Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Garden

I have never planted anything before. Ever. