Friday, October 29, 2010

Cat puke

With a title like that, is anyone actually reading this post?

Yesterday, a realtor scheduled a showing for our house, so we had to abandon it early in the morning.  When we left, everything was perfectly clean and in order. When we came back, there was cat puke in the middle of the living room.  I wonder if it happened before, or after the showing?  Or worse, during?

Then this morning, Mike walked into the living room early while it was still shadowy and hard to see clearly.  There were some duplos scattered around the floor, and he reached down to pick one up that was in the doorway.  At least he thought it was a duplo, but he was surprised to discover it was squishy.  Cat puke.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Twins and queens

Noah was helping me take the cold sheets off my bed and put on the fleece ones.  He asked, "Why do your sheets come with two pillowcases and mine only comes with one?  I'm the one with a TWIN size bed.  Shouldn't I get TWO pillowcases?"  He's so logical and literal.  I told him that I'm the queen in the queen size bed, so I get two pillowcases.  He put his cheek down on the soft sheets and said, "I feel a snuggle coming on...." 

Unexpected guests

We were just starting quiet time this afternoon when the doorbell rang.  The neighbor girls had just gotten off the bus and discovered that they were locked out of their house.  We cancelled quiet time and had a tea party with banana crumpets instead.  The girls were wearing pajamas and told me it was Pajama Day at school.  I told them it was pajama day at our school too, so we had our tea party wearing pajamas and using English accents.  It was lots of fun!

I was going over vocabulary words with the older girl for a test she's having tomorrow, and I had no idea that Sarah was taking in every word.  I asked the neighbor girl, "What is the word that means 'a person responsible for a wrongdoing'?"  Sarah immediately blurted out, "Culprit!"  One of the other words was "confidential".  After the neighbor girls had gone home, Sarah was whispering something to me, and Noah asked what she was saying.  Sarah told him, "It's a confidential conversation between me and Mom."

Big kids, little kids

I worked in the Children's Department at CBS today, and I had the opportunity to watch my relatively big kids interacting with toddlers.  The little kids gravitated to them, clung to them, chased them, and looked up to them. Noah was playing a game where he tried to throw a ball into a wheelbarrow.  The little kids were staring at him, mesmerized.  Later, I saw one of the toddlers pick up the ball and try to do the same thing.  I told Noah that he used to be the little kid admiring the older ones.  It was neat to see him taking the little ones under his wing.  Sarah mostly yelled at them and avoided them. 

African American fingernail

Mike was reading a book about slavery to the kids, and they were talking about different races. Afterwards, Noah asked me, "Am I black or white or what?"  Sarah said, "We're brown, Noah."  I told them they're not black or white, but they're Asian.  Sarah looked at the bruise on her fingernail and said, "Everything on me is Asian except my fingernail.  It's black."

Dessert Nazi

Sarah was ordering everyone around, telling us all which dessert to eat and when.  I called her a Dessert Nazi, and Noah joined right in, saying, "You're a Nazi!"  Sarah has heard enough discussion about WWII to know that the Allies were the opposite of the Nazis, so she declared, "I am NOT a Nazi!  I'm an Ally.  And I don't even know what that is!"  

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Still more...

After everything Jason has been through today, the poor thing got drafted into a Star Wars scene. Noah was whipping his water-noodle lightsabers around, and he pinned the unsuspecting cat against the wall and said, "I've got you now, Count Dooku!"  Please don't call the Humane Society.

More cat torture

My dear daughter, the same one who threw the cat into the pool to see what would happen, made a confession today.  She had no intention of telling me, but our devotion today was about confessing sin.  As soon as I finished the lesson, Sarah announced, "OK, I pushed Jason a little bit."  Upon my request for further details, it turns out that she actually threw Jason out of the treehouse, because she was curious to see if he would land on his feet!  What am I going to do with this child????

Monday, October 25, 2010


I've been in yet another cooking slump lately.  I love to cook, but I don't like coming up with ideas for something to cook every day.  When I ask my people what they want for dinner, they all gloss over and say something like, "Duh, I dunno." 

So this morning I tried a new tactic.  I handed out cookbooks to the kids and told them to pick out a recipe that we could cook for tonight.  Within a minute, Sarah landed on this page, and said, "I want THIS!"

I had a whole day of cleaning and schooling planned to catch up from the weekend, but right then and there, I decided that instead of doing our boring spelling lesson and cleaning the bathroom, we would have one big class about how to make a whole meal.  We even invited guests and practiced hospitality. 

First, a trip to Kroger to get all the supplies.  Noah pushed the cart and actually didn't crash into anyone or take off zooming down an aisle when I needed the cart.  I think this is the first time he's been able to see over the cart, and he was a good help.  We searched for the ingredients, compared prices, studied nutrition labels, and discussed the merits of buying a can of bread crumbs vs. making our own. 

We went through the self-check-out lane, and the kids did all the scanning, bagging, and looking up produce codes.  Noah found the code for cucumbers and keyed it in, and then the machine asked him for the quantity.  He stretched way up on his tiptoes to reach the "1", but accidentally pushed the "4" on his way.  I said, "What?  Are we buying 41 cucumbers?!" and he collapsed in a heap of laughter.  He swiped the credit card, and I even let him sign his name on the line. 

When we got home, they made bread crumbs,

assembled parfaits,
and pounded chicken.

Sarah only took a couple whacks at the chicken, because it disturbed her when I yelled, "BAWWWWK!" upon impact.  She put the hammer down and mumbled, "Poor chicken." 

