Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Please don't interrupt my Smurf dream [Nighttime Musings]

*All [bracketed, purple writing] in the following post is what I found on my computer this morning.*

In the dream, Smurfette was flying the plane.  Shawn and I had a huge console between our seats and there was a lot of stuff on top of it. We were laughing. Something funny was happening to Shawn, but I don't know what.

I think my subconscious brain was retaliating against him. As we were going to bed he told me, "So and so told me she thinks you're hysterical."

I said, "Awww. That's so nice."

He said, "Yeah. I told her, 'I have to live with her.'"

RUDE. I'm going to bed. And, I'm going to have a Smurf airplane dream about you - because I am funny.

In the middle of my dream, I was awake. AWAKE. I couldn't figure it out for a minute until I saw Elizabeth standing right beside my bed. She was whispering. whispering. I might have hurt her feelings by saying, "TALK" a little too forcefully. But I really just wanted to be back on the Smurfette plane, or dreamlessly asleep. I wasn't picky, just tired.
[awakend from dream by elizabeth. perfectly pleasant dream shawn on plane i was having ood time, rainbows, unicorns, flown by smurfette shawn (made fun of how funny i am last night
she's whispering WHISPERING]
There must have been rainbows and unicorns on Smurfette's plane, too. She operates an awesome airline!

It turned out EA couldn't find her blankies (which, by the way, were on her pillow). I carried her back to bed. (Remember the hurt feelings? Evidently, that severely precludes one's ability to use one's own legs.)

I stumbled back to our room and static started coming over the baby monitor like it was one of the portals to the "other side" in the movie Poltergeist. As I moved it around, trying to hold my tongue just right to stop the static, I realized baby monitors make me question my love for my children. I would rather they sit in their beds crying than to deal with a staticky baby monitor in the middle of the night. (Ok. That's a lie since it's still sitting on my dresser at this very moment being more noisy than I would prefer. But, you get the point. I have a love/hate relationship with my baby monitor.) [baby mnitor makes me uestion love for children]

I finally got it to SHUT THE HELL UP and climbed back into bed. I took my glasses off and set them... right in the container of foot cream that I slather on my heels at night. (Yeah. It's pretty glamorous here at the Johnsons - foot cream and glasses. Hot. I'm pulling back the curtain, people. You might want to close your eyes if you don't want to see the wizard.)

I lied down in bed, closed my eyes, and had the thought... wait for it... "I should blog about this." *boing* (that's the sound of my brain becoming fully alert thinking about what I could write.) There was clearly no other option, at least in my just-want-to-go-back-to-sleep brain, than to get up and type out what I was thinking so I could build a post around it in the morning. [then think this and can't go back to sleep]

I opened my laptop and, for the love of all that is good and holy, this thing is bright in the middle of the night. So, I began to type. With my eyes closed. Shut up. It was late. I was tired. And, it didn't matter if I opened my eyes or not, I only saw a blindingly bright light because I didn't have my glasses. They were soaking in the foot goo. [have to stumble out to laptop and type with my eyes closed because DUDES this thing is bright.] That's right.  When I think about those of you that read this blog, at least in the middle of the night, I call you "Dude". [no glasses. i set them in the cream.]

I went back to bed, and realized I had forgotten to help Elizabeth fill out her "Family Page" for the Family Unit they are working on in her class this week. So, I got back up to find that. Then, I got my laptop and typed that I forgot that. [forgot family page. had to come find it. still forgot my glasses] Evidently, at this point, the sleep deprivation had caused me to believe that goo covered glasses were not a problem - I was just forgetting to put them on.

I think the rest of the incoherent babbling is pretty self-explanatory.
[this is what i get for dream unglly smurf dreams about shawn. karma's a bitch.

damn this computer screen is bright.

woke up twice to type. SCREEN SO BRIGHT. what's an albatross.  look up albotross. don't know what it is, but i think this blog is my albatross.

this is what i get for wishing i had somehting better than NJ horseraces to blog about.

now im hungry.

shawn's snoring. im' still funny. and a delight to live with.

i've got to get a better system for nighttime musings. this sucks.]

I don't think, after reading back through this, that there could be any question as to whether I am a delight to live with. Shawn is a lucky, lucky man.

