Thursday, January 29, 2009

Here's the thing.

If you head into the mall at 6:00 in the pm and it is still nice and slushy in the parking lot, and you end up spending a lot of time at said mall taking care of very important mall business, like eating Chinese-ish food and emailing yourself goofy pictures that you and your kids take while playing in the Apple Store, you may not notice that the temperature has dramatically dropped outside.

So you will head out of the mall around 9:00 blissfully unaware that conditions have changed. You will confidently and briskly walk into the parking lot, which has quietly frozen solid, and all of a sudden your life will turn into a cartoon.

It won’t be an elegant Dusty Tackle fall. No, oh no. Your arms and legs will be flailing. cue slow-mo You will hear your children's distorted screams of horror as you run in place, convulse in midair and crash to the ground. Your husband will drop to your aid on the asphalt and the people will gather and stare.

Your husband will then walk you to your car, holding your arm like you are his dear old granny, while your children nervously cheer you on and pray for traction. Your leg will hurt. Your ankle will hurt. Your hand will hurt. Your self-worth will hurt.

These are the things I have heard can happen if you head into a slushy mall and later leave a frozen mall.

It ain’t called black ice for nothin’, friends.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009



Enjoy your snow-in, everyone.

Monday, January 26, 2009

A pop quiz

What event transpires when your time at your grandparents' house coincides with the arrival of your grandpa's new hot water heater?

A. You reschedule your trip so he can spend his day working on his hot water heater.

B. You sit and watch your grandpa as he replaces his hot water heater.

C. You go sledding.

Hot water heater box + dry, grassy hill + crazy grandpa= YEEEEEHAWWWWW!!!!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

It's hee-re.

Today it hit our peaceful, happy, unsuspecting home. The stomach virus. The one that I bragged about to friends just last night that “we never get.” The second it showed up, Deleise vanished, and in her place appeared a super hero.

Fear not, citizens.

She is Sani-girl. Preventing the spread of illness by inhibiting the growth and action of microorganisms.

At the first sign of stomach virus, she instinctively jumps into action, wielding her disinfectant bottle and clearing the area of any potential contractors.

She fearlessly and mercilessly follows the victim around with Clorox wipes, swiping each doorknob and object he touches.

With her super-sensitive-germ-radar, she senses everything in the house that has had contact with the victim in the last 12 hours and saturates it in bleach, paying careful attention to surfaces such as keyboards and refrigerator handles that are often overlooked by rookies.

She threatens to bring harm to any living being who dares to go near the victim’s bathroom until it has been completely sanitized and decontaminated.

She flings open the windows of the house for adequate ventilation and release of the offending organisms she intends to destroy..

She prepares shot glasses of hand sanitizer for her other children to drink.

Not really. But the thought of it seems quite sensible to her.

She even cloroxes the Clorox bottle.

All of this while providing movies, drinks, sympathy (but not kisses), and plastic-bag lined trash cans for the victim.

Sure, she’s a little obsessive compulsive, and she tends to make the innocent victim feel a little like a leper, but she means well. And she produces good results, despite her possible need for counseling.

Beware viruses. You’ve met your match.

Sani-girl, OUT.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Hair bows

Seasons change, and kids grow. Sometimes painfully catching us off guard, it seems our sweet babies morph into little humans with minds and tastes of their own.

I remember when this first started happening with Riley. It was hair bows. Oh, how we loved hair bows. We loved to buy them. Loved to match them to outfits. Loved to put them in her hair. Even though she barely had any hair.

For years, hair bows were her thing.

Then one day it was over.

She was done with hair bows. And that stung me in some surprising ways. I was a little taken aback. Why did I care so much about hair bows? It was fabric and clips! What was going on with me? Then I realized. It represented more.
It represented a shift in her mind. She was growing up. And I wasn’t ready.

I’ve had to come to grips with some things since my children began the process of becoming themselves. I’ve learned to embrace their individuality and expressions. To wait patiently and try to not react to the harmless style choices. And to know that it is not about what I like anymore.
The truth is, I really never thought that I would pay real live U.S. dollars on boys’ jeans that someone had violently demolished and then folded and placed on the store shelf. Or that I would share my straight iron and hair bands with someone in this house that ISN'T RILEY. But I like it. I like it.

As long as your hearts are right, and you are truly being you, express away my sweet babies.

I am thankful that I came to this place before last weekend when Riley made a request to express.


And I was able to grant it to her, with a smile.

I think years ago I would have thought it was weird and a little too out there for a sweet little girl. I probably would have discouraged it. But I‘ve grown.

Although I may not have chosen it for her, I think it’s fun (plus it fades away after a couple of washes). And she loves it. She thinks it looks awesome. After all, it’s not as if she is trying to portray herself as someone she isn’t. It doesn’t represent anything except that she is a girl who wants to express her pink.

The same girl whose heart is the purest of pure.

The same girl who loves Jesus and her family in the deepest possible way.
The same girl who is as tenderhearted as the days when she wore sweet little dresses with matching hair bows.

