Saturday, June 21, 2008


I've been working so hard you just wouldn't believe,
And I'm tired!
There's so little time and so much to achieve,
And I'm tired!
I've been lying here holding the grass in its place,
Pressing a leaf with the side of my face,
Tasting the apples to see if they're sweet,
Counting the toes on a centipede's feet.
I've been memorizing the shape of that cloud,
Warning the robins to not chirp so loud,
Shooing the butterflies off the tomatoes,
Keeping an eye out for floods and tornadoes.
I've been supervising the work of the ants
And thinking of pruning the cantaloupe plants,
Calling the fish to swim into my nets,
And I've taken twelve thousand and forty-one breaths,
And I'm TIRED!

--Shel Silverstein

I really am tired. I camped out last night with four 13 & 14 year old girls to celebrate my girl turning 14 on Monday. She wanted a campout this year. It was work but it was pretty fun. That was the view from my chair. I sat amid tiki torches with my feet up and a good book in my hands. That part was pretty relaxing, actually. I even built a fire for S'mores. It was a pitiful little fire, but it did the job. I had a girlfriend (can I still call them that at my age?) come spend the night with us too, so we had time to visit and that was really nice. We're getting ready for a little family get-away this coming week and I'm looking forward to that. I'll end with a couple of candid shots of our campout.

One of Emma's gifts. Can you tell what this beautiful creation is made of? The card said "do you know your ABC'S?". It is made from ALREADY BEEN CHEWED gum. GROSS! (but creative)

The pretty pinata didn't last long. One hit and the head was still on the tree but the body (where the candy was) still intact! They were creative and threw it up so they coudl all take hits at it. Didn't take long to get to the candy.

The view from my chair :) I'm reading The Wonder Spot by Melissa Bank. She also wrote The Girls Guide to Hunting and Fishing. I really like her writing style.

Hold that grass in place and memorize some cloud shapes! Wishing you peaceful moments to enjoy the beauty around you.

Monday, June 16, 2008


In the past, our family had a daily tradition. At supper each night we would share our high and our low for the day. It didn't have to be anything earth shattering, just something we were pleased with and something that hadn't been quite like we'd hoped. We had to start limiting it to three highs and three lows or else our evening meal would have lasted indefinitely :) I got the idea from a movie called, I think, The Story of Us. It was actually the only redeeming quality I can remember about the movie. I found it to be a really awful movie (although I thought the leading man was hot). Anyway, it evolved to High-Low-Ha, meaning we tell something in our day that made us laugh, smile, giggle, etc. I think Ellie made that addition and saying those words together sounds Hawaiian to me (get it??? Aloha???) so everytime I say it I start pretending like I'm hula dancing. Just one more way to embarass my kids! Anyway, somewhere down the road we stopped doing it every night, and Emma (and maybe Erin too) were glad. But I missed it. For me, and for Everett too, it felt like another way to acknowledge what I wrote about last -- that we are broken and blessed all at the same time. And that's ok. It's not always easy, but it's ok and it's how we're meant to be, I think. We also find it's such a good way to stay connected to each other and what's going on in our lives. Anyway, we started it again tonight, so I'm going to end with my High-Low-Ha for today and invite you to share yours with me if you feel like it.

High -- The rain and cooler temperatures today.
Low -- Everett's back is still really bothering him and I feel bad for him and helpless too.
Ha -- the chiropractor I took him to was kind of funny (ha ha and peculiar both :) but she did a good job and he's going back on Wednesday.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Broken and Blessed

Today wasn't such a productive day. Well, I did really clean part of the kitchen counter and the bottom drawer of the stove. The girls and I (mostly I) made a goal yesterday that we each take one thing each day - a drawer, cupboard, countertop, etc - and spend 15 minutes cleaning it. Of course, I urged them to do MORE, but that was a minimum. So I kept my part of the deal today and felt pretty good about it. I also washed a load of towels -- tell me how 4 people can use 14 washcloths in one bathroom . . . I just don't get it. The Queen (aka ME) told everyone that used the upstairs bathroom that they could not get out a new washcloth until they put their previous one in the dirty clothes. Silly, but true.

Anyway, back to my title. When we were making cupcakes yesterday I was looking at the messy table and took these pictures

I was kind of liking the messy balance the tools of cooking were making on my previously clean table. Why the knife and measuring spoon are in the empty cream cheese box I have no idea.

I've been reading lots of mommy blogs and relate to the mommies who are happy to be home with their children, yet feel somehow broken, at certain moments anyway. Maybe broken isn't the right term, but kind of melancholy. We have such big dreams and plans for the things we'll do with our little ones and we have such expectatations -- for how they and we will experience these wonderful things. And they don't always turn out like it looked in our mind. It reminded me of a Lenten retreat I went to a number of years ago that focused on embracing our brokenness. Accepting that being broken is a part of us. I've thought lots about that when things don't turn out just as I wish they would, for myself, for those I love, for the world. So among my days of getting or not getting done what I have planned, I'm trying to celebrate and embrace both the broken and the blessed moments. I wish that for you too.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Summa summa summa . . .