P.S. I'm a good eyes-closed-typist!

P.P.S. Albatross (n.) - A constant, worrisome burden. (This blog is my albatross.)

Monday, August 30, 2010

My Wife Knows Everything/The Wife Doesn't Know

You can start watching this at the 1:00 mark.  I promise you will be laughing by the end.

Of course My Wife Knows Everything won. Was there a question?

Friday, August 27, 2010

I don't adjust well to change

I'm having a hard time getting used to this school-routine-thing.

Yesterday I missed a meeting at church to meet our co-Sunday School teachers. Not only had I confirmed the date and time.  I had responded to two reminder emails. TWO. I would like to say that I was busy pulling children from a burning building, but I wasn't. If memory serves, I was eating cold spaghetti out of a Tupperware container at the time. *sigh* Oh well, maybe I inadvertently made things easier on myself by leading our teammates to believe that I'm a flake and they will need to be the "responsible adults" in our class.

I don't know if it's waking at 6:15 like a productive human being that's throwing me, or if it's the dueling parts of my psyche when both of my children offhandedly dismiss me when I drop them in their classes each morning. ("Hello? It's me! The woman who gave you life. Can you at least act like you will notice that you will not get to see me for the next 7 1/2 hours?!" is being verbally berated by "Are you kidding?! Could you please be thankful that your children love school so much that they're glad to be here?! And, they are confident in you that you will return in 7 1/2 hours!")

Shawn had the gall to ask me what I was going to do with myself now that both kids were in school five days a week. Well, first I'm going to try to see if there is a grown-up brain in here behind all the Dora music. Then I will assess all the thousand things that have been set aside for the past... say... seven years. My real response was somewhere along the lines of "What I'm not going to do is smack you for asking me that just now. You're welcome."

Anyway... a thousand things... I better get to them. If I could just remember what they were. I have a headache. I think I need a nap.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

My kids need an agent

I now present the show I was treated to at the dentist's office yesterday...
"I'm a dragon. I have three heads."
"I'm a princess. I have one head."
"The End."

Hello? Can you say "prodigies"?! I mean the plot. The character development. The acting. It was simple yet moving.

I don't know if I should get them a literary or talent agent. It really is quite overwhelming.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A) I'm Dead Inside or B) I LOVE Our School

I choose B! I choose B!

I just dropped EA and Spence at their first day of school. They were laid back. I was laid back. I took the obligatory pictures. I went to chapel. I hit the road. I kept thinking I was too calm. I worried I was going to be blindsided by emotions I didn't know were lurking. But, I wasn't.

It was the same school. The same wonderful staff. The same friends. The kids both thought they were hotshots because they got to move up into bigger grades. What was there to worry about?

There was the catastrophe last night when I tried to wash their (non-colorfast) red school bookbags. This resulted in the white straps turning pink. After a bleach bath the straps are now... mostly white. But, that's okay. I know our school. I know our families. I bet half the kids there have pink straps. Ain't no thang. (That's right. This is a new, more mellow Ali. I just said "ain't no thang" about sending my boy to 1st grade with pink bookbag straps.)

Now I'm off to exchange the jeans I could have sworn were dark blue, but apparently, as I saw under the harsh glow of the florescent lights in chapel this morning, are grey.  But, that's okay.  I have time.  The kids are in school.

I love our school.

Author Unknown

"Whose child is this?" I asked one day
Seeing a little one out at play.
"Mine," said the parent with a tender smile,
"Mine to keep a little while
To bathe his hands and comb his hair,
To tell him what he is to wear,
To prepare him that he may always be good
And each day do the things he should."

"Whose child is this?" I asked again
As the door opened and someone came in.
"Mine," said the teacher with the same tender smile,
"Mine, to keep just for a while
To teach him how to be gentle and kind,
To train and direct his dear little mind,
To help him live by every rule
And get the best he can from school."

"Whose child is this?" I ask once more
Just as the little one entered the door.
"Ours," said the parent and the teacher as they smiled
And each took the hand of the little child.
"Ours to love and train together.
Ours this blessed task forever."

(Ok. So maybe I got a little choked up when I read this. Maybe.)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

What I would look like as an Andy Warhol painting... and an alien.