Hair bows get packed away in boxes before we are ready, saved forever by mommies for reasons they cannot quite articulate.

Hair bows end.

But beautiful hearts live forever.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Clearing the crazy

If you are like me, you can have you house sparkling one day and the next it looks like someone picked it up and shook it around like a snow globe, then placed it back on the foundation. Especially if you have a whole slew of kids hanging out in it all day.

And the thought of getting back the tidy? It’s overwhelming. And disheartening. And exhausting. Which is what led me to create zone cards for my house. Is “zones” a fly lady thing? I don’t do fly lady, but I’m thinking she uses the word zones.


Here is how it works. Once a day (ideally), I hand everyone a zone card. I have 4 cards, because I have 4 servants…I mean kids. Oh come on, they are the ones who made the mess, right?

Zone time is not about deep cleaning. It’s about getting the house to a level where I can be at peace. Where we can all function. It’s about clearing the clutter. Clearing the chaos. Which in turn, clears the mama of crazy. And I think we all know, when that happens, everyone wins.

I do this for downstairs only. The kids are all responsible for other chores and for keeping their own rooms and playroom clean upstairs, but the zone is about the family common areas.

I divided downstairs into 4 cards. Living room/Entry, dining room, family room, kitchen. On each card I write the tasks that need to be accomplished. They are quick, easy tasks. Just to get the room in order.

Here are my cards. As you can see I put a lot of time and creative thought into the design and aesthetics of these cards. You don’t have to make yours this fancy if you don’t want to.

Everyone has a “place” where their stuff belongs. If you find someone’s stuff in your zone, you take it to their place. My place is the office, each kids’ place is in the doorway of their room (so they’ll consider putting it away when they have to step over it)( yes, I said consider).

So, hand out cards, crank some music, GO! I kind of follow around and help where I am needed, especially the kitchen. And I kid you not, in about 10 minutes our house looks like we could have a party. Even less time if we don’t skip days.

As soon as we quit skipping days, I’ll let you know exactly how much less time. Please don’t hold your breath, that could be risky.
But I’m trying. That counts for something, right?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


I need to create.

It’s just something that is in me.

If I’m not creating, I’m antsy. It can be art, food, plans, whatever. I just need to be creating.

Yesterday I bought this canvas. And I am needing to create something meaningful. Not sure what. But I’ll let you know when I know.

Right now it is so big and blank. And it is glaring down at me, taunting me every time I walk by. Trying to intimidate me with its vast whiteness.

Maybe I should have bought one that was shorter than me.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Making memories

I once saw a little plaque that caught my eye and pops into my mind often “You never know when you are making a memory,” When you really think about it, are your memories based on what was going on, or on how you felt?

Try it. Remember something from your childhood. I bet your memory is based on a feeling. Whether it is a memory from Disney World or from sitting on your front porch. You remember it because of how it made you feel.

Originally this plaque conjured up thoughts of my kids having sweet images of fun family vacations and cuddling on the couch reading as their memories. Then it hit me. You never know when you are making a memory can mean bad memories, too. I don’t get to pick and choose my kids’ memories. So now when things are getting a little ugly, I try to remember that my children may be making a memory. Do I want them to have memories of being guided lovingly and treated with respect and grace? Or psycho mommy memories? Cause psycho mommy doesn’t leave a case of the warm fuzzies tucked away in the ol' memory bank. Anyone? I fail miserably so often, but hopefully nice mommy outweighs psycho mommy in their minds.

One Christmas when I was growing up, my grandfather was in the hospital. We ended up spending Christmas day at the hospital with him and my grandma. You can imagine my unChristmasy feelings about this memory, huh? Well, my memories from that Christmas are really fun. My memories are of eating snacks and being silly and taking hilarious pictures of my dad being a goofball in the lobby. My memories are of going up and down elevators and getting drinks from the coke machines. Now the truth is, there is a chance that we sat in a depressing waiting room. That we were bored at some point. That we were a little sad. But if that was the case, I certainly don‘t remember that part of it. My parents knew the potential of spending Christmas at a hospital and they worked overtime to seemingly effortlessly execute a fun Christmas for me and my sister.

It comes down to this.

It is what we make it.

It takes effort.

And I think the effort is going to be worth it.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Forts just aren't what they used to be

For some reason this year, it was the Christmas of weapons. Doesn't that sound dreamy? Like a Christmas card? Like a Norman Rockwell painting? Not by my choice, cause I'm not a huge fan, but apparently I am in the minority. This house has been overrun with nerf guns of all kinds. Automatic, Rambo-ish nerf guns.

Today the kids spent hours upstairs in the hall, building forts and having wars. They were divided into two teams. I just really wanted you to see these forts because they made me laugh.

First we have Garrett's team.

If you know Garrett, you are not surprised that he had a hidden camera and a monitor set up so his team could keep watch on the enemy without exposing themselves.

Next is Tyler's team.

If you know Tyler, you are not surprised that he had a small refrigerator as the bones of his fort, insuring adequate refreshment as his team fought the good fight.

Because honestly, what good is a fancy security system if you dehydrate while enjoying it?