Monday, June 30, 2014

Ice cream sandwiches in hell

Our post-dinner conversation, as we were eating Neopolitan ice cream sandwiches for dessert:

Noah: What order do you eat your ice cream sandwich in?
Mike: I like the pink best, so I save it for last.
Me: I start with the best part, because what if Jesus comes back before I get to it?
Mike: If Jesus comes back while I'm eating my ice cream sandwich, I'll just drop it on the ground and forget about it.
Me: Can I have it then?
Mike: Sure, but you better eat it fast, because it will melt quickly where you're going.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Cemetery sunset ride

 Mike found a good spot to watch the sunset.  He takes me there on the motorcycle sometimes. It's in a beautiful cemetery. 

 Not one, but two bitter infants. Sad.  Really, if you're going to buy a stone, I think it's worth giving your kid a name, especially if your last name is Bitter.

 Who knew Moses was buried in Illinois?

 I love wheat fields.  Amber waves of grain.

 My goodness, isn't the world beautiful?

 I like this interesting stone.

 Another sad one.  If you have a bland last name like Jones, why name your kid Bland?

Friday, June 27, 2014

The hawk saga

Near the middle of April, I was sitting on a swing in the park, praying.  I saw a hawk fly by and kept my eye on where she landed, hoping she'd reveal a nest.  After a few minutes, her husband appeared.  They had a brief discussion, and then the husband flew away and the wife their nest. 
It's way up near the top of the sweetgum tree (to the right of the evergreen)

 There she is on the nest. I named her Sharpie, because she's a sharp-shinned hawk.

I visited her every day, and this was usually my view.  She was incubating eggs and rarely left the nest.

Sharpie's husband Nelson (Sarah named him after singer Hawk Nelson) brought his wife dead robins to eat.

 Nelson on the hunt

 Dead robin at the base of a nearby tree.

 I was excited to find several hawk pellets.

 I brought home some pellets and dissected them. Inside were bird parts: feet, feather, bones.  The hawk eats the meat and somehow wraps up the inedible parts into a pellet, which gets puked up.

 After all my hawk talk, I got the rest of family interested in hawk-watching.

 Nelson, with a dead robin in his talons.

 One of them left a feather at the base of the tree.

 Shiloh was very interested in it.

 It's a beautiful bird.

 robin bone at the base of the hawk tree.

 hawk splat.  The base of the tree is full of it.

 Click the picture to see the beautiful wings spread out.

After the babies hatched, Sharpie's behavior changed dramatically.  Instead of hiding from me and staying at the nest, she would fly away from the nest and scream at me, trying to distract me from the babies.  If the screaming didn't work, she would dive bomb me.  The first time she dove at my head, she knocked me flat on my back.  She didn't peck me or cut me with her sharp talons, but I felt her wings brush against my head.  It was very scary.  I started wearing a bike helmet when I went to visit.  You can see her diving at me in the picture above, and in the video below, you can see her dive at me and then hear her screaming.

If you click on the picture and look closely, you can see the two babies in the nest, one on either side of the branch.

I caught Sharpie squirting out a stream of poop. 

 The dive bombing only intensified as the babies got bigger.  It is extremely scary to see this coming right at your head.

 One of the babies

 Both babies in the nest. They're getting big.

Baby looking at me.  

We missed her.

It's Sarah's first day home from camp.  Mike said, "I missed you."  Sarah retorted, "I bet you did!  I do a lot of work around here."  Mike said, "Yes, you do, but that's not what I missed."  That's all that was said about it at the time, but about half an hour later, Mike came into the kitchen where Sarah was dancing around and singing, and he said, "THAT is what I missed."  Later we were sitting at a picnic table at Dairy Queen, eating ice cream.  Noah had fallen on the sidewalk, and his elbow was bleeding.  When Sarah noticed it, she pressed her napkin against his elbow to stop the bleeding.  I was watching her take care of him and seeing him smile at her, and I thought, "THIS is what I missed."

Weird hot and cold breakfast

I had a wild impulse for a hot, spicy, quesadilla when I got up this morning.  I made this thing, full of jalapeno peppers and hot sauce, and it was so hot it almost burned my face off.  I choked it down, with tears streaming down my face.  Noah woke up while I was cooking it, stumbled out, rubbing his eyes, and mumbled in his early morning voice (which I've always loved), "Are you making something delicious?"  Upon learning how hot it was, he turned around and went back to bed.  I drank a lot of ice water after I ate it, but my mouth was still on fire, so I was forced to eat an ice cream sandwich. 

Sunday, June 22, 2014


 Sarah's going to camp!  It's the first time we've ever left a kid anywhere for an extended period of time.  

 Entering the long, slow registration line

 Noah during registration

 lice check (she didn't have any)

 Rachel took us to Sarah's cabin, which is called Goshen.

