Sunday, October 12, 2008

Pink Ribbons as Blinders

So, we are driving down the street and we see a sign outside a doctor's office....

"Breast Cancer Awareness Month"

The problem is, I'm driving about 40 mph and my 12 year old only reads at about 20 mph...

This is what he got out of the sign...

"Breast Awareness Month" You can only imagine the hilarity that ensued.

Thank you... but I'd rather he not be that aware at 12 years of age.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Kitchen Caution

Look, it's not like I'm a great chef anyway. My 12 year old knows his way around a kitchen better than I do. It's not that I'm not a good cook... Ok, it's not ONLY that I'm not a good cook.. It's also that I'm busy, busy, busy! I'm constantly multitasking and thinking about a great many things other than cooking. However, when one is not completely focused on the task at hand bad things can happen.

In my defense, the bottles do look an awful lot alike, don't they?

I will say... that Smoothie was Smokey!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

the birthday boy embraces his inner nerd...

I might well be a bad, absent at times blogger, but I am an even worse blogger mother! My oldest turned 15 and didn't even get a mention... I am here to correct that now!

Happy Birthday Cody!

This is an excerpt from our homeschool yearbook I made for this past school year. This was the culmination of Cody's coop study of Ancient Greece. Cody made his costume out of a red sheet I wasn't aware I didn't need anymore. He built his own sword with foam and PVC pipe, and fashioned his hoplite shield out of a trash can lid and lots of black and red duct tape. He joked after he was all dressed up and ready to go that he was "embracing his inner nerd". Dillon agreed with him saying (in his best nerdy accent)... "the star trek convention awaits us."

As you watch, realize the students took a few liberties.. I don't think I recall any place where it spoke of Spartan Warriors battling it out with Athenian philosophers. I'm not sure the swords really work with the togas.. but I can tell you this. The kids had a blast. And so did I. It is thrilling to watch your kids get so excited about learning.

So watch and enjoy.. (fyi.. Cody is the sword wielding maniac in the long flowy red robes... that were so previously really usable and good sheets)

Friday, July 18, 2008

More Vacation Fun

Ok, here's the thing, a picture may be worth a thousand words, but it still doesn't quite do justice to how truly lovely Turner Falls is.. umm.. err... are? Are they plural Falls, or is it a singular park? Oh, who cares.. It was vacation.

Turner Falls started out well enough. We drove in , parked the car after exploring for a bit. If you must know, Cody had started the miserable teenage bit first. He was none to happy to see other people there. One would think that he expected us to rent the entire park all to ourselves. But Cody is nothing if not proactive, and he apparently sent his complaints to God, since it was obvious I wasn't going to do anything about them. Just about the time, Dillon got in the water, the pool that the falls emptied into, the skies lets loose with a vengence. Lighting and thunder erupted and everyone was out of the water.. umm, unfortunately that included Dillon who was none too happy.. as this picture I snapped on our way to shelter affirms...
Notice the evil glint in Cody's eye, as he realizes his masterful plan worked. People were leaving the park by the van loads... and we, if we could wait out the storm, would have the whole park to ourselves. Doesn't he just look like he's about to explode with manical laughter... and, Jim.. well, he's trying to give Dillon lessons and smiling through the pain (Did I mention seconds before the storm started, which was seconds after Dillon jumped in, he cut his foot on a rock.) Dillon isn't falling for it.. and it's not working too well for Jim... How will we ever salvage this day?

We waited the storm out by changing in the bathrooms and posing for pictures. Jim even pulled his guitar out and serenaded us on top of the mountain. The boys smiles are coming back...

And then the rain stopped, and we had the park and all it's meandering pools mostly to ourselves. But never one to be without complaints, Cody reached into his bag of nags and made note that the rocks were slippery and the water tasted awful. But I do know that for a few seconds he had carefree fun..

This might be my favorite photo from the whole trip. I caught this image while we were hiking up at the top of the mountains. Please note that I was scared to death that my baby was this close to the edge of this cliff... I realize that he doesn't look much like my baby anymore, and this photo doesn't show how far down the stream is...

In addition to hiking, Jim and Dillon went spelunking. Can you believe they actually crawled in this itty bitty hole?

and came out on the other side... without one bat bite...

