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Showing posts from October, 2008

Four for Friday, vol 11

The Halloween side of me wishes this was vol 13, but alas it is not. And these pictures have nothing to do with Halloween. It's just Carly.


With a basting brush.On her stomach.Go figure!

P.O.O.H. Election Countdown!

There's only 2 days left to vote for P.O.O.H.

Political analysts are speculating that voter exhaustion is setting in. While the trend in voter apathy tends to favor our underdog candidate, Carly, Joshua's camp is holding firm in it's assertion of victory.

Many of you have wondered just what will happen to the person that claims the P.O.O.H. title. Riches? Fame? Blame for every ill that strikes the House?

President of Our House is a 1 day appointment wherein the elected official gets to set all rules, make all decisions, and boss everyone around. There will be plenty of pork barrel spending, useless meetings, and photo ops. If Joshua were to win, the Toy Store industry will see a spike in activity. If Carly wins...well things won't really change. The DIVA already thinks she's in charge. If Eric wins, my life will be hell. While I realize I just swung at least 3 votes to Eric's camp (courtesy of my siblings, and possibly my parents) I may have solidified Josh's …

Everything that's wrong with me

I blame on my parents.

That's right, I said it.

At this very moment my dad is laughing.

Shall I explain?

Item 1 - Addiction. To Chocolate. This is clearly the fault of my parents, both of them. My dad loves all things chocolate - ice cream, m&m's, cookies. And my mom, although she might try to convince you she doesn't like it that much - well, my mom hides chocolate all over the place. Under the bed, in her dresser, in her purse, in her closet. I bet if you looked around you'd find some stash of chocolate right now. I used to live for Easter season. Mom always had a stash of Cadbury Eggs somewhere nearby. Always. She probably has a secret store of them this very moment.

Item 2 - Insomnia. This is also clearly the fault of my parents. You might wonder how two people that go to bed at 9 p.m. could be blamed for my insomnia. Well, you see, my parents go to bed at 9 p.m. By 8:30 they are fading faster than Sarah Palin's Republican support base, by 9 p.m.…

Diary of a Tuesday Morning

Hit snooze twice, not bad for me. I never get up before at least one snooze.

Roused a sleepy Josh using the subtle, yet effective, tickle method.

Picked out clothes for Josh, then Carly. Carly cried the whole time about being cold.

Made breakfast - as in, made the cereal pour into the bowl and the juice into the glass.

Read blogs and emails.

Un-knotted Josh's shoes and helped him put them on.

Reminded Josh to get his violin, ushered 2 kids into the car.

Drove Josh to school under a golden sunrise.

Drove home.

Found Josh's violin on the couch.

Turned on a movie for Carly.



Tap. Tap. Tap. Whirl.

This is what it would sound like if my thoughts made noise.

I actually Googled "I am bored."

Spellcheck needs to get up to speed. Googled is spelled wrong. So is spellcheck. Go figure. I'm not fixing it.

I'm restless, fidgety, scattered.

I don't want to read a book.

I don't want to watch TV.

Or play a game.

Although I did play a couple.

I'm thinking about getting a drink, but the kitchen is oh-so-far-away. And the chair is squishy.

Carly is sleeping on the couch, every now and then her breath goes 'whoosh-whoosh, whoosh-whoosh' and it's a beautiful, snorty sound. She looks very sweet when she's storing up energy to do this with:

I keep thinking about babies. It's not that I want to have more babies, I'm pretty happy with my two perfect children. Perfectly imperfect children. (No, really Dad, I don't want more kids. I haven't changed my mind.) But it seems like 90% of the blogs I read/stumble on/pass…

Scandal At the Polls

No, not those polls, who cares about that particular race?

I'm talking about the P.O.O.H.

Somehow Eric has pulled even in the polls. Without a single stump speech (at least not one that's been officially documented, trust me there's been LOTS of speeches about POOH), campaign poster, or P.O.O.H. promise made.

This is serious business people.I smell a fix.

Eric claims he has only been voting for himself once a day. His rise-to-even has been nothing less than meteoric, however. Shall we speculate together? Yes, let's.