 Getting a speech from Daddy about including everyone, getting along with others, being a nice girl, etc. Her bed is the top bunk on the right.

Final goodbye till Friday. After we left, she was going to have a swim test and get ready for dinner.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Genesis 16

I can relate to Sarai.  Infertility can make a girl absolutely wacko.  She told her husband to go have sex with Hagar, and then...get this...BLAMED him when he did exactly that!  Poor Abram must have been so confused.  PMS goes back thousands of years.  He wasn't lusting after Hagar; he just did it to please his crazed wife.  Verse 2 says, "And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai."  Just like Adam listened to Eve.  We girls have so much power over our men.  They really do listen to our voice.  Lord, may I never use my voice to influence my husband to do wrong, but only encourage him to follow Your ways.

It wasn't God's plan for Abram to be mating with Hagar, but He nonetheless ministered to her and blessed her.  AND He blessed Sarai and gave her a son, even after she totally blew it!  He is always good.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Don't ask, don't tell

The rule around here is: If you're the first one to see cat puke/poop, you clean it up.  This morning I rolled out of bed and walked down the hall, and I saw a big (really big) pile of cat puke right in the middle of the hall.  It looked warm and moist and disgusting.  I stopped and looked at it...and walked around it and pretended I didn't see it.  I admit it was immature. I usually do clean it up if I'm the first to see it.  I just didn't this morning.  I figured Mike had seen it and done the same thing. 

Later I heard Noah make a stifled grunting noise, followed by the bathtub water running. I looked at the puke pile, and it was now squashed into the rug.  Noah returned, hugging the wall as he walked down the hall, and was careful not to make eye contact with the puke.

I sent Sarah to get the laundry and heard a quiet "Ew...." followed by the water running in the bathtub.  I was careful to step around the pile every time I went down the hall, but I heard a child running bath water no less than FOUR times during the day.  It's been almost ten hours since I first spotted it, and Mike will be coming home soon, so I manned up and cleaned it. 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Throwback Thursday

Throwback to the days when I wasn't getting much sleep.  Noah was 4, and Sarah was 2.

November 6, 2006 Noah woke me up at 3:00 a.m. He got in my bed, snuggled up, and started talking.
N: That little bunny loved his dad right up to the moon. (a reference to Sam McBratney’s Guess How Much I Love You, which had been one of his bedtime stories many hours earlier). I love my dad up to the moon too.
Me: Your dad loves you right up to the moon and back.
N: I love you all the way to Jupiter! And I love God all the way to Pluto, even though it isn’t a planet anymore. I love Sarah to Mars.
Me: That’s nice.
N: Hey, Mom! Why isn’t Pluto a planet anymore?
Me: The scientists got together and decided it didn’t meet the new criteria for a planet.
N: What’s ‘teria?
Me: Criteria is…um (trying to wake up my sleepy brain)…it’s like a set of rules.
N: Like the Ten Commandments?
Me: Well…sort of.
N: What is it now? A star?
Me: I don’t know what they’re calling it now. We can look it up tomorrow.
N: I think they should call it a used-to-be-planet.
Me: Maybe they could call it FP for “former planet”.
N: What’s former?
Me: Used to be.
N: That’s what I just said!
Me: Okay.
N: Next summer, will we have tons of sweetgum balls in our front yard?
Me: Yes.
N: I was dreaming about a garbage truck that was driving away from a farm.
Me: Was it full?
N: Yes.
[Long pause. I’m sure he’s asleep…but no.]
N: I wonder why stickers don’t stay stuck on the kitchen wall but they stay stuck on my bedroom door?
[I was too tired to say anything, so another long pause followed. He was breathing slowly and not moving, so I determined it was safe for me to go back to sleep…but no.]
N: I feel sad for Pluto. I think they should make it planet again.
Me: It’s still up there, the same as it’s always been.
N: Why did those guys make new rules?
Me: They are always learning more about space and the things in it, so they are trying to organize all the new information in a way that makes sense.
N: That doesn’t make any sense. How can it not be a planet anymore? Is it too small?
Me: It’s very big. It just looks small to us because it’s so very far away.
N: Is it too far away?
Me: I don’t know why it’s not a planet anymore. We’ll do some research on it tomorrow. Later today actually.
N: Wouldn’t it be cool if Dad worked at a pet store? We could go visit him every day. He could be the boss and bring home a new pet for us every night.
Me: Yes, that would be cool.
N: Hey, I have an idea for an invention. A sippy cup with spouts on the top and the bottom with a big huge tank in the middle. So Sarah and me could drink together and you wouldn’t have to refill it for a long time.

His brain finally stopped spinning, and he went back to sleep a little after 5:00 a.m. Sarah was up shortly thereafter and woke us all up.