed my penchant for weird words?).

In other news, we've enjoyed several weeks of very productive homeschooling; if by "enjoyed" I am understood to mean "the kids are about to mutiny, but I don't care since we're using up tons of paper and it makes me feel like we're getting stuff done." One of the things I'm enjoying most is listening to the Grace to You podcasts of John MacArthur sermons with the older girls each morning. We're practicing note-taking, outlining, summarizing and applying Biblical truth to our lives every day. We use the text of the messages for our Bible study and for copywork.

Because I don't want to overwhelm you with All The Words, I'll quit for now. Maybe I'll be back tomorrow. Maybe it'll be Labor Day. Either way, thanks for reading and be blessed my friends!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Shameless Contest Entry Post

On a day covered in hoary frost, when the roads outside are slicker than kid snot on a cold brass doorknob, I have found an oasis in the midst of the world wide web. That oasis is Oh Amanda. Sometimes I laugh out loud. Sometimes I just nod knowingly. Sometimes I get so behind on my blog reading that I miss entire months of posts, but that doesn’t matter; she’s always there with her archives ready to enable my unhealthy need to snoop into other people’s bidness. Particularly when that snooping is done instead of boring stuff like laundry and mopping. Especially mopping. It’s amazing, really, the lengths to which I will go in order to avoid the hateful task of mopping. Which is odd since a freshly-mopped floor is one of the things I love best in the world.

Speaking of things I love best, Oh Amanda is one of my MOST DEF FAVE Twitter People, or Tweople, or for those of you down wit’ dat, Tweeps. Though we’ve never met in real life, I’m sure we could while away several hours in the comfy chairs at Starbucks, laughing our fool heads off over kids and life in general.

So, here I am at just over 200 words. The challenge was to write 400 words on What Oh Amanda Means To Me. I’m just in it to win a sling from Raspberry Baby, one of many too-too-cute Etsy shops about which I would have known nothing had it not been for Amanda’s tweet which sent me to her blog which inspired me to enter her contest and try to get as many entries as possible. As a bonus, I am sitting here looking all busy and efficient, when, in reality, I am avoiding all manner of actual productive endeavors. I wonder if most efficient-looking folks are actually just creative procrastinators? I wouldn’t be surprised. I usually feel a driving need to organize the files when I’m supposed to be packing to go on vacation.

To summarize, Oh Amanda means smiles and the studious avoidance of stuff resembling work. Not that I was going to work in the first place. Especially not today.

What’s today, you ask? Well, let me tell you: Today, Tuesday, January 27, 2009, I am celebrating another successful trip around the sun. My forty-first trip in a row, for those of you keeping score at home.

PS: Love giveaways? Go HERE

I will now resume my not-blogging for your not-reading pleasure. That is all.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Since I'm All About Education

I need to be getting myself ready to take the older girls on a field trip to the Federal Courthouse. But first, I really need to show you something. You're never far from my thoughts, Dear Readers, and when I watch this video (which I do--daily), I wonder if the rest of my virtual loved ones (that's YOU) are equipped to defend themselves should the need arise. And so, without further ado, I bring you Diamond Dave's Ninjy Trainin' School:

Please view the video and be prepared to discuss the finer points tomorrow.

Yours for Trailer Park Safety,


You Never Know WHAT Will Show Up In Your Reader

Hello? Anybody here?

MAN, is it ever dusty!

I have so much I want to write, so many things to ask you guys and a zillion reasons why this little corner of Blogdom has been dark. Maybe I'll get around to that stuff sometime. For now, I want to pop in, say hey (Hey!!) and ramble. Sound good? I thought so.

Tonight, it's just me, Dan, Hannah and Jesse, since my dear friend took the three middle kids to church with their family tonight. This makes me WAY undermotivated to put on my Magic Chef hat, know what I mean? I'm thinking it'll be sandwiches and soup for dinner, unless I can talk Dan into taking us to the Chinese Buffet that just opened. Here's hopin'.

I just looked out the window, and the sunset tonight is peachy-pink. So pretty.

Jesse's taking an impressively long nap, and I'm afraid that if I actually start something productive, he'll wake up. My philosophy of baby naps is this: the length of the nap is inversely proportional to the complexity of what I'm doing. If I'm cleaning out a closet or explaining the difference between volume and mass, that little stinker sleeps about 15 minutes. Surfing the 'net for Maxine cartoons? Sleeps for 3 hours.

Oh, Internets (I'd like to publicly thank Sophie for coining this wonderful term of endearment), there's so much for us to discuss, I hardly know where to start. And, guess what? Jesse's awake, so we'll all have to wait until my next blog post, which I PROMISE will be on or before Labor Day!