You have no idea how close I came to not posting anything today. The kids and I went to a "last day of summer vacation" lunch with Daddy. Then we went to the store and bought some things for them to take to school for snacks. Now they're napping. Thrilling ain't it?

But, then. Then! I started pushing buttons on my MacBook.

I now introduce to you to
What I would look like as an Andy Warhol painting... and an alien.

I bet she has a hard time breathing through that one nostril.

P.S.  This is really monkey-me, but Andy's art work and the blindingly bright flash on the "Photo Booth" feature make me look like an alien. That's okay. I already knew what I looked like as a monkey*. I always wondered what I would look like as an alien.

*I look like this as a monkey:                                      A monkey:

Monday, August 23, 2010


This is what happens when you take Elizabeth's picture (or she tells you to take her picture*) now-a-days:

Reason #347 why Shawn and I are defenseless against this child.

*She tells you to take her picture EVERY time you pass by the big circular cut-out at Target (sometimes Spencer complies with her demands that he be her modeling partner; sometimes he doesn't...).  That's why four of these five pictures are set there - and show all the photographic quality one can provide with an iPhone camera.

Just found these on my phone.  See?  This posing is a very pervasive thing around here...

A couple from our Midland trip:

A couple from shopping with G'Ma this weekend:

Friday, August 20, 2010

Uggh. Is it still summer?

I'm officially done. I have no more summer anecdotes to share. I've seen bloggers all over the blog-o-sphere talking about having Summer Writer's Block*. It must be contagious. Those posts should have come with a quarantine warning.

In short order here's what I've done that I can tell you about:
  • I've tried every creative method I could think of to deduce my children's teachers for the coming school year.  The assignments will probably come in the mail this weekend; or, at the very least, we'll find out at "Back to School Night" on Monday. Ummm. That's like three days away. Just how, exactly, am I expected to be patient that much longer?! (And for those of you who work at our school AND read this blog - don't worry. I really am pretty convinced my kids are more mature than I am...)
  • I've studied in-depth about the death of the McMansion. And, by "in-depth", I mean I read this article.
  • I spent nearly 30 minutes trying to get Google Maps to show me a street view of an old theater in town so I could jog my friend's memory about which theater is about to be torn down.  FYI - I'm pretty sure it's behind the Dairy Queen.
  • I've had another internal hissy fit over the fact that the html code on this blog doesn't seem to like two spaces after a period. I need it to know that that's how I learned to type and, thus, make the necessary adjustments to cause me as little angst as possible. Facebook does it for me, Blogger. Why do you have to be so mean?!
  • And, now I've typed this riveting post for you. Sorry. They can't all be gems. This one is a cubic zirconia at best.
I need school to start just so I'll have something to blog about.

*I just made up that ailment.  I think it will probably catch on. You can say you were here at the beginning.  You're welcome.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Don't Look Page Update

We have a winner!  Thanks for your help, RunMom.  To be honest, my kids' hysterical laughter over the ending was what nudged your submission into the frontrunner position. Congrats!

I'll send your prize asap - and when you send your address, if you could also let us know what night is "Chicken Night", the Johnsons will see you for dinner!

For everyone else, I promise to try to change the page around the first of the month.  So, go check it out occasionally to be delighted and horrified!

Thoughts, Thoughts Everywhere but not a Coherent Thing to Think

It must be nearing the end of summer because the only things bouncing around my brain are a jumble of disconnected thoughts. Come on, school! Surely, you can get here before Mommy has to be committed!
  • I read a report that a woman is more likely to have twins if she is obese, older, or has already borne previous children. I think this is proof that God likes practical jokes.
  • Elizabeth had a bloody nose. Before I could get a tissue to her, it started to run into her mouth. She went "pthhhht," to spit it out. I hope my bedroom is never sprayed with Luminol because someone will be convicted of a violent crime for sure.
  • One time I dropped my flat iron while I was using it (actually Shawn stepped on the cord, but I don't want to point any [burned] fingers). It caught and hung on my fingers. Before I could shake it off, I screamed in a completely unbridled fashion. Then I thought, "Huh. So that's what my primal scream sounds like. I would have hoped for something more substantial."
  • Sometimes "medium" is too small but "large" is too big.
  • Why do pitchers have that adjustable nozzle? One is closed, and it doesn't really close it. One is open. And, one is a strainer. A strainer?! What exactly are people drinking out of their pitchers that needs to be strained first?!
And here are some things I hate. Yes, I know. "Hate" is a strong word. I really do hate these things...
  • You know when you're using hydrogen peroxide and it gets on your finger tips and turns them white and itchy? I hate that.
  • You know when you HEAR your phone, but you can't FIND your phone. I hate that, too.
  • You know when you shoo a bug off yourself, but then for the next thirty minutes you still feel like there's a bug crawling on you? Hate that, too.
  • You know when you need to stop somewhere before you go home; but then you drive home on auto-pilot and never make the stop? Yep. Hate that.
  • You know when you reach in your purse to pull out your car key, but instead pull out a Star Trek badge? What? You don't?! (And, actually... I kinda love that...)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Love Thy Neighbor and all that stuff

