Friday, July 30, 2010


I was driving the kids to VBS this morning, and Sarah was rattling off her schedule.  She said, "First, we have crafts, and then we have recreation, and then we go to the cemetery..."
I interrupted at that point and said, "Cemetery?"
She said, "Yes, that's where we have our Bible lesson."
I glanced at Noah for help, but he seemed clueless as well.
I said, "What cemetery?"
She said, "Well, maybe it's not called 'cemetery' exactly.  It's something like ceme...cemtu...cemtuary?"
I said, "Oh, the sanctuary!" and she said, "Yeah, that's it.  The sanctuary."


I bought Sarah some beautiful princess pull-ups to wear at night.  I told her that they were so pretty that I was sure she wouldn't want to ruin the princesses by peeing on them.  She rolled her eyes and said, "That's not going to motivate me, Mom."  I told her that if she's old enough to use a word like "motivate" in proper context, she's old enough to use the potty. 

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Today in school, I'm teaching the children what to do if you lose your credit card.  I'd like to say that this was a well-planned (but hypothetical) lesson, but no.  Here are some points from my lecture today:

-Learn from the mistakes of others so you don't make the same mistakes.
-Sometimes Mommy is a fool.

-Using a credit card is safer than carrying cash.
-Be responsible with your stuff!
-Don't carry your credit card in an unsafe pocket.
-Remember to tell your spouse that you canceled the credit card.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Missing Isaac

Sarah and I went for a walk tonight.  She was quieter than usual, and she stared up at the clouds for a long time.  Then she waved at the sky and said, "Hi, Isaac.  I miss you down here, but I'll see you when I get there." 

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Covert operations

Noah and I walked down the street early this morning to a garage sale, and I bought him a couple Lego sets.  Later this afternoon, he told me he was going back to the sale to see if they had any Lego sets left.  I was impressed with his unusual bravery, but then he explained that he was just going to ride his bike down the street and casually glance over to check.  That sounded more like my shy boy. 

A few minutes later, he returned to report that the mission was unsuccessful.  He got his binoculars, hung them around his neck, and took off on his bike again.  I went back to weeding the garden.

Minutes later, he was back.  Still no luck.  I said, "Wouldn't it be easier to just walk up to her and ask if she has any Lego sets left?  Or just walk into the garage and look for yourself?"  He answered that it would be a lot easier but not much fun.  Then he sent Sarah down the street with the binoculars. I could hear her from my spot in the garden, yelling, "Hey! My brother wants to know if you have any Legos left!"

Yet another massive kitchen mess

I made pancakes and decided to top them with whipped cream and strawberries.  I had a bunch of strawberries from the garden, and last night I had bought a giant sized carton of whipping cream.  I whipped up the cream with powdered sugar and vanilla and put it in the fridge until I got everything else ready.  Fortunately, I thoroughly enjoyed licking the beaters, because that's all the whipped cream I got to eat. 

I finished the rest of the food, opened the fridge, and grabbed for the whipped cream in a rush.  I knocked it off the shelf, and it dumped its contents all over the fridge and freezer before hitting the floor and splattering absolutely everywhere.  It was all over my feet and legs, the oven door, and the cabinets, and there was a big puddle of it on the floor. 

Just then, the cat appeared out of nowhere and started walking around and lapping up the cream.  I had to shut him out of the kitchen before he gorged himself and started puking everywhere.  I also didn't want him tracking cream all over the house, because I already had plenty of cleaning up to do.  He was unhappy about being banished, so he cried and howled the whole time I was cleaning.

It took a long time, and the floor still feels oily and slippery.  Am I the only one who has these gigantic, explosive  kitchen disasters?  I've definitely had more than my share of them. 

