Wednesday, July 23, 2014


I had a dream last night that all my teeth fell out.  I kept spitting them out, and there were hundreds of them.  When I woke up, I wasn't sure I had any teeth.  My mouth felt all weird, and I was trying to feel my teeth with my tongue.  Mike assured me that I still had all my teeth.  This isn't the first time I've had this dream, and it's always disturbing.  Once I fully woke up and realized I was truly in possession of all my teeth, I spent a full five minutes just thanking God for my teeth.  One of those things that's very easy to take for granted.

Saturday, July 19, 2014


Noah and his friend Caleb like survival shows like "Man Vs. Wild" and "Survivorman".  They've been dreaming about having their own wilderness survival adventure.  They did it yesterday.  They survived in the woods for 24 hours.  They ate a squirrel (shot by Caleb's brother) and crickets roasted over a fire.  Caleb's mom insisted that they take bottled water, jerky, and blueberries.  Noah also took his cool survival knife.
 dirty face from eating squirrel

They started building a cool shelter but didn't have time to get it finished. I asked Noah where they slept, and he said, "We didn't sleep. We sat by the fire."
This is all that remains of the squirrel.

 He burned a hole in his sock while drying it over coals.

Mandatory tick check when we got home.

 We picked him up from the woods and took him straight to a pool party.

He played with his friend all afternoon, and made it till 6:45.  A very rare picture of Noah sleeping!  I hope he can make it all night and that this isn't just a power nap.  He and Caleb had a blast and can't wait to do it again!

Monday, July 14, 2014


Last week I took care of a friend's baby for the day.  It has been ten years since I've had a baby, and I forgot how much work it is.  How can one tiny little person drain so much energy and cause so much chaos?  My kids enjoyed having him around, and they were both surprisingly helpful.  The neighbor girls, as soon as they learned there was a baby in our house, moved in and helped some too.  I had about 8 kids here all day.  Some of the comments I heard throughout the day:

He looks like a bobblehead.
I'm going to call him Chris.
I think he looks like a Tony.
Don't hog him; you have your own baby brother at home!
Did I act like this when I was a baby?
This is a three-person job.  One to prep the next room, one to carry the baby, and one to bring all his stuff.
His head feels like a peach.
It's my turn to read him a story!
His head is kind of lumpy.

I had this confusing conversation with one of the neighbor girls that I hadn't met before:

M: Do you have any siblings?
NG: Um...yes, I have a cousin.
M: Do you have any brothers and sisters?
NG:  No. I have a sister though.

Then this frustrating exchange with Sarah:

S: I want to change his diaper all by myself.
M: You don't know how to change a diaper.
S: Yes I do.
M: How do you know that?
S: I've changed lots of diapers.
M: Whose diaper have you ever changed?
S: I forget....Oh, I know!  I changed my own!

Life with a tween girl

Sarah emerges from her room this morning, looking grumpy.  I say good morning.  She huffs, "I can't find my hairbrush.  Did you steal it without asking?"  I start singing "Where is my hairbrush?" from Veggie Tales.  It's the perfect opportunity to sing it in the proper context, and I'm pleased that I thought of it.  Sarah glares and says, "NOT funny."  I tell her I don't know where her hairbrush is and that I haven't used it.  She stomps off to look for it.  A few minutes later she comes back and says she had to brush her hair with a doll brush and asks me to make her some toast.  I agree and ask her to start some laundry.  She says, "No. I have to find my hairbrush."  I bite my tongue and let that one go (I'm learning to choose my battles).  A few minutes later, she starts the laundry.  I ask her if she found her hairbrush, and she says, "Yes, it was in my drawer."  Then she informs me that I overtoasted her toast.

Hours later, after her behavior and attitude continued to deteriorate, I had severe words with her.  She turned herself around then, and I told her that I appreciated the change.  She said, "I'm trying to be good.  It's like in gymnastics.  If you mess up or fall, you have to get back up and do extra good to make up for it, or else you'll end up with a low score." 

p.s.--She ran in the St. Jude Mud Run over the weekend, and I told her that she was beautiful even when she's wet and covered with mud. She sighed and said, "Beauty is such a burden sometimes."

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Low brain day

I wake up this morning feeling good, feed the cats, and start working on dinner.  It's going to be a crazy busy day, and I'm a little smug about having a dinner plan already.   I have a big hunk of raw chicken in my hands when Noah says, "Why aren't you at gymnastics?"  It's 9:23.  Gym starts at 9:00.  Sarah comes flying out in her leotard, giving me the face that says simultaneously, "You are a total loser" and "I don't like you".  I throw the chicken in the crockpot and we rush out the door.

I go to turn left on Washington Road and see that it's blockaded off with a "Road Closed" sign.  I don't know how else to get to Washington, so I follow the detour signs, which take me all the way to Deer Creek.  I'm driving along this narrow country road between two tall cornfields without a clue where I am or where I will end up, when I hear an accusing voice from the backseat: "Mom!  Are you speeding?"
"Yes.  I am speeding."
"If you get pulled over by the police, you're going to make me even LATER for gym!  And if you get in a wreck, I won't even MAKE it to gym!"  Yes, she's right.  Why are my children more adulty than I am today?