[this soapbox is motivated by a friend's spirited Facebook thread yesterday...]

I'm fighting mad. I have NO tolerance for ignorance or hate. That's just about it. Those are my hot-buttons. I am as passive and non-confrontational as they come. But, you wanna "go"?  Just be an ignorant hate-monger. Then, you will see every ounce of shaky-teary-trembly-voiced-angry that is in me.

Well, I'm riled up. About the "Ground Zero Mosque".

First of all, way to go main-stream media for whipping the country into a frothy lather over this one with the title alone. It's a Muslim community center that includes a mosque. And, it is two blocks from Ground Zero (which is a hundred establishments and a world apart in lower Manhattan).

But, let's put it in perspective. Can you imagine if some fringe-whack-jobs did something deplorable in the name of Christianity? (Not hard to do: think Nazis, think Waco, think Jim Jones, think Warren Jeffs. Oh geez. That list was too easy to make...) How would we "normal", respectful Christians feel later if we weren't allowed to build a church because of it?

Mosques are not evil, people. They are places of worship. What those whack-jobs did on 9/11 was evil. It's apples and oranges.

If you're interested in people's "rights", here were some great comments from yesterday:
Mike: "Like the Alamo, Normandy, Auschwitz, Abu Ghraib, and countless other places, the World Trade site is sacred ground because it's a reminder of the best and worst in humans. Religious freedom is no less sacred. In a free nation, a mosque, cathedral, church or synagogue doesn't disrespect sacred ground - it confirms it."
Rob: "This is a private landowner deciding what to do with his own land. There's nothing illegal about opening up a mosque, so there's nothing we can do about it. Don't like it? Make the guy an offer and buy the land from him. "

And, before any of you make my blood boil by saying anything about the evil that is the Muslim faith, please read the book The Faith Club and then get back with me.

Soapbox, out.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Time to change the "Don't Look" Page

See that tab up there (↑) that says "Don't Look"? I know you know which one. It's okay. You can admit it. I know you've looked.

Well, I'm sure you won't be surprised to hear that I'm getting a little tired of David Hasselhoff in a speedo. *gasp* I know!

But, I need your help, Viewers. I need you to troll the internet and find something new to put there. It has to be something that people don't want to see, but just can't help themselves. But, remember, my mother reads this blog, and so do my in-laws (and I'm not sure they're entirely convinced that they should keep me around yet...), so BE NICE. (Yes, I'm looking at you, Lin.)

Post your submission in the comment section below. I'll take them until I don't want to take them anymore - it may be a week, it may be two weeks, it may be a day. I'll let you know what I decide later. Deal with it - my blog, my rules.

But, I do have a VIEW FINDER for the winning submission! (Get it? VIEW finder? I know. So clever. Oh, stop. You're embarrassing me.) And, this isn't just your run-of-the-mill view finder (only because I couldn't find a run-of-the-mill-view finder...), this is a Toy Story 3 view finder/binocular combo. That's right. You heard me. You may take a moment to catch your breath.

Better? Okay, then. Get those search engines working, Viewers. On your mark. Get set. GO!

WARNING: If you have the winning entry and give me your address so I can send your prize, there is every chance all four Johnsons will show up, unannounced, on your porch some evening looking for dinner. We're like stray cats that way. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Update:  WE HAVE A WINNER!  Go check out the tab to see the latest update.