I didn't get a picture of the big feast, because the guests were here, but here are the leftovers:

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Dead bum

Noah enjoys giving baseball quizzes to Sarah and me, because he knows way more than we do.  Today we were sitting at the table, and Noah said, "Which pitcher in the American League has a great pickoff move?"  Sarah and I looked at each other blankly.  I ventured, "Tim Lincecum?" and Noah said, "No, Mom . American League."  I don't know who's in which league, or even what the difference is, but at least I know some current baseball players.  Sarah's guess was, "Babe Ruth?"  Noah and I managed not to laugh, and he just said, "No, it's Andy Pettitte.  Next question: Who won the 2010 Home Run Derby?"  Sarah raised her hand excitedly and shouted, "I know!  Babe Ruth!"  Noah explained patiently, "Sarah.  Babe Ruth doesn't play anymore.  He's not even alive."  Then Sarah mumbled, "Hmmmmph, the dirty dead bum."

Monday, October 18, 2010


Just a few things about Sarah today:

I heard her telling Noah that the wise men brought three gifts to baby Jesus: gold, Frankenstein, and murder.

When I asked her to start a load of laundry, she sighed like a martyr, and I chastised her for her attitude. She said, "That was just a sigh of contentment, Mom."

She drew this picture of Marty the cat, thinking about a cherry:

Monday, October 11, 2010

The chicken or the egg?

We were having a deep discussion today about which came first, the chicken or the egg.  The kids had all kinds of ideas and opinions on that, and then I said, "I think God created the chicken and then it laid an egg."  Sarah immediately replied with complete over-confidence, "Nope.  The egg was first."  She was as definite about it as though she created the world herself.  Oh, to be six years old and know everything again!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Another writing assigment

Today Sarah's writing assignment was to write a paragraph about her favorite restaurant.  She wrote:

"First, I would eat.  Then, I would eat more.  Then, I would hug my mom.  Then, I would eat more . Last, I would eat dessert."

The girl does love to eat!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wild cat

We rescued our kitten from the Humane Society when he was six months old and tried to make him a housecat.  But this boy was born to be wild.  He was restless and not content in the house.  He could never get rid of his excess energy and was always trying to dart out the door.  An old saying came to my mind:  If you love something, set it free.  If comes back to you, it's yours.  If it doesn't, it never was.

So I bought little Jason a collar and a tag and set him free.  Well, not totally free at first. We would take him out in the fenced yard for "supervised visits".  He proved himself trustworthy, and it made me happy to see him run full speed across the yard, climb the tree, chase butterflies, and chew grass. He was completely content.  When he came inside, he was full of affection and had a much calmer personality.

Eventually, I started leaving the window open and letting him come and go as he pleases.  He always comes back.  Then he started joining me on my morning walks.  He trots along next to me like a little dog. 

He climbs trees with Noah:

He likes to go fishing with us:

This morning, Jason came flying in through the window, meowing like crazy and so covered in branches and burrs that I barely even recognized him.  The kids and I spent a long time cleaning him up and combing burrs out of his fur. In retrospect, he looked hilarious (like a walking, meowing bush), but I didn't take time to get my camera, because he was in distress. 

Remember my earlier post about flying creatures in the house?  Today I realized how the bird got into the house in the first place. It was lucky it lived.  Today, Jason appeared in the window with a dead sparrow in his mouth.  He jumped into the house and flung the carcass down the stairs. He stalked its lifeless body as it bounced down the stairs, and then he pounced on it, flung it up in the air, and stalked it again.  He caught it between his front paws:

Then he tossed it up and caught it in his back paws:

Finally when blood and feathers started flying, I removed the poor thing.

Sad packer

I gave Noah a box and asked him to pack SOME of his huge collection of stuffed animals.  I knew it would be too much to ask him to pack all of them (since he has named them all and considers each one a personal friend), but I thought he could do at least half.

Almost an hour later, he had packed three animals, and he was leaning over the box explaining to them, "Just because I put you in this box doesn't mean that I don't love you.  You just have to stay in here for a little while, and when you come out, you'll be in a nice new house!"

Then he labeled the box like this:

All about Sarah

I had Sarah do a writing exercise called "All About Me" to practice writing sentences.  I supplied the questions, and she had to write a sentence to answer each one.  Here's what she wrote:

What is your name?  My name is Sarah.
How old are you? I am six years old.
What do you look like? I am a nice person. (I loved this answer, because she didn't focus on how gorgeous she is, but on her nice personality)

And my favorite....
What is the thing you like most about yourself?  I can do anything.

I love that girl! 

Friday, October 1, 2010

Tearing up carpet

Noah tore the carpet out of the hall and discovered very nice hardwood underneath it.  It's under the carpet in all three bedrooms, so we're considering taking out more carpet.  The problem is all those darn nails, staples, and worst of all, tack strips that formerly held the carpet down. Mike, Noah, and I have been working on pulling all that out, and we've discovered that you can't be too rough or else you scratch the precious hardwood.  You also can't be too gentle, or else you don't make any progress at all.  It's slow, difficult, time-consuming, messy, sometimes painful work that requires the perfect balance of firmness and gentleness as you chip away the old, ugly sharp edges to reveal the hidden beauty, but it's worthwhile in the end; sometimes you want to give up and call in the professionals.  Sounds a lot like parenting, doesn't it?

Just yesterday at CBS, we were talking about how being happy in your work is a gift from God (Ecc. 5:19).  I'm happy to have the gift of work to do:  tearing up floors and raising kids.
There he is, about to pull up the pad...
Discovering the buried treasure!

Now he's saying, "Why didn't we do this YEARS ago?!"

Sweet reward!