One more cool thing about the park... Apparently in the 30's some guy who had more money than he knew what to do with built a castle. My kids love all things medieval, but the flight of steps it took to get to the castle at the end of the day, coupled with the fact the castle was now a nest for millions of daddy long legs seeking knight hood, made it extra special.
We had a great time.. despite the cut foot, storms, slippery rocks, silty water never meant to be drinking water... even with all the eeewww! , there was still plenty of oohh! and aaaahh! and lots of awe as we were able to get away, far from the cell phones and e-mails. We were able to be a family without interruption... and I would do it again in a heart beat.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

It's a Family Vacation

The fearless family sets out on their first ever, every one included, family vacation. Notice how excited the boy and the mom look. The teenager looks like a teenager, complete with ear phones.. and the dad already looks tired. He really needed this vacation.

First Activity: Fishing

These fishermen may not have caught any fish.. but the certainly had fun, while I worried about someone getting hooked during a cast. What? I'm a mom.. worrying about obscure accidents is my job.

Next stop.. Arbuckle Wilderness.

this lovely llama really wanted me to roll down my window. But I wasn't sure if llamas were spitting or biting type creatures.. so the window remained tightly sealed. Until....

straight out of jurassic park... this emu approached my side of the car. Jim was rolling down his window to feed some cute and cuddly creature on his side of the vehicle...but pressed the wrong button.. AND ROLLED MY WINDOW DOWN BRINGING ME FACE TO BEAK WITH THIS LOVELY THING. Jim claims it was accident. I'm not so sure.

All the animals were beautiful.. er, ok.. the emu was in his very own odd way, a handsome bird.

Here are a few of the other friends we made.

Arbuckle wilderness was a huge highlight of the trip. And I think the animals thought we were the tourist attraction. They were all so curious about us. OK, we had food. They could have cared less about us except for the fact that we had large Pepsi cups filled with some kind of generic animal chow, formulated for the needs of donkeys, llamas, emus, ostriches, camels, giraffes, bovines, and the list goes on... And to think my boys think I'm required to make special meals for each of them according to their individual tastes. From now on, they get pellets from a Pepsi cup.

come back tomorrow to see more from our trip!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day to the one who is NOT tone deaf

In honor of Father's Day I wanted to show off what an awesome, amazing, unbelievable dad my kids have. Here is song he wrote for them and about them several years ago. I also made the video quite a few years ago too, which is why my boys still look like babies, and not the big hairy things they've since turned into!


Thursday, June 12, 2008

Make a Joyful Noise a long time ago when Dillon was 2 or 3 we were driving in the car and a favorite song came on the radio. Seeing as how I was in the car with naught but my toddler I began to sing along loudly, as I sometimes do. I should take a moment to mention that I cannot sing. Not a note. Not even accidentally landing on pitch. And usually when I sing in the car, no one complains... because usually I am all alone. But on this day, 10 years ago, dillon was listening. No matter.. He's my child and he loves me regardless of what my voice sounds like, so I belted. Dillon spoke sweetly from his car seat...

"I know Mommy. Let's not sing!"

This child that I grew in my body and nearly died giving birth to.. the child that I spent many sleepless nights rocking and nursing.. this child that, in every other aspect, seemed to adore me... this child had just proclaimed that my singing voice was awful. And his experience to music was pretty much limited to choruses of animated farm animals.

So I didn't sing in front of him again.. for a very long time.. until yesterday. One of my favorite songs appeared on the radio and I was caught up in the moment and began to sing along.

Dillon coughed.

I sang louder.

Dillon cleared his throat.

I sang louder.

Dillon gave me the evil look of impending death.

"What? I'm sorry.. I'm tone deaf... give me a break!"

"I know you're tone deaf Mom.. but couldn't you be tone mute too!"

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Controversy and Conflict

This week was a busy week for Controversy and Conflict.

Let's begin with Case #1.

I'm not completely convinced that Discrimination was at work here.. in fact, I'm pretty sure it wasn't! But some passionate (read hot headed) homeschoolers cried Discrimination over a a Subway Sandwich Contest. Here's the deal in a nutshell... Subway and Scholastic teamed up to hold a contest, wherein kids from Kindergarten through 6th grade would write a little story based on writing prompts. The Grand Prize was $5,000 in athletic equipment to go to the winners school. Simple enough. Now here comes the problem. The rules state that the contest was open to every child in public, private or parochial school... and then it drops the bomb. It says in no uncertain terms that NO HOMESCHOOLS WILL BE ACCEPTED.


