Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Eve

Our friends came over tonight to party with us.  We rang in the new year at about 7:30 p.m.  We claim to celebrate early for the sake of the children, but the truth is, we old fogies can't stay awake till midnight anymore.  So as our "midnight" approached, we poured little glasses of bubbly (sparkling juice) and set the kitchen timer for one minute.  We all gathered around and watched the seconds go by, and I said "Get ready...the ball is about to drop..." and our friends' daughter said excitedly to the other kids, "The ball's about the drop!  The ball's about to drop!...What's the ball?"  Then we all counted down the last ten seconds together, yelled "Happy New Year!" and toasted each other.  Definitely my kind of New Year's Eve party. 

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Things I've learned from The Great Move of 2010

  1. We have way too much stuff.
  2. We are too dependent on our stuff.
  3. Moving right before Christmas is not a good idea.
  4. I am so thankful for my family and friends.
  5. My character needs a whole lot more development.  I crumble under pressure and become someone I don’t like.
  6. I am very thankful for the forgiveness I have through Jesus.
  7. My mom is WAY better at lining shelves than I am.
  8. My husband and son are strong work horses.
  9. There’s no such thing as a perfect house.
  10. I absolutely HATE moving.
  11. Talking to myself out loud helps.
  12. I love our new house.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas letter

I found an envelope addressed in Noah's handwriting to Jesus. In the stamp corner, he had written "No stamp needed". In the return address area, he wrote "from you know who". I debated whether I should open it or not, but curiosity beat out integrity. I had to know what my son wanted to say to Jesus. Inside was a a homemade birthday card. It said "Happy birthday" on the front, and he had drawn Jesus' name in fancy letters on the inside, and a picture of three crosses. Despite all his materialism, he truly understands the meaning of the holiday.

The social butterfly has landed.

On the very day we moved into our new house, Sarah had this conversation with Mike:
S: Dad, can I see if the neighbor kids want to play?
M: We don't even know them.
S: How are we going to get to know them if we don't play with them?
M: Well, let's at least settle into our new home first.
S: I'm already settled!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

This is how my day went.

Sarah woke up in a disagreeable mood, and it went downhill from there.  She was defiant, disrespectful, lazy, obnoxious, and mean most of the day.  There were three very short moments when she was pleasant and helpful, and I remember them clearly because they were so rare, and I clung to them to get me through the day.  I didn't even attempt to teach her anything new today, just reviewed things she supposedly already knows.  She made very little effort.  During her piano lesson, she "forgot" how to count half notes.  I spent a lot of time teaching, training, correcting her attitude and behavior. Therefore, I packed only two boxes today.  The only other thing I accomplished was pulling a hairball out of the tub drain.

Meanwhile, I managed to get dinner in the oven, but then noticed that the oven was not preheated. The heating element wasn't even glowing.  This is the same oven that I just sold last week and is to be picked up on Friday.  I've never had any problem with it for the last seven years, and now it dies.  I crawled under it to see if it was plugged in (it was) and found old dried food, dust bunnies, Nerf darts, and hair clips.  I turned it off and turned it back on (my husband's favorite solution to any problem).  Nothing.  I hauled my raw turkey and vegetables outside and plowed through the snowdrifts to the grill. 

While I'm dealing with the raw food issue, I had asked Noah to clean out the van so it would be ready to haul a load to the new house.  Actually, I had asked both kids, but Noah was the one doing it.  While I was standing outside freezing in my pajamas, trying to light the grill, Noah is calling me with his voice filled with frustration, needing help with the seats in the van.  Then Sarah has the gall to yell out that she's hungry and starts demanding food.  My temples are starting to pound like my head might explode.  I try to focus on my gratitude that we are all healthy and alive.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Hunkering down

Thanks to the blizzard, we stayed home all day.  We did lots of packing.  This is what our living room looks like now:

The kids made a tower out of their math manipulatives (which have so far never been used for math) and had a war:

We practiced eating off the floor.  On Saturday, we're moving all our earthly possessions to the new house, but we can't actually have possession until four days after that.  So during those four days, I guess we're going to pretend we're pioneers (with heat, water, and electricity, of course).  We'll be sleeping and eating on the floor, since we won't have any furniture.  I don't know what we'll be eating anyway, because the stove, microwave, and fridge will be gone.  We crowded around this leftover chicken noodle soup.  Does that count as eating a family dinner?

Jason was annoyed by the wall of snow that prevented him from going outside:

Germy cat food

The kids did a science experiment a couple weeks ago that involved growing germs in petri dishes.  They got samples from the toilet seat, phone, Sarah's mouth, and Daddy's toes.  We've been watching the disgusting stuff grow.  The toilet seat has been by far the worst, followed by the phone.

Today we've been doing some power-packing, since we have only six days till the big move.  Mike brought the gross petri dishes up and thought the kitchen table would be a good place to put them.  I moved them to the window sill.  Later I caught Marty (the cat, not my father-in-law) with her face buried in the petri dish full of phone germs, having herself a nasty feast. 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

She loves me, she loves me not...

Yesterday, Sarah was mad at me (again).  She was supposed to be writing her spelling words, but when I checked her notebook later, I saw that she had written, "I don't like my mom at all."   I was actually pleased that she had spelled everything right.

Today, she wrote me this note:  "I lik you mom we our fends."  I wonder why she can't spell when she likes me?

Scholastic bowl

Noah got an Ironman arc reactor from a Christmas party, and we've been using it as a scholastic bowl buzzer.  I ask questions, and whoever hits the buzzer first gets a chance to answer.  One of my questions this morning was, "Can you turn the letters of the word "may" into something that means "sweet potato"?"  Both kids gave me a blank stare.  Then Sarah asked for a pen and paper.  She wrote for a long time, occasionally looking up to think and then crossing something out and writing again.  Finally, after a long time, she hit the buzzer and yelled, "Amy!"

I managed not to roll my eyes, but calmly told her that Amy is not another word for sweet potato.  I looked at Noah, who had been doing mental calculations the whole time.  Nothing.  I hinted, "It starts with a Y."  Suddenly, he hit the buzzer and yelled, "Yak!"

They really are very smart, but sometimes I wonder...

Deck hand

We were playing a family game of Uno last night, and Mike had just drawn about 20 cards in search of a blue.  Noah asked him if he had a good deck, and Mike seized the opportunity to educate him about the difference between a "deck" and a "hand".  Noah listened patiently and then said, "Yeah, Dad, but your HAND is bigger than the DECK!"

Seaweed patriot

Noah has always liked to eat those thin sheets of seaweed.  Even when he was a baby and had no teeth, he would suck on seaweed. He was munching on a piece of it this morning and offered Sarah some.  She wrinkled her nose and said, "No, thanks!"  Noah replied, "Oh Sarah, you're not a very patriotic Asian."

Saturday, December 4, 2010


Today I started packing in the bathroom.  I discovered seven (!) opened bottles of lotion.  Why can no one in this family (including me) finish one bottle before opening a new one?  I wasted a lot of time consolidating it all into three bottles.  Then I wasted a little more by taking a picture of it and blogging about it.

Sarah's Christmas gift

Sarah put two dimes under the Christmas tree from her allowance "to help pay for the new house."  She can be very sweet sometimes.