Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Got A New Look

I was checking out Alison's blog and big puffy heart the look of her blog. I had seen these types of blogs before so when I saw the button at the top I had to check it out. I was hoping there would be more than a few to pick from as I didn't want to pick the same one. Nothing screams like stalker than picking the EXACT same layout as the person who just commented on your blog. *ahem*

Luckily there were plenty to choose from - some I really wished they didn't have but that's just me. Cool stuff!! But holy cow was that hard on the brain and the ticker as it lost all my extras and I had to hunt them down and paste them back on. I was think of mixing backgrounds for every season - now I'm not so sure.

Oh, who am I fooling??

I'll probably keep messing around and then pat myself on the head for getting it just right. (insert Snoopy happy dance)

We aren't into celebrating fear and ghosts so we're going out to eat (ye-haw!) and then coming home to watch some movies while eating candy with the lights off. Hopefully the sugar buzz will wear off in time for bed, because the guys hate it when I'm all hyped up.

Had ya going there for a second, didn't I? Stay safe!

Monday, October 29, 2007

I'm Not In A Rut - I Think

Okay, I'm being accused of being stuck in a rut - or more specifically a funk. I'm being forced encouraged to go on a ladies retreat at our church, and I mean bullied strongly encouraged. I'm not entirely thrilled with going.

It's not my fault. When the said retreat was planned it was picked on a weekend that my in-laws were planning on coming up for Thing1 and Thing2's b-day. We found out just a few days ago that they aren't going to be able to come up for a few weeks after that. Boys were bummed but I appreciated the heads up.

However, something came over my children for them to share this news with people at church and it got around. After much demanding insisting that I come I tried to bow out gracefully for two reasons. 1. Money, especially with the boys b-day around the corner. 2. Didn't want to, as I would need to make stuff, pack stuff - all in all more work that would require more ambition than what I could muster.

I tried to appeal to my husband's cheapness frugalness but he sold me out and said that I needed to go. Ya try to submit and they hang you out to dry - refuse to submit and you get a fight. Who keeps changing the rules??

But he claims that I've been in a funk. Do tell. He said that before all the drama that my parents brought with their 'I fought the law and the law won' saga I use to be a bubbly personality that would jump at the thought of anything fun. He said I don't do that anymore. How observant he is - so bright his folks call him sunny.

I would like to think that I'm burned and bitter older and wiser and have learned that doing too much is not good for the family. Boys got tired of being in the car ALL THE TIME as we traveled back and forth - this is of course when gas was affordable. Now since I only get one tank a paycheck I try to plan accordingly.

Oh, that was another point I brought up thinking surely the man would remember that I only get ONE TANK OF GAS and there is no way I can go there and back. Actually after looking at the map it's not too far from here, but that's besides the point. Another friend said she'll be going right by my house and said she'll stop and pick me up.

Drat. Double drat.

My friend Kathy looked at me and said guess you don't have any more excuses why you can't come. A part of me sees that as a challenge. Is there something wrong with this picture? I'm actually thinking that coming up with some whooper of an excuse, nay not one but many, as a fun mental challenge. I think I miss the Blue's Clues days. At least there was an excuse for me being slightly off - now it's just the reality of me. *Sigh*

Kathy went on to say that my personality is a yellow (sanguine) and I used to thrive on this so what's the deal? Oh, how about life chewed me up and spit me out and if I just quiver quietly in the corner it won't notice me?? Nah, too depressing.

What's the old Christian-ese stand-by? "Why nothing is wrong. I'm fine." (adjust plastic smile).

Okay, what if I've embraced the funk? What if I made peace that life totally sucks? Apparently that is not acceptable for some people. I'm now trying to find stuff to bring so I can get it cleaned and now have to come up with something to snack on. This means now once I've made up my mind (believe me, no small task) I get to run to the store to get the stuff and then I have to make it. Sounds like too much work.