I personally don't feel that Subway or Scholastic were trying to discriminate against us. I feel that they just had a really poor copywriter, along with a less than stellar editor who didn't catch this mistake.. umm, er, mistakes if you count the misspellings. The marketing director probably should take their share of the blame for not doing a little research before hand... but all in all, I think they got together and wanted to give some playground equipment to a school. Instead of simply specifying that the Grand Prize must go to a school to be enjoyed by many children, the covered that base by saying No Homeschools! And the rest is some really ugly history.

I'm sure that Subway recieved from very civil, informative letters from homeschoolers stating that we are sure this was not meant to be a slight on the homeschool community and that there were many ways in which the grand prize could be awarded to a homeschooler's support group, community center or homeschool athletic association, etc.... I am equally sure that Subway also recieved many more shrill letters demanding that homeschoolers be included, and informing them that they were obnoxious twits who don't have a heart, can't spell, and that their $5 foot long commercials are stupid, and that Quiznos employees could beat Subway employees in an arm wrestling contest any day of the week. They might have even told the Subway franchise owners that they all had BO and bits of spinach in their teeth. Whatever they wrote, my feeling is that they did not represent homeschoolers well.

So then, stage two of this controversy erupted. Homeschooler against Homeschooler. Denim jumpers being torn, Saxon Math books slammed against heads, Cuisinare Rods thrown through the air willy nilly... Ok, not really, we are a BIT more civilized that that... (but not much). Some homeschoolers thought it more than suspious that Subway, Scholastic and SATAN all begin with the same letter, while others, thought that this was an innocent mistake that needs to be addressed but in a respectful way, while still others simply thought everyone else needed to get a life.

Where do I fit in? Well, let's put it this way. I have no qualms eating at Subway because I don't think they meant to offend us in anyway. But on the other hand, I don't exactly think we should sit around and do nothing. Educating Subway and thus the world (because we all know what kind of impact Subway has, huh?) that homeschoolers are here and growing in numbers and should be included in their demographics is not a bad thing.

A friend wrote on her blog that this was basically a bunch of silliness to her, since she was homeschooled in the "dark ages" when they weren't allowed into any contests at all. She went on to state that their are more important battles to fight, (for instance, actual kids being taken away from actual parents because they actually homeschooled.) I see her point. I really do, but I also see that these tiny battles with Subway and those that have gone before with companies like Staples, where homeschoolers can now get teacher's discounts, are what really brought us out of those Dark Ages.

To ignore a slight starts us on a slippery slope, BUT, we have to be smart and not paranoid. We need to not be so offended all the time. AND let me just add this... to those who were offended and raised the huge stink, IF Subway opens up the contest to include you, you better enter! Nothing angered me more when my boys were little and still getting used to that whole sharing thing, than when one would fight the other over a toy, and then when they got it, they DIDN'T PLAY WITH IT!!!! They just simply didn't want their brother to have it. That's when I implemented the rule that if you were so upset that your brother is playing with a toy that you want, that you are willing to throw a fit that neighbors a mile away can hear, then obviously that toy means more to you than it possibly could to anyone else in the world, so you may have the toy BUT, you can only play with it for the rest of the day and nothing else, for you obviously love it so. Fights over toys became a thing of the past...

OK, now on to Case #2

This one is bit different from Case #1 in that this makes me angry! Or outraged. Maybe incensed is the word. Spitting mad!... You know, I'm not sure a word exists to describe my reaction to the events that transpired in this next story.

It's probably best that you read the news account yourself, if you haven't already. I'll wait.

So, do you have a word for how mad you are? I am at once, both heart broken for the boy and outraged with the teacher, that words escape me.

Sure, this story hits closer to home because Asperger's has touched my family. But even if we take that element of the story out, this teachers conduct was still completely and utterly WRONG! And not just for the child that was voted out of his class, but for the children that were asked to do the voting.

That teacher (which is far too honorable a title for her) taught the children in her class that day that bullying was acceptable. That looking down on others who are different is acceptable. That pointing out flaws instead of finding good is acceptable. That humiliation is a fun game and acceptable. To turn on your friends to follow the crowd is acceptable.