Monday, August 16, 2010

We're making plans to be more spontaneous

[Before we start, be sure to tune in tomorrow!  I need your help! (and I have a prize...)]

We awoke on Saturday morning and decided... we should go to Midland, Texas. They have a baseball team, don't they?  Surely they have a museum. We KNOW they must have hotels.  (A quick search of the internet proved that they have all three and there was a fireworks show after the ball game that very night!) So, we got dressed, packed overnight bags and headed out the door. The beds were left unmade, the dirty dishes were in the sink, the playroom was a mess*... and we left!  We're becoming so spontaneous!

We have a dear friend, HaHa**, who lives in Midland.  There was a time, a thousand life-changing experiences ago when we ate almost every meal with HaHa.  We were young; we were childless; we were penniless; we didn't have many other options but to sit at each others' tables night after night.  It was a happy time in Shawn's and my life. In ways, it was a simpler time; in other ways, it was a much more complicated time. And, I'd never trade what we all have now to go back.  It's funny how life works that way...

Anyway, she's a MUCH better cook than I.  This is evidenced by the fact that she is completely unfazed by saying to four wayward travelers, "Come eat dinner at our house!  I'll cook something."  Wha?!  Who can do that?!  Note to yourself: If you ever pass by the Johnsons' on your way through town, we will be glad to take you to dinner.

After a fabulous meal, we went to the baseball game. (HaHa's husband may or may not have had to commit a couple of breaking and entering felonies to get us the tickets. But, we will never speak of that again. ;)  We had a blast. Spence got one of the frisbees that the team mascot threw out to the crowd; Elizabeth wore a popcorn box on her head like a hat; a bug flew up my nose. So, pretty much... the usual.  And, we loved the fireworks.

We awoke to go swimming in the hotel pool.  We hit a couple of museums (the George W. Bush Childhood Home and The Children's Museum) and headed out of town.

On the way home, Shawn and I mastered the technique of parental-humiliation by singing LOUDly to the radio. We accompanied this with raised hand-holding and swaying. The only thing that would have made our presentation more perfect would have been a few of their friends in the car as witnesses.

All in all, it was one of the best times we've spent as our little family of four - on a trip to which we dedicated twenty minutes of planning.  We're definitely going to have to put it on the calendar to be spontaneous again sometime soon.

*Unfortunately, we also left the garbage with chicken packaging and cantelope peels.  FYI - that smells like 17 different kinds of stink after a day or two.

**"HaHa" is a completely hijacked nickname. She heard about another HaHa years before any of us had children.  Yet she insisted that, when we did have children, we should call her that. We are clearly powerless to resist her.

Friday, August 13, 2010

True Confession - The Laundry Edition

Clearly I'm expecting a "little plastic cup thingy" shortage of epic
proportions. When it happens, I'm going to sell mine at a premium!
(In lieu of that, someone should probably call Hoarders.)

I think we should seriously reconsider any
decision to purchase white shirts in the future.
(Go ahead. Click on the picture to see the full extent of this horror.)

My final confession doesn't have a picture because I was too busy ignoring the piles of laundry in my kitchen to take a picture of them. (They were neatly sorted, though!) I walked through them for two solid days because I just didn't want to do the laundry. I figured if I waited just another minute longer, that was one more chance for it to get done magically.  It never happened.  I had to do it all myself. It's so unfair.

Does anyone else have a laundry confession that they would like to get off their chest? It would help me not feel quite so alone and abandoned by the Magical Laundry Fairy...

Thursday, August 12, 2010


[I've waited and waited for the perfect time to post this. But, sometimes "perfect" never comes along. So, here it is; because I need to make sure you know, Bran.  I love you -Al]

On this blog, I've told you about my dad, my mom - I've even given a shout-out to the babysitter.  So, it's time I tell you about my sister.  My Brandy.

Brandy and Shawn are my best friends.  They keep me in check, they keep me grounded, they keep me sane - they are my even keel.  (There's a little part of me that wonders if the two of them call each other at the end of the day to discuss what area of my mental health they need to work on reigning in next...)

Brandy is my sounding board.  When I must say something, or burst, it's Brandy that I call.  She's not scared to call me out if I'm being unreasonable, either.  But, most days, she just let's me get it off my chest and feel better.  She's calm.  She's sane.  She's smart.  She's kind.  She's a fabulous mother.  And she's got a great sense of humor.