Aren't I a bowl of sunshine?? :D

My hubby asked what if I have a great time. He misses the point that I just don't feel like getting off my butt and doing ONE MORE STINKING THING all the extras just to go to something that I may have a good time. There is no guarantee that I'll have a good time therefore I can't entirely justify all the work it would involve just to go on a possibility.

Oh, dear Lord help me - I sound like my husband. Okay, I'm in a funk. Now what??

Friday, October 26, 2007

Ever Have One Of Those Days?

Busy week - stuff to do with this and that, run here go there, get this done, go grocery shopping etc. Picked up Meet The Robinsons and was looking forward to just hanging out today with the boys and nothing to do.

WRONG!!

Dad calls and says he'll be able to come tomorrow once someone does a 'walk through' the house. "The what, when??" I ask. Oh, he might call or JUST SHOW UP!!! Oh, okay, um, holy crap sure no prob is what I said and then he has to go. I hang up the phone and scream. . .

CODE RED!! SOMEONE'S COMING OVER! (Translation: Get dressed, make beds, and straighten up all rooms especially the ones that are their responsibility.)

I was pretty impressed with the boys because we were like 20 minutes into the movie and even though they wanted to watch it - they moved with speed and agility most people would be envious over. Oh, who am I fooling - anyone would have loved to moved like these three can. Uh, but not like we've practiced or anything *ahem*.

Anyway, got the place cleaned up rather quickly and was finally able to sit back down and watch the movie. Another 10 minutes goes by when there is a knock on the door. Phooey - I missed most of the movie as I did the walk through and had to answer some questions.

Questions?? Like what? Do we have call forwarding? Huh?? No.

Is there any firearms? Y-y-yes. Long story - but they aren't mine and we don't know what to do with them since they're my Dad's who now can't even touch them or his butt goes back to prison. They are not assessable as that's the last stupid thing I need to deal with. I'm not anti-gun - far from it, but it's one thing to take responsibility for something you own verses having to take responsibility for something you don't own.

So turns out Dad now can't come to my house and visit. The guy said it's a good thing I told the truth otherwise Dad's P.O. could come through my house - cut open boxes, ransack the place, and if he found any Dad would go back to prison.

That made my head spin. One, it's my house so why would the P.O. go through MY stuff to incriminate my Dad?? Two, why would Dad be in trouble when he doesn't live here?? Somethings in life just doesn't make much sense.

I'm glad I told the truth, but felt bad that they cancelled the visit and said I need to get rid of them before he can even visit. Omg! What in the world am I suppose to do with these things?? I thought there was a right way verses a bad way to get rid of them.

I guess dig a whole in the back yard and shove them in is out as that is still on the premises.

It's too bad there isn't a 101 class or a book on how to cope if you or a loved one has been incarcerated. There ya go - I'll write a book titled Everything You Never Wanted To Know About the Penal Code. Does Paris still give interviews? Maybe I can get her to write the forward.

And dontcha know while I'm typing this my Mom calls and goes berserk over the whole thing. She said that they are treating Dad like he's property. Why yes, yes they are - and your point is? The definition of custody: 1. the legal right to take care of and CONTROL someone or something, 2. kept in prison by the police. So when they say you're in prison custody what does that mean?? Hmm, I wonder. What is stubborn for 200, Alex?

Well, times up for this therapy session. Tune in next time on The Door That Slams Shut.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Computer Hates Me

I tried to post another youtube clip - twice but for some reason it wouldn't show up. I thought I would share my misery but the computer took pity and spared you.

What could be so bad, you ask? Okay, you didn't, but now I have to explain the misery so lets face it - curiosity will get the best of us.

We were flipping through the channels late one night and came across a biography on Weird Al of all people. I think he's funny and his musical talents are incredible. I have no idea how he can sing so fast. I think he's goofier (if that's a term) than me (if that's possible). Personally, I'm just thrilled that he finally shaved that caterpillar off his upper lip and got rid of the fro.

They showed an animated clip of Wiesel Stompin Day. It was soo funny that I was cracking up laughing so hard it started a coughing fit. Thanks to having children I'm now a leaky faucet and had to run to the bathroom. I would like to claim that my experience with absorbent material is only limited to once a month but that would be a lie. There should be some type of warning as to how much something can hold.

Okay, you're retching - I'll try to stay focused.

The next day my husband looked up Weird Al on youtube and as luck would have it our boys heard it. They thought it was funnier than we did and were piled on the floor laughing. And to boot they are Lego freaks so when we found little Lego videos to go with the songs they latched onto it like a dog on a injured cat.

Weeks later, I still have some of these songs going through my head. Like the Sega Begins to American Pie: "My, my this here Anikin guy, maybe later someday Vader but now he's just a small fry. He left his home and kissed his mommy goodbye singing soon I'll be a Jedi. Soon I'll be a Jedi." or something like that. It's stuck good. I've even tried singing Veggie Tales to help block it out but so far no luck.

I tried posting the White & Nerdy video clip simply because Donny Osmond is dancing in the background and it's hysterical. I kid you not! And when someone posts a clip from youtube it's like a mouth to the flame - you just cain't help it! So take a sigh of relief that you're not tempted. Or go to youtube and look up Weird Al's White & Nerdy.

However, if the clip shows up mysteriously some time day - twice - then my computer is just as spiteful as I am and for that I'm truly sorry. Well, sort of.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Does God Grade On A Curve?

With the last few days I truly do wonder if God grades on a curve because it's been rough!! Happy dance when I make it verses hide the face when I blow it, which may explain why I walk around with a pillow.

Got a phone call nice and early from my Dad. He had a flat on the bike we took him and he didn't have any money to get it fixed. He said the store wasn't open yet and the tire place didn't have any bike tubes and could I please help. Major thanks to my aunt and uncle that gave me some money for Dad or this would have been impossible.

Got the boys up, dressed, grab breakfast and out the door in record time. Made the hour long drive at a good pace and found my Dad. Bleary eyed I went into the hardware store and paid for the bike tube to hear the cashier say, "You're a good daughter". I about broke down bawling right there, but instead thanked her. She said she wished her Dad was still around so she could do stuff to help him out. Said he died of cancer and that her Mom wouldn't let her be around him. I said I would like to kick my Mom in the head too. Dad didn't appreciate that one. Where was that pillow?

BUT, very big but, that was yesterday. I should finish this story, after the bike tire was fixed we wrestled the bike into my van with three kids in it and gave my Dad a ride to work. Once we got there the rear door, which I swear hates me, wouldn't open. I say it hates me as it only opens for my husband. So we had to wrestle the darn bike out the side door after kicking all passengers out. Whee.

Back to that BUT - after a weird day yesterday, today turned out interesting. We all slept in which is always good. Went to do a devotional and it turned into an all day talkathon.

Ever had on of those?? Where someone says something that brings up something that had hurt someone's feelings and don't you know we all have to add our two cents worth to this pile type of talkathons?? And they say boys aren't moody, yeah right!

So that BUT is still there - kind of like mine, hmm - and in the course of this talkathon it turns out that Thing1 is EXTREMELY upset with my Mom. At one point I wanted to say take a number and get in line, but this anger was so intense he wasn't seeing that he was taking it out on his brothers. He's not a baby, he's soon to be 12 and all it's glory and the emotions are already working over time but this is something that has hurt deep. It took ALL DAY to finally get to the root of what was going on. That feeling of wanting to kick my Mom in the head was back extra strength this time.

He said he would be able to forgive her if she would just say she's sorry. Oh how do you explain something like this? Yes, kiddo I feel your pain. A lot of talking and encouragement to forgive even if he NEVER gets an apology. After a lot of airing of feelings and praying all the boys had a lighter load by evening while I was saying 'calgon take me away'. Do they even make that stuff any more?

Oh and did I mention in the course of the talkathon it turns out my nephew told the boys the birds and the bees? Oh yes he did. We were aware of this as it came up about a month ago and hubby took older two for a hike and THE TALK. He said he answered some questions and it went well. So I thought that areas was covered for now. Now picutre me wondering how did I even get into THIS conversation (it started with me telling them I have reasons for not letting them watch certain movies as part of our devotional). I approached it as what did the little jerk say and I'll fill in the blanks or correct it - that approach worked! I honestly don't know who's face was redder! The funny thing was Thing1 was bright pink and for the most part couldn't even look at me while Thing2 asked to know the whole enchilada and even stopped me to ask more detailed questions.

Ohmygosh.

If the rapture would have happened today around 3:20 p.m. that would have been my fault!!

The whole time I kept wondering how did their father get out of this and I thought he covered all of this! But I guess it was inevitable as I seem to have to add my two cents to everything concerning my kids - so why should this be any different?

Found out a lot of what public schools are teaching and have to say I now have reason six million, eight hundred seventy-four thousand, nine hundred fifty-two why I home school. Their tolerance for all should not include teaching the, um, mechanics of that life style thankyouverymuch. Also IF I see my nephew again he's got some 'plaining to do (and better pray that I don't smack him)!

So there I am totally spent watching my boys - all three of them - with a lighter spirit. A weight was lifted off and for that I'm so thankful to God - thankful for the insight that I knew something was going on and the wisdom on how to get through it.

But also left with some frustrated feelings at my nephew for his garbage and my Mom for not seeing how her actions have affected others. Would love to slap them both up side the head. Not an easy thing to sit here and point the boys towards God, that we need to follow Jesus' example on how to treat people, but want to act really bad towards people that are 'family' (I use that term loosely now.)

We've had to step back and pull away and it truly amazes me the garbage that has been flung at me by my Mom and my brother (nephew's dad). They've questioned my beliefs and said that my claim to being a Christian is false because I'm saying they are wrong. But yet I look at the fruit in both of their lives and wonder about them. The question who's right and who's wrong as wondered through my head on more than one occasion.

More than what I can put into words but for now, at this moment my kids are okay and the mark of all this junk isn't on their brow weighing it down with worry. I hang on to that to keep my own at bay.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

You'll Never Be Good Enough and Other Insightful Lessons From My Mother-In-Law

No joke that's what she said BUT it's not what you think. We were talking about our mothers and surprisingly we found out we have a lot in common in that department. She said one of the most painful and freeing thing to face was that she 'would never be good enough for her mom'. She said when that thought hit her is was so painful but it released her from trying to always get the pat on the head that would never come.

I thought about that one for quite awhile. If I'm not trying to win my Mom's approval then would I have a problem saying no? In the past if I stand up for myself it was always a bigger headache than what I thought it was worth. My MIL said that she went through the same thing with her mom. She said her therapist said that her mother had already had ground and didn't want to give it up.

Suddenly I had this picture in my head of Risk. The two countries were jockeying for position to see who was going to occupy the land. Sort of interesting but spooky all at the same time. Do I think my Mom sits up at night thinking new ways to see how she can irritate me? No, but I also see how she has dominated my domain in the hundred thousand little things. Anything from 'are you wearing your hair that way' - 'that doesn't look good on you' - to 'well I've raised you better' - the list is endless.

I also see how that has undermined my self-confidence in soooo many areas.

I was doing a study series awhile ago about taking back ground that satan has stolen and after talking with my MIL I have to chuckle that it's almost the same strategy. I listened while she told me all the little things her mom did to undermine her confidence and self-esteem. It was like someone turned on the light. While I don't think my Mom has set out to destroy me, I have decided I don't want to go through all that my MIL has gone through with her mom.

Golly gee, I think I'm starting to find that backbone my Mom was always telling me to grow!

Something tells me she will dread the day she made that suggestion - five hundred thousand, four hundred seventy-two times. They say repetition is good for a child, which when you think about that makes sense as to why I've had to tell her NO! 512 times. Looks like I've got a ways to go.

I think I'm still stinging from her comment about needing to hire a tutor for my son with his math as 'math wasn't my best subject'. Suddenly I'm not able to teach 3rd grade math for pete's sake? I taught the older two with no problem and they are doing 6th grade math thankyouverymuch with no problems. Let the record show that I can balance my check book which is something she was NEVER able to do. ahem. Also being told I'm not doing anything meaningful with my life was a bit of a blow.

That's it, I'm taking her off my Christmas card list! I think I'm going to have a shirt made for her that says 'Doesn't play well with others'. Actually I told her about it and she thought it was funny. I don't want to paint ONLY an ugly picture of her. She does have a sense of humor and is so talented in so many areas that has made me feel like a bump in a rug next to her. There are a lot of qualities that I truly do admire and wished I had, BUT the woman can be cold, cutting and down right mean at times. She taught me about prayer and how it changes things, I just don't get it sometimes as to what went wrong. Oh, I have my theories mind you but no actual facts.

I read Joyce Meyer's book about Approval Addiction. I've read it but it seems like I might need to re-read it. At least I'm now finally able to identify what in the world is going on - with me that is. Time to pull the plug! I'm realizing that I am actually good enough - for God, my husband, and my kids.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

If It Smells That Bad Why Are You Eating It??

That is what my youngest son wanted to know when he caught a whiff of a South Beach Diet granola bar. Apparently a bowl of cereal and milk is too challenging for me first thing in the morning so I've opted for granola bars.

But he kept saying how nasty that smelled and how could I possibly put that in my mouth without gagging. This is coming from the child that gags at anything he thinks is gross. The list is too long to mention. He then declares that he is only going to put good smelling food in his mouth and went around sniffing everything.

What he failed to realize is that his normal 'you're so funny' tactics don't mean a hill of beans first thing in the morning. Nope, no it don't.

My Dad was on my case saying that I'm not training the boys for the real world. I beg to differ. How many people have cranky, demanding bosses that they get to see every morning? Got that covered. So now if someone yells at them for being .5 minutes late it won't even phase them. They might be so bold as to say, "Is that all you got?"

All three of my guys for some reason has dared ask me that question once - first thing in the morning. It was a lesson on the graciousness of God that they are still alive to enjoy oxygen coming through their noses instead of their ears. Lesson learned.

While I'm sure my Mom's goal in life was to sound like a drill sergeant (goal achieved) mine isn't. Actually I should probably apologize to all the drill instructors out there for that comment. God knows y'all try, but she could put a tear in your eye. Hey that rhymed!!
Oh, it's one of those days! I better go finish cleaning the house for the in-law invasion. Yeah, that's it, the fumes from the, eh, cleaning stuff, yeah that's the ticket! The fumes made me do it.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Happy Soggy October 1st!

It's cold and wet - yup it's fall!! I like fall when it's sunny and colorful. The grey clouds and puddles every where is no fun especially if I'm suppose to walk to the post office.

We had a good weekend. We took my Dad a bike to use while at K-PEP. Too long a story to go into it here but I did put it on the other blog if you actually care. Got to talk with him for a bit. It sounds like he's reabilitated himself and is willing to pay taxes and be a normal person. Yip-peee!! Anyway, he sounds like he wants to get his life back. Now if we can just talk some sense into my Mom - life would be grand.

Got to see some relatives Saturday night. It was good to see them and they loaded me up with bags of clothes for the boys. Major yeah!! All three boys got a hand full of clothes and I'm happy with that.

I now must summon up the ambition to actually clean the house in anticipation of the in-law invasion. Shouldn't be too bad but the cooking for a small army is what drains me. Okay a small army with a big appetite. Did I mention they like to eat?? Any more it's my kids that are eating everyone under the table. I now tell them to drink water and tell themselves they are full. For some reason they don't find that very funny, go figure.

I'm off to make a Caramel Apple Drink: 8 oz hot cider, topped with whipped cream, sprinkle with cinnamon and then drizzle caramel over top. Yum-O!