I can't even imagine how I would feel if my child was the one voted out of the class, but if my child was encouraged to vote in this scenario I would be livid. These are not the values I want my children to learn. I understand the vote was 14-2. To the two students who refused to bow to peer pressure and do what was right, and to their parents... I applaud you. To the other fourteen... well, you never should have been put in this situation, that most adults aren't even mature enough to handle. I can only pray that this school system makes sure this woman is not ever allowed to influence young minds with her poisonous toxin again!

So, it's clear how I feel about that one, isn't it. I have homeschooled my son who is mildy affected with Asperger's with great success. Homeschooling has allowed me to teach to his strengths. I have been able to point out all that is right with him and talk about all the special gifts and talents that God put in him. In most traditional school settings, kids like him would constantly be reminded that there is something WRONG.. a learning DISABILITY. This is not how I think of my child and he has proved that there IS NOTHING WRONG, and that he has NO DISABILITY.

So my advice to this mother is homeschool if you can. Give your child the one on one that he craves. Point out all that is good within him and he will begin to believe it again. Sure, you may not be able to enter a Subway Essay Contest, but in the long run, how much will that matter.

Sunday, May 25, 2008


We have been working on becoming the proud owners of a mortgage... and when you are self employed it is always daunting... but the bank has said we should have our official approval sometime next week.

Now, the question is, do we use this loan to purchase a house or fill up the gas tank....

Friday, May 23, 2008

In Which I Completely Freak Out the Shower Guy

Those that know me in real life know that there is probably not anyone more easy going than I. My blog theme isn't just pretty visuals. I really do always look on the bright side, always make lemonade out of lemons, and always find the silver lining... but sometimes... Sometimes I can be pushed so far, and coupled with stress and pressure, I can blow up.. and in the blowing up, innocent bystanders are caught in my vortex of billowing steam and high pitched shrills that make no sense as I am too angry to form a complete sensical thought.

Curious? OK, the backstory is as follows. Jim, my very industrial hubby, has been working very hard fanning the flames of all the fires he has his hands in. He is my modern day rennaissance man who is a computer geek and bounty hunter all wrapped up in one handsome package. Throw in an amazing musical talent and you can see why I love him so... So in between apprehending felons, and ridding computers of viruses, he made a rather large sale. One individual wants to buy about 70 laptops in one transaction. Way Cool... Did I mention my musical-techi-bondsman is also quite the salesman as well...

Anyway, the buyer was limited on his paying options. He needed to use a credit card. We take credit cards but only through that highly reputable sight on these internets called PayPal. For some reason he didn't want to go through PayPal. Note that last statement is dripping in sarcasm, as in, for some reason he didn't want his toes to be chewed off by rabid badgers. We understand. We have had our moments with PayPal which is another blog altogether. The fact that we still use them is testament to the fact that lemmings are cute and cuddly animals and we all should be one.

So I, in an effort to meet my biblical calling as a help meet to my musical-techi-sales/bondsman hubby began my journey of dragging our computer recycling business into the age of credit card sales sans PayPal. My first stop seemed logical enough. I visited a website called There, it came to me in the form of a bright red flashing advertising banner. There is an alternative to PayPal where the fees are much lower and quality is much higher. At least that is what this bright banner would lead me to believe. So I clicked on the banner and entered the world of merchant accounts for home businesses. I filled out the confusing application to the best of my ability and waited. The site said I would be able to accept credit cards in 24 hours. I'm going to attempt to make my terribly tragic and long tale a little shorter by skipping to the part 72 hours later, where they tell me that I can finally take credit card orders, just not for the amount of the particular sale for which I opened the FREAKING MERCHANT ACCOUNT IN THE FIRST PLACE. Sorry.. in between the 24 hours and the 72 hours, many phone calls happened that proved that this company and our company would never be the best of friends.. and yet I sojourned on... Confident in the end that all would be ironed out.

It all ended with a phone call to the risk management office of the aforementioned company who advised me not to process this sale (because of the high dollar amount) and if I did they would keep the money, and if I didn't allow them to keep the money, then they would reverse the sale. He went on to tell me that it would be 6 months before they could revisit us and see if we could accept a credit card sale in this amount. He suggested, as if it were the simplest thing on earth, and as if we hadn't tried this already, that we simply accept another form of payment. I wanted to scream into the phone that if another form of payment were an option I WOULDN'T BE TALKING TO HIM OR HIS COMPANY IN THE FIRST PLACE! Instead, I'm pretty sure I screamed the word, " AAAARHGH" and said something authoratative and business sounding, like "YOU"VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME" It went downhill from there. Remembering my bubbly personality I made sure to scream to him that I was not angry at him, but at the events that were transpiring. I'm not sure that made him feel any better as it was his ears that were being damaged.