But, mostly, there is no other person in this world who comes from exactly the same place as I; who learned the same lessons growing up, endured the same pains, enjoyed the same experiences, came to believe the same beliefs.  And has the exact same family members I do (right down to the "steps" and "halfs").

Since the day I was born, she's been my best friend.  She's the big sister whose bed I used to sneak into at night.  She's the one I clung to in the bathroom the day our parents got divorced.  She's the one from whom I borrowed (or snuck) clothes.  She's the one who told me in college to just have fun and "see where things went" with my best buddy, Shawn.  She was my matron of honor.  She's the one who taught me that my babies must be on a schedule (a lesson for which I will be eternally grateful).  She's one of my greatest champions.  She's also the one who tells me to stop being a bitch.

I grew up wanting to be Brandy. She was always so popular and she had a glorious mane of hair - that I just never could quite achieve. I've grown up now (at least that's what I tell people) and I try to be the best version of my own person.  But, I can't think of a much better compliment than for someone to tell me that I remind them of Brandy.  She's one of my heroes.

You didn't really think you'd get such a nice post without this, did you, Bran?

Senior Year in High School
1989 - 1990

"I smile because you're my sister.  I laugh because there is nothing you can do about it."

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Back-to-School Shopping is a Bad Thing

I just took the kids to Kohl's because, obviously, I hate myself.

It is important to note that I try in all ways to never take the kids to the store with me. I'm fully aware of the impossibly high standards I want them to maintain (think of the VonTrapp children singing "So Long, Farewell") and how it's probably not feasible for active, happy (who let them get that way?!) children. So, I try to give us all a break and shop on my own as much as possible.

This time, however, I needed their bodies present to try on jeans (which, by the way, seem to be sized by drawing a random number out of a hat and sewing it into any given pair). I tried to bribe them with fruity Mentos. I told them they could have a whole roll to themselves if they had good behavior in the store. But, by the time we left I was threatening to throw the Mentos in the trash if they didn't try to maintain an air of social decorum. Really? I've become that person? I'm a candy thrower-away-er?

But, they did maintain.  They kept the cage matches in the dressing room to a minimum; they stopped hiding among the clothes racks (which I'm pathologically convinced is going to lead to their abductions). So, I tried to cut them some slack. I retreated into the happy place in my mind that lets me turn a blind eye to shenanigans.  And, I let them play their weird step-on-this-tile-but-not-that-tile game.

Then, we got to the check-out line. I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. We had made it. I wasn't going to have to throw their candy away! All we had to do was check out our three items and we were done. I was actually starting to feel good about the errand we had run together.

There was a mother in front of us buying clothes for her daughter (and, judging from the amount of clothes they were buying, mom doesn't like to do laundry but once a month). The girl could only have been in middle school. You would agree with me if you had seen her. She was tiny, and young. No way could she have been in high school. And, as the clerk rang up her new "underthings", I realized with horror... her bra size was bigger than mine.

I hate back-to-school shopping.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Dishwashing Mystery

Can anyone explain why my beloved 99¢ plastic tumblers from Wal-Mart looked like this when they came out of the diswasher?!

So far I've come up with these ideas:
  • It's Ectoplasmic and my dishwasher is haunted.
  • There's a new finger print powder that's white; and my dishwasher was the scene of a crime.
  • Shawn tried the "dry wash" version for dishwashers.
I just gagged a little bit.
  • really need to wash my hands before I unload the dishwasher.
  • My dishes are totally rough-housing in there once I close the door!

That's all I've got.  Does anyone have a more logical explanation?!

P.S. Don't worry.  I'm still gonna use them. (Did you not hear the "beloved 99¢ plastic tumbler" part?!) Unless it turns out to the the "dry wash" thing. *shudder*

Monday, August 09, 2010

How do you explain horror, hate and heroism to a six-year-old?

"What's that?" Spencer asked as he looked at the television screen across the restaurant.

I looked up and said, "The day the World Trade towers fell."  I knew as I said it what the next question would be.


He wasn't even born on 9/11. He never knew the horror that held our country in its grip while time seemed to stand still.  I wish he never had to know. I wish he could grow up in a world of puppy dogs, lollipops and rainbows and never know that there is evil in the world. But, he can't.

I also promised myself a long time ago that I would never knowingly lie to one of my children. Although, I may try to skim over some of the more horrifying details that I don't think they're mature enough to grasp.

So, I began. Here's the version for a six-and-a-half-year-old that I told and he elicited through his questions:
There was a day before he was born that some very bad men flew some airplanes into some of the tallest buildings in New York. They did it because they hated America and wanted to attack us. Lots of people died. Thousands. Not very many kids.
But, there were also a lot of wonderful stories about God helping people to get out of the buildings; and people who should have been in the buildings or on the airplanes that day, but weren't.
The bad people took two other planes that day, too. They flew one into a building in Washington D.C. called the Pentagon.
The fourth plane (and this is where I had to take a lot of deep breaths and tell myself to say it, not think about it) was running later than the others. So, the people on board found out what was happening. They worked together as a team to stop the bad guys. It was just a bunch of normal people, like Daddy, but they kept the bad guys from flying the plane into the White House. The bad guys died. The good guys died, too. While they were fighting the bad guys, the plane crashed. But, it crashed in a field with no people around. The good guys died heroes. They saved a lot of other people from getting hurt.
He never asked why I had tears in my eyes or why my voice sounded funny. Although, I know he noticed. He had that look in his eyes that makes me suspect he was born with wisdom beyond his years.

Then he asked if he could get more root beer. I sent him off and took a deep breath.

We should never forget.  That conversation proved to me that I will never be able to forget.

Friday, August 06, 2010

It's Random in Here

Here are more random thoughts that keep bouncing around my head.  I'm putting them down here to try to make room for some coherent thoughts:
  • You know when you're going along, and then out of the blue, you start choking uncontrollably on your own spit?  I hate that.
  • When you go somewhere where there is even a remote chance that you will remove your clothes (e.g., the doctor's office or clothes shopping - get your mind out of the gutter), you should carefully consider your underwear choice.  Believe me.  I've learned this the hard way.
  • When wearing a long necklace, you should avoid leaning over near drawer pulls - again, the hard way.
  • I told my kids to get themselves into bed for their naps while I jumped in the shower.  When I got out of the shower it was like Lord of the Flies in my house.
  • I've heard people say, "Don't try to parent someone else's kids."  I disagree.  Please, feel free to parent mine.
  • I have a lot of thoughts for blog posts that disappear about 20 seconds after I have them.  I bet they were good ones, too.
  • The other day my knee hurt like there was a flaming knife sticking in it - and not in a good way.
  • The other night I was being so lazy I picked something off the floor with my toes so I wouldn't have to move from my semi-reclined, seated position.
  • I'm pretty sure I go to the beauty shop from Steel Magnolias. And, my hairdresser was the one who pointed this out to me.
  • When it was reported that Lindsay Lohan cried on her first day in jail, it made me think of the beginning of Shawshank Redemption.
  • I've been confused more times than I would like to admit over the fact that the most recent bachelorette's name is Ali.
  • The problem with having a blog that your friends read is that every doofus thing you do elicits the comment, "You have got to blog about THAT."

Thursday, August 05, 2010

I Stand Corrected

I showed yesterday's post to my mom.  I thought she would think it was funny since she was present for the entire horrifying sandwich discussion.

Now, a little side note:  You can pretty much rest assured that I don't point posts out to people unless I think they will elicit a response like, "Oh, you're so clever and witty." (Or something equally appropriate, possibly and preferably involving the word "brilliant".)

Back to the story:  I handed my mom the post.  She read it and said, "They were yellow peppers."

Oh.  Ummm...  I stand corrected?

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

I didn't know Evil had a sandwich

My stepdad was pleased as punch because he made lunch for himself and got to make one of his favorite sandwiches!

It was vienna sausages.  Yikes!
On white bread.  Ewwww.
With lots of yellow mustard spread on both pieces of bread.  Ok...
And dill pickles.  I think I just threw up a little bit.
Green peppers.  How does it keep getting worse?!
Tomatoes and lettuce.  For the love of mercy.

I didn't know something like this could exist outside the realm of a nightmare.