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Crazy wheelchair lady

We toured the new hospital today, which is amazing and surprisingly beautiful.  I pray we'll never see it again.  During the tour, a woman was pushing her mom in a wheelchair behind us.  She wasn't watching where she was going, and she mowed me down with the wheelchair.  I have a scrape and a big bruise on my ankle.  I warned Mike to watch out for her, and I guess I should have warned the kids.  Later in the tour, she crashed into Noah, leaving him a matching injury with mine.  From then on, we stayed behind her.  Good thing, because after that, she crashed her poor mother right into the corner of a wall. 

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Cool pencil sharpener

We spent most of the morning organizing our art supply center.  The kids' job was to round up every pencil in the house and sharpen them all.  They love to sharpen pencils, so they were happy to do it, and that gave me plenty of time to get everything else in order.  Our electric pencil sharpener can sharpen about four pencils before it overheats and has to rest.  While it's resting, the kids sharpen by hand, which is still fun for them, but creates a lot more mess.  Noah devised a way to keep the electric sharpener cool. He strapped an ice pack to it with rubber bands, and put ice cubes on top of the whole contraption.  He was afraid water would drip into the mechanism (whatever that is), so he added some paper towels.  I'm not sure the sharpener worked any better, but it was a good idea.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


I'm having a rough morning of questions and doubts.  All moms probably question their ability to raise children, but I think for homeschool moms, the doubts are compounded.  If you think you're ruining your child's life at home, at least you can hope that the school will save them.  But when you homeschool, it's all you.  If I'm ruining them, I'm ruining them completely and totally, in every area of life.

These are the questions I'm pondering today:
Should I be stricter?
Should I require more of my kids?
Do they need more routine? Are they too free?
Are they learning anything?
Will they ever speak without mumbling?
Will they ever write neatly with small letters?
Will they learn to spell correctly?
Should I ban all electronics and throw the TV out the window?
Why do they bicker constantly?
Are they geniuses?  Are they retarded?
Are they really incapable of sitting still, or do they need more training?
Will they ever be self-motivated and self-disciplined?
Why can't they be more responsible?
If they died tomorrow, would any of this matter?
What are the odds that they're going to die tomorrow?
Why don't I enjoy them as much as I used to?
What's wrong with me?
Do I even have what it takes?
Do I deserve the great blessing of motherhood?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The 21 jersey

When Noah was about three years old, he latched onto a shirt that became his favorite.  It had shorts that came with it, but he didn't care about those, just the shirt.  I don't even remember where we got it, but it must have been a hand-me-down or from a garage sale, because that's where he gets all his clothes.  This is the first picture I could find of him wearing it:

At that point, it wasn't an obsession yet.  He still wore other clothes.  But the next summer (2006), when he was four, he wore the 21 jersey every day. 

That thing got filthy, believe me.  He even slept in it, so it was hard to find an opportunity to wash it.  He got paint on it:

and he got sand on it:

and plenty of sweat.

Sometimes he wore the 21 on the front, and sometimes he wore it on the back.

The next summer, he outgrew the shorts, but he kept wearing the shirt.

He even wore it in the winter. He just added a shirt under it.

I was afraid I would have to cut it off of him in order to get it off, so I came up with a plan to "retire" it.  I had him autograph it and told him I was going to hang it on his wall.  That was at the end of 2007.

When his baseball glove got too small, I hung it next to the jersey.  Both of the retired items gather a lot of dust, so I take them down periodically and shake them.  Yesterday I was shaking the jersey, and Noah came along and exclaimed, "Oh, my 21 jersey!  Can I try it on?"

Mission accomplished

Yesterday I decided that I'm fed up with my laziness and out-of-shapeness.  I resolved to get up early and go for a walk every morning.  I set the alarm last night. 

So here it is, the first morning of my new resolve, and the devil is working overtime.  I was about to get out of bed, when Noah came running into my bed, crying about a bad dream.  I comforted him for awhile and sent him back to his room to read. 

Then I got up, got dressed, stretched, flung open the door, and saw...rain.  I lost some of my resolve momentarily.  It was only a shower, not a storm, so I opened an umbrella and got walking.  It wasn't ideal, but better than lying around in bed.