Anyway, I finally hang up the phone, still trembling with adrenaline to find the man who had arrived a few minutes earlier to install the soap dish in our new shower, sheepishly trying to sneak out of the house. I had completely forgotten he was there and I tried to apologize for my outburst and convince him that I never ever act like that. He might have believed me.. but I don't know. He never did turn his back to me, scared perhaps that in my condition I might plunge a knife into any available back. Instead, he quickly crept backwards down the front steps and climbed into his car locking every door and honking for attention from passerbys.

I'm sure I could have handled this entire situation in a much more lady like manner... but then, I wouldn't have had anything to blog about, would I?

Friday, May 16, 2008

Flashback Friday

We were 16 years younger.... newly married and loving life. Happy Anniversary, sweetie! These have been the greatest 16 years ever!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Tag, I'm It

Comfy Denim suprised me by sneaking out from behind the laundry pile where she has been playing with her new puppy AND SHE TAGGED ME. And she didn't just tag me. She CHALLENGED me. She wrote, and I quote,

"I hereby - officially tag: -... Melanie at Countin' it all Joy (because she'd be good at this)."

So now, in addition to the pressure of having to write a new blog post, it has been announced to all the blogosphere that it WILL be good. Have you ever gone to see a movie that a friend, reviewer, the world, etc.. has gushed over and yet for you it was just so-so. (I recently had this experience with the Oscar nominated, Juno. Sorry, it simply wasn't as good to me as the rest of the population of the free world seemed to indicate.) Perhaps the movie wasn't as bad as you think, but with all the build up, it had no place else to go but down... Some things just can't live up to the hype. And so here I am, trying to compose a blog, staring down a big ol' speed bump of hype.

BUT, in keeping with the theme of my blog, you know, countin' it all joy and all... how COOL is it that Comfy Denim thinks I'd be good at this writing exercise...

Oh, right, there is an actual writing exercise in her tag...

First the rules...
  • 1. Write your own six-word memoir.
  • 2. Post it on your blog and include a visual illustration if you want.
  • 3. Link it to the person who tagged you and to the place of origin.
  • 4. Tag five more bloggers, with links.
  • 5. Leave them a comment and invite them to play.

Now, here goes... I have some options.


childhood happiness, teenage melodrama, grownup joy

or Spirtual

no matter what, God hugs me

or this one, inspired by Comfy Denim

because she'd be good at this

And now for the tags... Let me see...

I tag Kahri and I also give her an extension since she is traveling today.

I tag NeeCee, who deserves an extension as well since she's been sick.

And since Comfy broke the rules and only tagged two instead of five, I'm going to follow in her footsteps and do the same. And let that be the object lesson you walk away with today... People watch you when you break the rules and then they feel like they can do the same... what's the world coming to! (wink)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Happy Earth Day

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17

Friday, April 11, 2008

Truly Counting It All Joy

This has been an emotional week. From my mom's stem cell transplant to the death of a homeschooling friends' daughter... there have been many reasons to count things as joyful, and as many reasons to find it difficult to do so...

I read a blog post today that truly summed up what it means to count it all joy.. even when faced with what one would imagine would be the darkest day ever.

Audrey was born April 7th and lived little more than 2 hours. Although Audreys's Mommy and Daddy, Angie and Todd (who sings with Selah), knew that she would not live long, how could anyone prepare for this?

Angie has been keeping a blog which I can only describe as annointed. She posted today with a letter to Audrey and it is the epitome of Counting it All Joy. Her words were such a healing balm to me and I know they will be to you too. Word of warning; don't read without a kleenex handy, or better yet, a whole roll of toilet paper. There will be tears, but there is strength and peace in those tears. I can't explain it any other way. Read it here and be blessed...