As in SUMMER. Turns me upside down. Summa Summa Summa . . . it's like a merry-go-round.

Almost everything reminds me of a song. This is not something my kids find to be an endearing quality. Especially when I burst into song in public.

Summer is here and I am loving (almost) every minute of it. My days are starting pretty early, not by choice, but because one of my daughters is doing weights and conditioning at the crack of dawn and I have to pick her up at 8. I know, 8 is not really that early, but . . . I like to sleep. Today was a good day, despite brief episodes of screaming and door slamming. It included

Yogurt with granola and strawberries for breakfast,

Making "surprise" cupcakes,

How'd they do that???? And,

Making plastic bags into "yarn" (see the ball in front of Emma?) to crochet a market bag out of. I'm excited about that. I have been trying to remember to take reusable grocery bags when I go shopping and have read about how awful plastic bags are when they are sent to the landfill. I'm trying to NOT collect any more of them but I figured this was a good way to use up some that I have. I'll keep you posted on how the bag turns out. You have to cut the tops and bottoms off the bags to make them into yarn so I'm trying to figure out something to do with the scraps too. I got my ideas from these two sites: and well I couldn't find the other site, they were ironing bags and making them into thicker plastic. Sounded a bit toxic but whatever. Also I found a pattern for sandals made from crocheted plastic bags. That's a little much for me, but to each his own.

Still life with cat and wood floors

I have more photos but I'll stop there. It was just so pretty with the sun coming in. We had kind of a weird day yesterday. I was awakened by a "boom" at 5 AM. The boom was my husband falling and hitting his head on the bathtub. He had passed out, we think from extreme back pain. He already had an appointment with the doctor for yesterday and the doctor said no worries, it just happens sometimes. He cut his head open above his eyebrow but no stitches, just a steri-strip. People are going to think I beat him up (I'm sure that's what he'll tell them because that's the kind of thing he says). I'm used to him being the strong one and it was very weird for me to help him get up, etc. And scary. I thought I was going to pass out too. But we made it through. He's being a trooper but I know how awful lower back pain is. I did that to my back a few years ago, and at the risk of TMI, I will say that it was worse pain than child-birth!!!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

M-A-Y-B may be the death of me

Oooooooooooooh not really. It wasn't that bad I guess, but man, that is a lot of basketball in one weekend. And we have at least two more weekends of it this summer (maybe 3). Oh it's fun to see my daughter play, and she's really improving. Just added to the mix of everything else last week it made the weekend seem really full. The nicest thing was I finished work for the summer (til the end of July) on Monday morning and was a slug the rest of the week -- except for driving kids to where they needed to be (translation - five trips to the high school some days) and only what had to be done around the house (I'm not translating that one -- just please Please PLEASE don't drop in without calling first). It was nice to take that week off and I plan on getting busy this week and get some of my summer list of to-dos done.

Ellie was in a play on Friday night - -the culmination of her week at a community theatre children's workshop. It was very well done -- I was amazed at what these kids put together in a week!! We went to a basketball game at WSU Friday afternoon, then home to the drama at 7, then back to the middle school to sell tickets/concessions at the local MAYB game as a fundraiser for Erin's MAYB team. This school does not have air conditioning in the gym and it was in the 90's on Friday. Can you say sauna? 4th grade girls were playing basketball in a gym that was at least 10 degrees hotter than it was outside. It was not fun. They played until almost 11. Then we got to get up early Saturday to be at another game in Wichita early. It was a long couple of days. Today we took the day off and went to church with my mom (Bedside Baptist LOL).

Monday, June 2, 2008

Weekend Warriors

Wow! Look what we did in one weekend (one day actually).

We went from this:

To this:

I think the cat likes it. I like it too. I had been so worried that it would be too hard, and too much work, and . . . well, it wasn't that bad. Pulling up the tack strip wasn't much fun, but really, it was not so bad. I'll do it again in other parts of the house without even having my arm twisted. Here's the room with things put back in it (kinda dark but you get the idea).

Oh, there are spots on the floor, it's not perfect. But I'm planning on spending some of my time this summer working on getting it looking better, and the long-term plan will be to refinish. Any input on spot removal would be welcome. I don't know what the spots are exactly (and probably don't want to know :) but they are mostly blackish looking. I'm guessing spills of some sort on the carpet. There are also obvious rust spots where some of the staples were.

Another weekend project the girls and I did together was polymer clay pens as teacher gifts for the end of the year. We did some beads too, but I only took pictures of the pens. I think they came out pretty nice. We did some simple cane-making and then cut slices and put them all over bic pens. It was a really fun, creative activity for us to do together.

They came up with their own cane designs (the only one I did is the rainbow one) and I thought they were amazingly creative. Oh, I may be a bit biased, but I think they are great.

AND, the best news of all -- I passed my teaching certification tests with flying colors!!! YAY!