Theory T} Eric is voting for himself once a day on each computer which actually comes out to thrice a day if you include his work computer.

Theory H} Eric has enlisted ACORN in his quest for the crown.

Theory E} Eric has enlisted his work buddies in his quest for the crown.

Theory F} Eric hacked the poll.

Theory I} I suddenly got popular.

Theory X} Any combination of the above, excluding the clearly far-fetched I.

In an effort to regain his lost lead, Joshu…

Four for Friday, vol 10

Four pictures from fall, 2004, four years ago.

These all came from a Thanksgiving visit home to New Mexico and won't have much meaning to people outside my family. But, hey, it's my blog. Endure.

---I love this picture. My dad is looking down at Joshua, then 6, with complete and total adoration. And he's teaching him to shoot a (bb) gun. This is also one of Josh's favorite memories of time with Grandpa.

Dueling cameras. Half the family is looking at one picture taker (probably my dad), the other half is looking at me.

This picture is almost as rare as capturing bigfoot on film. Angie (my brother Ben's wife), gorgeous and smiling, is looking right at the camera. She isn't hiding, flinching or supressing her cuteness. Total score.

One of my favorite pictures of all time: Great-Grandpa (my Grandpa) having tea. 'Nuff said.

An Open Letter to Someone I Love

Dear One,

I have watched you as you struggle to grab on to happiness. Perhaps you do not know that I see you, that I feel linked to you. That is my failing. I do see, I do hope for you and think of you and pray for you.

You deserve better. You, a person of gentle soul and tender heart, you deserve the whole world on a platter. You should reach out and take it!

I am amazed at your patience, at your unwavering investment in the people you love. Love is not a battle, nor a compromise, nor a sacrifice. Perhaps you do those things for love sometimes. But always there is an end to those things when you are loved in return. Love is a two way investment. Sometimes you give and sometimes you take. Do not be ashamed to take, for giving too much will bleed you dry.

Sometimes on life's path we move through sunshine, we see the new day stretching out before us everlasting and fresh, sparkling and glorious.Sometimes in life we move through shadow, deep ruts and vast, unending gloom. Sometimes the w…

And I didn't prepare a speech!

My first, and probably only, blogger award! Yay!

Thanks to That Girl in Brazil, not only uber cute but uber sweet.

I'm supposed to pass on the love to other bloggers by linking them and then posting in their comments. But, seriously, how much more ad space do you guys need?

Ok, ok, fine.

I pick Mary cause she totally posted her flip flops.

And justRandi cause she said she'd come to my house if I sent her an invite.

And llegue because she made reference to a certain male body part while shopping in Wal-Mart, plus she beats me at games.

and Heather because she makes me giggle and she comments even when my posts are lame.

Just passin the <3

I feel super guilty for not linking everybody. But, you wouldn't be on my blog roll if I didn't think you were super cool.

Waking up early is for the bees

Whilst upstairs my husband just said to Carly

"oh my goodness did you wake up?"

and Carly replied

"Yeah!" with so much enthusiasm that it is practically dripping down the stairs

I am wondering just WHO thought that starting school pre-9 a.m. was a good idea. And WHO decided that being awake before sunrise was a great way to get more done at work. Because it's just wrong to be awake this early.

And I realize that for some of you, 7 a.m. is like sleeping in. But, I say naynay. Sleeping in is waking up at the crack of 11 - or 12 on a really good day - and if you are settling for less than that you are just delusional.

For the last hour - that's right I've been up for an hour! (actually more) - I've been thinking that being awake this early is a great opportunity to clean the house since I have guests coming over tomorrow. I haven't done anything about it, but I keep thinking it.

And, I'm totally taking the easy way out. Yes, Cute Pam, please coo…

Turning on the oven scares me

What I was thinking of doing was pumpkin soup.

But, if you noticed the title of my last blog, I am not a good cook and I'm scared it will taste bad and no one will ever want to come back to my house again. Ever. I mean, they already are going to have to 'forget' the cobwebs and dust and general abundance of papers. Bad food too? Recipe for disaster, that's what this is.


Today driving over to my voice lessons, I was waiting to turn left at a stop light. Carly apparently felt I was taking much, much to long. From the back seat:

{sigh} "Come on, hon"
{sigh} "Augg! Come on, parent!"