Thursday, April 10, 2008

A New Birthday for My Mom

I know many have been praying for my Mom and it has been felt! Yesterday she had her stem cell transplant. The put the stem cells back in that they harvested last month. The stem cell transplant will make such a difference in her recovery that the transplant coordinator told me this is her second birthday. Mom told me it was her third

  • December 31st - The Day She Was Born

  • September 14th - The Day She Was Born Again

  • April 9th - The Day She Won Her Battle Against Cancer

She will probably be in the hospital for at least two more weeks, but she is doing very well. I’m so looking forward to getting to go running around with my mom again!

To get a glimpse of what a stem cell transplant looks like, check out the video I put together on my mom’s blog

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Hail! Hail! And Marbles

Last night about 3:00 we woke up to the sound of marble sized chunks of ice beating on the roof. After I discerned that the train horn was not a tornado siren I went to check on the boys, who apparently could sleep through an atomic bomb. Jessie began to dance at the front door, eager to go potty. As soon as I opened the door, she started out and stopped cold. I actually heard her paws screech as she skidded to a stop. It was clear to me that her bladder would burst before she would go out in that weather. I couldn't blame her.

I went back to bed to be lulled back to sleep by the sound of the roof being beaten to shreds and soon I was back at my highschool graduation. Let me explain.

My graduating class numbered 77. We had a Senior Advisor who doubles as our Humanities teacher, Mr. Pinkerton. Someone in the class, I don't know who, had divised a plan to "get" Mr. Pinkerton at graduation. The plan was simple. We would all carry marbles. As we walked across the stage and shook hands with Mr. Pinkerton we would hand him the marbles. Soon he would have 77 marbles he wouldn't know what to do with. Sort of like that I Love Lucy episode at the chocolate factory. Yeah, I know.. it sounded way more funny at the time.

So, because our graduating class was so small, we were all sitting on risers on the stage. The class was called alphabetically to step forward and recieve their diplomas. The "A"s went, then the "B"s. Mr. Pinkerton looked amused at first, which turned into confusion which quickly transformed into downright anger. Looks swept through the risers that seemed to yell, "Abort! Abort!"

Well, that's just fine and dandy, but what in the world do we do with the marbles. We drop them. All of us last names from D - Z simply dropped our marbles. Right there on the stage. Well, actually, on the risers, which then bounced to the next step down, rolling to the next step and finally, after quite a bit of racket, to the stage where it bounced a few times before finally coming to a stop after what seemed like 2 hours had gone by.

The sound of all those marbles dropping began to merge with the sound of the hail and i woke up again.. Two hours later, during a second storm.

I'm pretty sure my dream really happened. The class of '85 wanted to go out with a bang and instead we went out with a clatter. But just maybe, I was the only one who dropped her marble and to cover up my extreme embarrasment, I created an avalance of marbles. Who knows?

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Lessons Learned from 'Nilla

  • Friends who get new puppies like to show them off.
  • These friends should be avoided.
  • Because Puppy Fever is very contagious.
  • 11 year old boys are especially vulnerable.
  • Once an 11 year old boy catches puppy fever, he can only say "puppy".
  • ... even in his sleep.
  • ... until he figures out how to say, "I'll do all the work"
  • Soft hearted moms who have a touch of Puppy Fever believe this.
  • Puppy fever causes these moms to forget the daily arguments over who is going to feed the older dog who's Not A Puppy Anymore.
  • Puppy Fever engulfs entire families in less than 24 hours.
  • Except for the one teenager who is perfectly happy with his Not A Puppy Anymore.
  • No one listens to teenager when he tries to talk sense into all the Puppy Fever sufferers.
  • Puppy Fever becomes critical when you are watching Labrador Puppies playing together.
  • Puppy Fever becomes terminal when a Lab Puppy jumps in your lap and falls asleep.
  • Lab Puppies chew on seat belts.
  • Lab Puppies chew on 8 year old Labs.
  • Lab Puppies can turn a perfectly calm, well behaved 8 year old Lab into a Grumpy Old Dog.
  • Lab Puppies chew on shoes.
  • Lab Puppies chew on toes.
  • Lab Puppies chew on furniture.
  • Lab Puppies can somehow make teenagers immune to Puppy Fever start to fall in love with them.
  • Lab Puppies chew on Wii Game cords.
  • Teenagers can fall out of love with Puppies as quickly as they fell in love with them.
  • Lab Puppies pee.
  • A Lot!
  • Like every 30 minutes or so! Seriously!
  • 11 Year Old boy keeps his end of the bargain and chases Puppy around house with Paper Towels.
  • Fortunately Lab Puppy Pee doesn't really smell.
  • Lab Puppy Poo, on the other hand, is toxic!
  • 11 Year old boys don't have to clean up the poo!
  • Lab Puppies chew on cook books.
  • Lab Puppies pee on dirty clothes.
  • Lab Puppies chew on dirty clothes.
  • It is virtually impossible to completely puppy proof a home.
  • Grumpy Old Dogs don't like to share their toys.
  • Grumpy Old Dogs don't like to share their people.
  • Grumpy Old Dogs don't like to share their space.
  • Grumpy Old Dogs are generally grumpy.
  • Lab Puppies don't sleep as much as you might think.
  • Lab Puppies give 11 Year Old boys, who have claimed full responsibility, nervous breakdowns.
  • 11 Year Old boys hearts break when they realize they can't handle all the responsibility that comes with a puppy.
  • Moms and Dads hearts break when they see 11 year old boys with broken hearts.