By the time we get to gym, it's 10:00 and she still has half an hour of class left.  As I cram in with the other parents/siblings, it occurs to me that I haven't showered, brushed my teeth, or even zipped my pants.  The other put-together moms give me the sideways crooked eye.  I smile shamefully, zip up my pants, and apologize, "I forgot about gym today. And then the road was closed."  They nod condescendingly and go back to their magazines.

On the way home, Sarah asks me if we can go out for lunch.  My first thought is no, but the more I think about it, the more I realize I could really use a visit with cheerful Cathy, who works at Culvers.  I go home to pick up Noah, and we go to Culvers.  I have a nice chat with Cathy.  Then we see our former mailman from our old house.  I'm surprised that he remembers us.  When the kids were little, we used to sit in the living room and wait for him to bring the mail.  He would always wave and smile at us.  I tell him now that we don't even know our mailman. 

I set my purse on the chair next to Noah with instructions to "watch my purse" while I go wash my hands.  When I get back, I see my purse on the table, with Noah's face an inch away from it.  He smiles at me and says, "I watched your purse the whole time."

He drops his ketchup AND his custard on the floor and says, "I guess I have butterfingers from eating that butter burger!"  He makes me happy.  He suggests that maybe we should skip school today.  I'm thinking that sounds like a good idea since the rest of the day is packed, and my brain feels sluggish (I forgot that I like the chicken fingers better than the burgers at Culvers, so Sarah had to correct me when I accidentally ordered a burger).  So we are going to do Bible and history and call it a day.  I review some spelling words with them while we eat lunch, to make myself feel better.

So now we're home, having a little downtime before the rest of the day takes off.  We are filling in this week for some friends' paper route, so we have to go to the newspaper office, pick up the papers, and deliver them this afternoon. There's a parrot program at the library at 4:00 (hey, that can count as science, right?), then we're picking up a neighbor kid and taking him and Noah to their baseball game that starts at 5:30.  Then I  have to get Sarah to VBS at 6:00. 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Short order cook

Kids were downstairs this morning, and I yelled down to ask if anyone wanted oatmeal.
Noah: Yes, please.  Lots of raisins, please.
Sarah: I want a 1/4 cup of oats, lots of brown sugar, some apples, cut into small triangles, and cinnamon.  Don't forget the sugar!
Noah: Oh, can I have a few apples too, please?  No blueberries, please.
Sarah: I don't want much oatmeal, just lots of sugar!
Noah: Can I have sugar too, please?  And cinnamon?

So I made 3 separate batches, because I wanted honey and blueberries in mine.  Sarah didn't even eat hers. Fortunately, one of my college jobs prepared me for such a time as this.  I was a short order breakfast cook at the cafeteria.  It was much, much worse, because I had to be there at 5:00 a.m., and there was always a line, and I had to cook eggs in a bunch of different ways all at the same time. Now I only have two customers, and they're cute, and they don't get up that early.

Throwback Thursday--my list of things I never thought I'd say

March 2006

I kept a list of things I never thought I'd say when the kids were little.  Here it is:
  1. We really can't keep ants as housepets. 
  2. If you don’t let me cut those hoofs, I’ll have to cancel the whole mission to the moon. (trying to convince a reluctant Noah, who was pretending to be an astronaut, that I had to trim his ridiculously long toenails)
  3. How many extra legs do you think the spider packed for his vacation?
  4. The furnace stays in the corner; it doesn’t just go wandering around the basement.
  5. What is that in your hair…dried banana?
  6. Don’t hammer the piano!
  7. Who put this crayon in the fish bowl?
  8. Did you bring home a sample of alien poop?
  9. No, Tinkie-Winkie is the purple one.
  10. Take the worms out of your pants.
  11. What is that slimy substance dripping down the window?
  12. Be careful so you don’t drop wood on each other.
  13. Apples are for eating, not for sword-fighting.
  14. You didn't just call 9-1-1, did you?
  15. Pick up that...thingamajig, and put it on know, that thing over there.
  16. If you sing to the fish any louder, they're going to go deaf.
  17. Please don’t clear the table with your hockey stick.
  18. Toilet paper is not for mummifying your sister.
  19. Why are you licking the remote control?
  20. If you poke your eye out in the tub, it will float around and clog the drain.
  21. Stop waving lilacs in your brother’s face.
  22. Yes, but if our house was made of chocolate, it would melt into a puddle in the summer.
  23. Now it’s your turn to be the garbage truck, and it’s Sarah’s turn to be the garbage can.
  24. Don’t jump-rope on the stairs.
  25. You don’t want to glue garbage onto your fake cheese, do you?
  26. Pick up your hair and get moving! (said to Sarah when she sliding down the stairs impossibly slowly, while everyone else was trying to come down behind her, and she was saying, “Don’t step on my hair!”)
  27. Don’t throw my hair at me (said by Mike to Sarah, who was picking up chunks of Mike’s hair and throwing it at him while I was giving him a haircut).
  28. Don’t sit in the bowls.
  29. Who ate Christopher Columbus? (we were pretending an ice cube was Christopher Columbus and were zooming him across the table)
  30. If your skull were really cracked, you wouldn’t be laughing.
  31. Guard the ship, Obi-Wan…the droids are attacking!
  32. Put your underwear away after you’re done making a nest out of them.
  33. Don't use Marty's tail as a stressball.
  34. We don't need to braid the curtains. (Mike said that one to Sarah)

    Feel free to add your own in the comments.