She didn't understand why I was laughing.

I am not a good cook

So after 3 months in the new place, I finally sat down for a real stamping session in the woman-cave. I had been kind of stamping-discouraged because last time I tried to make something my stamp pad was all dried out and crusty.

Possibly from 2 years of being stored in plastic box in the same room as the furnace.


I was a sad panda, thinking that all my stamping inks were dried up. On Saturday I sat down in the woman-cave and made a list of all the dried up ink pads. I was thrilled to discover that only 3 of the pads were actually dried out, and 2 of the 3 dried out inks still held color it was just very light. Hooray!

I made 4 lunch invitations for the sisters that Cute Pam and I visit teach. Sadly, I fail at photography. I can't figure out how people get such great shots of their projects. If you click on the thumbnail you can really see the details. Including my splotch of ink in the top corner...and the pretty sparkly stuff I put on the pumpkins after chalking them. …

Sweet and simple

It's sweetest day.

That's right, the farce of a day that was made up by card companies to sell more cards.

Did you buy your sweetie a gift?

Me either.

I did, however, go to an assisted living center and listen to/sing love songs to the old folks there. Thankfully I was only in the group numbers so I was very relaxed and able to watch as the cutest little old grandpa joined in the singing. I had a couple of moments sneak up on me and blur my eyes with tears, the soft gray heads and wrinkled hands were bittersweet reminders of my grandparents.

When I came home, Eric was making dinner. And doing laundry. ALL the laundry!

Our laundry room is rarely this empty, usually there are stacks of clean clothes, or dirty clothes, or oftentimes stacks of both.

He also did the dishes tonight and sent Josh to clean the upstairs toilet.

Happy sweetest day to me!

P.O.O.H. Election Update

Carly is making sure to look her best for the final leg of the election. It's not Sarah Palin's glasses, but fashion experts expect to see Carly's makeup theory spread nationwide very soon.

Our other candidate in real contention, Joshua, is distributing his first round of TV ads. His budget is low, somewhere in the neighborhood of $0.00, so Josh will be pulling out of key voter states in an effort to win the states with the most electoral votes the votes that really matter. Look for his ads to show up soon. As in whenever his mom can figure out why movie maker hates the video we shot.

Confusion over placement of the voting poll and initial reports that you could vote 'as often as you wanted' generated outraged email from our constituents. In an effort to be almost fair, we've tracked down vital information that will help you stack get out the vote. You can vote for the candidate of your choice in the upper right hand corner of the site. Also, if you delete …

Four for Friday, vol 9

The four best bits of advice I ever received:

1. Eric's Aunt Marilyn on parenthood: You can make up for the mistakes you make if you just love them.

2. Cha-Cha, QofL, on holding a grudge: I try to think about it this way, maybe she was doing the best she could with what she had.

3. My Daddy on gratitude: Are you better off today than you were 5 years ago? Then you're doing alright.

4. My Mommy, on marriage as we walked past a Victoria's Secret store (I kid you not): You have to keep it interesting.

Square Peg meets Round Hole

So Josh has a D in science, officially. On his progress report.

I think 4 hairs just spontaneously turned gray.

It has come to the point that Eric and I are seriously considering homeschool. That's right, I am on the verge of weirdifying my kid.

I, like 90% of the people I know, look at homeschoolers as weird. The media portrays homeschooling families as conservative, wildly Christian, dress-wearing, socially repressed weirdos. One of my good friends homeschooled her kids and her kids were actually pretty much normal. But, that wasn't enough to break my thinking out of the stereotype.

I have a few concerns. Obviously.

1. Josh is a loner, by nature. A content, normal, sweet, empathetic introvert. I personally don't see anything wrong with that. He's affectionate and kind, respectful (most of the time!) and completely family centered. But, he doesn't play with other kids at recess. He doesn't have any close friends. He enjoys the company of other kids but…

Election '08 - This time with cantidates you can stomach!

So Josh is really getting into this whole election, politics thing.

And I know you won't believe it - especially if you share DNA with me - but it is not because of any encouragement from me.

Last night Josh decided he is going to run for President of Our House. He spent about an hour up in his room working on his campaign. It was crazy quiet. You might think that would alarm me, but I mostly just liked that he was focused on something other than Calvin and Hobbes books or SpongeBob. Small victories.

He called me up to come visit his campaign headquarters. He had set up a box as a table. You can't see it, but behind this is a little cardboard box stool for Josh to sit on. The front of the box says:

Prebuilt Toys and Legos
Cost Your Vote
For Me

That's right, he's buying votes. He's so ready for American politics!

I asked him what kind of things he would do for me as President of the House (for a day). He made some fantastic promises:

He would clean his room, Carly&#…

Purely for my own enjoyment

I thought it would be fun to make a picture movie of what Josh and Carly might think of the election. Of course, its really what I think. But pictures of their cute faces are more fun than my bland soap box.

Plus, most of you really only come here for the pictures. I'm manipulating you into reading my thoughts, how clever of me.


{obligatory soapbox post that you'll ignore if favor of the video}

If, like me, you are still an undecided voter you can take a quiz at to see which candidate you most line up with (on the basics anyhow).

I've been thinking a lot lately about the idea that a vote for a candidate not in real contention is a throw away vote. I've decided I don't agree. If everyone really voted for their heart, rather than the party line, I think we would see a marked change in the election results. I have lost track of how many times I have heard someone say that they feel like they are voting for 'the lesser of 2 evils.' This…

Four for Friday, vol 8

I was going to do something flip and non-important for this 4fer, but it just won't come. So forgive me whilst I wax serious and religious. Please don't send hate mail.

Who am I kidding, I'm not that popular.

Four reasons I pray:

1. It feels good. This morning while I was trying to shuffle Josh from dead sleep to out the door in the span of 10 minutes (yes, yes I know, a child requires more than 10 minutes to go from sleeping to ready for school but at least we got there on time...with a waffle in his stomach and teeth that had been brushed), it occurred to me that we had not prayed at the start of his day in a good long while. Last year we made a pretty good habit of praying before he left for school each day, but this year...we just hadn't. So, right there at the front door, we took a moment together to say a morning prayer. And it felt nice. I was reminded of things I am thankful for. I was able to ask for protection and help for my son while at the same time …


Carly, sitting in the back seat of the car suddenly bursts out:

"Oh no!"

"What?!" I reply

"I can't find my eyebrows!"

Amused, I look up into the rearview mirror to find Carly frantically running her fingers over her forehead in search of the wandering brows.

"Carly, they are right there," I gesture to her via the mirror. "Josh show her where her eyebrows are."

Tragedy averted.

Secret Confessions

Want to hear something kind of sad? The website I check most is my own blog.


But see, there are these links on the right hand side that tell me when my favorite blogs have updated. It's awesome. I also like to see if anyone commented, because I'm a comment groupie. And I read back through my most recent blogs to see how many typos I made or if I sound more stupid than I thought.

It's pathetic.

I don't keep a journal. I have tried, over the years, to keep one. But after a week or so of religious journaling I fizzle out. It is pretty entertaining to look back at the blocks of time contained in my journals. Inevitably my entries start out with "I'm going to try keeping a journal AGAIN." So, these days my journal keeping is basically contained here...for all of you to read.

That's pretty nuts, I agree.

Last night I was thinking about writing a post to Josh. And I thought to myself: why are you publicly writing a letter to your son instead o…

If you pray, pray today

Our family was lucky enough to get five extra years of love, hope, fun, laughs, good food, and happiness thanks to an organ donor. Eric's mom received a liver from a stranger who we suspect had a liking for Mexican food.
Today, a little girl a few hundred miles away got the phone call every family on the donor list fears and craves: a liver waiting.
If you pray, pray today for Annika and her family. And pray for the family somewhere that, despite their grief, gave the second chance for life to someone they don't know.

And then I was bald

I am the primary cook in our house. This means I cook for myself, Eric, the 2 kneebiters, Eric's dad (who lives with us) and - while he stays with us during the week - Eric's brother, Scott.

Let me preface the rest by saying simply: I don't like to cook. And I'm not very good at it either.

So, in the past year I went from cooking for 2 adults, a kid and a baby to 4 adults and 2 kids. And I didn't get to go to some kind of cooking boot-camp to help me figure it out. My menu consists mainly of spaghetti, hamburgers, chicken and veggies, and pretty much anything that comes in an 'add milk' box. I have tried my best to branch out, to cook different things, to provide a non-repetitive series of meals to the birds in my overflowing nest.

But, no matter what I try, Eric's dad doesn't like it.

And. It. Makes. Me. Want. To. Pull. My. Hair. Out. By. The. Roots. Which would be fine if more of my hair was gray.

Tonight I made lasagna:
Easy, check.
From the box, …

Vacay in the U.P. eh!

This weekend we took a quick hop up to the upper peninsula of Michigan, aka the UP. We didn't have a specific location in mind, and those always make for the best trips.

We stopped in Mackinaw City Saturday night, where Eric deleted all our pictures from the camera. Luckily, there was a lot of things to take pictures of so we made more.

View of the Mackinaw Bridge from our hotel room:

On Sunday we took a boat tour of the Pictured Rocks. I would recommend that if you ever get up to Munising you take a peek at nature's handiwork. It was a tad expensive but really beautiful and I enjoyed the boat ride immensely. The pictures can't quite convey the vibrant colors, fresh sea spray and peaceful rocking of the boat.

Indian Head

The water of Lake Superior, aka Gitchee Gumee, lives up to its description of shining big-sea water

We decided to extend our weekend by a day and stayed in Escanaba Sunday night.

On the way home we stopped at Fort Michilimackinac, one of our favorite spots in t…

Used in conversation

Says Josh:

"And then we all el oh el'd."


Four for Friday, vol 7

In keeping with my "how lucky am I to live in America" frame of mind:

4 places in the U.S. I haven't been but would like to go, in no particular order.

1. New York City, NY - When you set aside the media-induced idea that NY, NY is the center of the universe, I actually think this city would be a pretty great place to visit. The Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building and Brooklyn Bridge are woven so tightly into the American consciousness that it practically feels like I have been there.

2. Chicago, IL - I know, it is almost on my doorstep, but I have never actually stayed/spent time in Chicago. Gimme a break, I only just made it to Northern Michigan last summer. Now that there is a Legoland in Chicago, chances are we will be visiting soon.

3. Mount Rushmore, SD - What's cooler than 4 giant presidential heads carved into a rock? No, really, I dare you to think of something.

4. Camp David, MD - Ok, so this is the oddball pick. But think about it. Think how many…

Self Evident

Tonight while I watched the Dems and Repubs both claim victory and spin out the VP debate until it was almost unrecognizable, I thought to myself: Self, we American's have lost sight of what a great country this is. We are all so very busy saying that the people with the opposite view are wrong. Or stupid, which just makes me want to rip my hair out. Disagreeing doesn't make me stupid, it makes me different. Respecting our differences is the first step to working together as a nation to fix the problems that lie before us. No one person or party or policy is responsible for the ills of America right now, it was a group effort. Tonight on Jay Leno, Dennis Miller said "We can all stand to pick a president and get behind him" and I could not agree more. No matter who wins - and I am still undecided - this practice of ripping each other apart because we are different has got to go. But I digress.

So this evening I thought to myself: Self, let's look up some great Amer…

New Sight

You know those pictures that hurt your eyes, the ones that when you look at them one way they are one thing. But then you blink and they are something new entirely? Optical illusions, if you are being obvious.

I've recently stumbled across an optical illusion that has to do with my thinking and not with my sight.

It occurred to me the other day that I might just have this whole birth mother thing wrong, that I might be thinking of Carly's birth mother in totally unfair terms.

It came to me that, if things were different, we might be friends. How I arrived at this conclusion is something a friend of mine recently called 'girl logic.' I was thinking of something sort of distantly related and then BOOM!

Epiphany. Quandary. Shift.

There was a story on the radio about a mom that agreed to be the surrogate for her daughter. The short of it is that her daughter could not have children and so the mom carried and gave birth to her own twin grandchildren. I was thinking about what a …