'Nilla (Dillon named her because she was white, like Vanilla) is a beautiful, smart puppy. She will make someone a perfect dog. But even though she was cute as all get out, we just could not fit her into our busy family. Jim and I are kicking ourselves for not realizing this before we brought her home.. but, on the other hand, she taught Dillon exactly how much work Puppies are. And they should never be acquired on impulse. 'Nilla is now back with her littermates, awaiting another family who can handle her and give her all the time she deserves. Dillon lost a nights sleep and a little piece of his heart... But he gained a huge lesson in responsibility. He made the decision to give her up, knowing it was the best thing for her and our family.. even though his heart just wanted to snuggle with her forever. Jim and I are very proud of him. And our family will always remember the 24 hours we shared with 'Nilla. I'm still finding places she peed and things she chewed!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Nicknames and promises to blog

ComfyDenim has a great blog post about renaming things right now. And tonight, while IM'ing with another friend about the virtues of my unschooling-esque lifestyle, I have been renamed. My new moniker is "Melanie the academiclessness misspellfulling pummeller". (But only because it is so easy to misspell words like academiclessness when you make them up yourself!)

I have some blog posts rolling around my heart right now, but first I must get my family healthy! Or at least in bed. Pray for my dear Hubby who is now entering his second month of some kind of death flu/pneumonia! He is heating the house nicely, burning at a balmy 103 degrees. And I can only say he picked a fine time to develop a deep distrust of doctors. But he has many prayers being lifted up on his behalf, and he is particularly fond of the Great Physician.

I promise to blog more very soon.. maybe even vlog!

Melanie the academiclessness misspellfulling pummeller

Sunday, March 02, 2008

In Flu Enza

I remember a joke from my childhood about a fly named Enza... and the punchline was "In flu Enza". Come to think of it, maybe it wasn't so much a joke as it was a play on words.. and not a particularly humorous one at that. Actually, nothing is particularly humorous right now because 3 out of 4 family members here have INFLUENZA!

Jim, who is by far the worst case in the house AND just recovering from pneumonia, went to Urgent Care today to be told he would simply have to wait it out. It's the flu and since Jim has been sick for over 48 hours, it's too late for any of the antivirals.

So we are on our own, coughing in chorus, until we all wish we could pass out, just so things would be a little more quiet.

We are desperate for a coughing remedy and have decided that modern day medicine hasn't come up with anything that is even remotely helpful.. so we are going after old wives tales. You know, like sleeping with a bar of soap keeps you from getting leg cramps. My grandmother swears by this one.

Tonight it's Vicks. But not in the traditional sense. I am going to smear it on my feet. I don't know why this works, but my fever addled brain doesn't care. I can't think of anything I wouldn't smear on my feet if there is a chance it will stop my coughing. (I'm sure I'll regret typing that sentence later.)

I'll let you know if the Vicks worked.. but just in case it doesn't, what old coughing remedies have been handed down from generation to generation in your family? Leave me a comment, and I promise to try it.. unless it involves eating or drinking something really nasty. I mean, I did say I'd smear it on my feet.. but I never promised to eat or drink anything!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Prayer Request

Hey guys,

Please say a prayer for my dear hubby! We were in the doctor's office all day today where he was diagnosed with pneumonia. He has breathing treatments, steroids and antibiotics, but even better than all of that is prayer!


Sunday, February 17, 2008

In which I catch up

Now that I've remodeled the blog (noun) I feel I am obligated to blog (verb). The truth is there have been many times over the past few weeks that I've planned on blogging (gerund) but I have just been way, way too busy! (excuse)

But now, I've turned over a new leaf (cliche)... OK, I'll stop all the parentheticals and just catch everyone up with what's been going on since I last blogged.

First, I haven't been completely absent. I've been blogging about my mom and her battle with cancer and she is doing really well right now... so it's back here for a bit.


Thanksgiving was very different this year. My mom usually cooks Thanksgiving Dinner and my grandmother makes her famous rolls. Not this year. Mamo was in California and mom simply wasn't up to cooking or having a houseful of guests.

So I cooked. Those of you who know me well are probably rolling with laughter right now. For those that don't know me well, I need to tell you that I have a bit of a fear of cooking. And it certainly doesn't help when I have to cook a dish that actually has a 1-800 number available for tips on doing it right. But I'm always up for a challenge... and to make it even more challenging, I decided to fall down the stairs and sprain my ankle the day before Thanksgiving.. BEFORE I did my grocery shopping.

You would be proud of me. Even as I was falling, I was calm, thinking I need to be sure and not scare the boys. But that's while I was falling. When I landed I rolled on the floor for quite some time screaming, "It's broken! It's broken!" Yeah.. I'm cool. Dillon called Jim who rushed home in time to see it swell into a really strange shape. Jim carried me to bed, put ice on it, and prayed for it. The whole family went grocery shopping that evening with Dillon pushing me in a wheel chair through an unbelievably crowded grocery store. I was wishing for Dramamine.

The next day, despite a limp, I make a delicious Thankgiving Dinner and nothing was burned and nobody got sick. We did go see Mom and Dad for dessert and although my dinner was a success, I'm looking forward to Mom feeling well enough to cook next year.


I think I might have an inkling of what it feels like to try to sleep in a war torn country. In the middle of the night, bombs, otherwise known as ice heavy tree branches, were falling all around the house. You would hear a creak, then more creaking, then a snap, and then you held your breath waiting for the boom. Sometimes it would land on the ground, other times it would land on the roof.. and you never knew. Would the next one come through the roof? Or the window? It was a night of little sleep. And then when the sun rose and we could see the damage, we were absolutely shocked. I have never seen anything like it. We were very blessed that we only lost electricity for a day. This picture probably best shows how we faired in the ice storm...

Notice all the branches that have fallen all around our Suburban, and yet no branch hit it, scratched it, or dented it. God is so cool!


We had a lovely Christmas this year, spending Christmas Eve with Mom and Dad, despite her having Chemotherapy that day. The boys had a great Christmas, each getting one of those FLIP cameras. Dillon proved he was just like his mom, by making an absolutely hysterical documentary of "the elusive big brother". He filmed Cody's desk with it's collection of empty Mountain Dew cans and remarked on the big brother's diet. He filmed Cody's unmade bed and remarked on the messy habitat of the big brother. He more or less stalked Cody all afternoon and I couldn't be more proud. When he gets it as perfect as he wants it, I will post for all to see.

There is nothing much to write about New Years, unless you want to hear how i fell asleep while watching the Last Legion with my Honey and my boys. I can't even tell you how it ended, although I'm fairly certain it had something to do with King Arthur.

And that probably brings us pretty much current.

I promise, I resolve even, to keep this blog up to date. Come back and check in often.. invite your friends.. I will make it worth it!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Melanie is still musing.. but with a little more style

A few days ago I got an e-mail from a reader of the blog "Melanie's Musings" It seems he was married to someone named Melanie, and just wanted to take the oppportunity to tell another Melanie how much he loved his Melanie. It was all very sweet. But he mentioned something in his e-mail about how one of my posts had touched him. The problem was, I had no clue what he was talking about.

So, on a hunch, I googled Melanie's Musings. And I found that I am not alone and I'm certainly not original. There were at least 6 other blogs featuring the musings of someone named Melanie.

Well, I have to stand out. I can't be like everyone else. I wore legwarmers with plaid skirts and hiking boots in jr. high school, for heavens sake! I have no desire to be just another Melanie who muses.

So, I embarked on this Extreme Blog Makeover. And I think I like it. It's me, and I've even googled the title, and no one else has it.

Let me know what you think!