Unfortunately, this is the second time I've heard a sandwich horror story in two days.  You know, they say these things always happen in threes.  So, go ahead, tell me about your gross sandwich so I can just get it over with.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

I'm scared to post this because I don't want you to know how deep my issues run

Sometimes I can tell God is forcing me to become the person I'm meant to be. I usually don't like it.  I usually stomp my feel like a little girl who doesn't get candy for dinner.  But, when this has happened in the past, it has always, always, always worked for good - just as soon as I stopped the tug-of-war and turned over control to Him.  It has all led to the beautiful life I have.

I have healthy and (usually) happy children. My husband makes it clear that he adores me (and, surprisingly, this has much less to do with love notes and roses than it does with helping to put the kids to bed; and doing the dishes; and, hearing - no LISTENING to - me when I have something to say.)  I am healthy. I have friends who love me. I get to be the stay-at-home mom I always hoped to be.

It's not the perfect life for everyone, but it's the perfect life for me.

Yet, even with history on His side, I still resist.  I want things my way - the way I envision them.  But, just like Peter, every time I take my eyes off Jesus and focus instead on the storm around me, I start to sink. Every time. I start to think I'm not good enough and never will be.  I start to wonder why in the world people would want to be friends with such a freak as me.  I forget that I am perfectly the person He made me to be.

Sometimes I think I'm a little slow.

Does anyone else do this?  The Magic 8 Ball of your life says "Outlook good [if you would just shut up and trust]", but the devil on your shoulder tells you you're still not good enough to deserve your blessings; tells you to work a little bit harder to do it your way?

Monday, August 02, 2010

Vying for Favoritism

In our quest to be The Best Aunt and Uncle in the World (Yes, it will be capitalized.  And, we will probably require people to bow when they greet us.), Shawn and I entertained the four children in our care this weekend like we were a couple of dancing monkeys.

We started Saturday with a trip to the Ranching Heritage Center.  We tried to make amends for the mild case of heat exhaustion by allowing everyone to buy copious amounts of goodies from the gift shop.

Down in front!

Next we went to Main Event where we were joined by Nanny, Pop and Miss 'Cilla.  We let them eat lunch, play arcade games, take pictures in the photo booth and choose whether they wanted to bowl or play miniature golf.  Truly, our own children were looking at us like, "Who are you people?"

We finished the day-o-activity by attending Nanny's Saturday evening church service where all the "big" kids served as acolytes.

Ahh.  Look.  They even look slightly angelic.

After we all had dinner and put the kids to bed, Shawn and I snuck away to crash the final event of my sisters' 20-year reunion - a concert by the Spazmatics.  So.  much.  fun.  (I don't have any stories to tell you from this event because they are all very self-incriminating.  But, some pictures may have snuck onto Facebook...  Go be a "fan" of my page and you can see everything I haven't erased yet.)  But, I will leave you with this thought: When your friends have been drinking, it is not in your best interest to hand them drumsticks and let them beat upon a cowbell while you hold it.  There is about a 50/50 shot for whether they'll hit the cowbell... or your thumbs.

Sunday we took the kids out to the lake where Nanny and Pop live.  Shawn and I joined together as a united force to pull them around the lake in an inner tube with a jetski no fewer than 7,034 times.  (Points were deducted from our overall score, though, when I committed a rookie mistake and failed to get the slack out of the rope before I took off pulling the inner tube.  Our younger niece shot out of that thing like a slingshot.  Not my proudest moment.  And, it's possibly more proof that I shouldn't be unsupervised - much less be doing the supervising!)  But, points were added back to our score when we helped our oldest niece learn how to get up on water skis.  What a rockstar!

After we took them to dinner at a pizza parlour, we let them come home and decorate their own cupcakes for dessert.  We're not above bribery by sugar.

(Honest to goodness, you have no idea how close I came to making the next picture black and white so you wouldn't see how sunburned her cheeks are!  But, Uncle Shawn and Aunt Ali were not in charge of her sunscreen application, so I, therefore, do not think this should be held against us in consideration of our award eligibility.)

So we send them home today.  We will miss them.  But, we're exhausted.  It'll be nice to be able to get back to neglecting our own children.  That's the status quo around here and it takes much less effort.


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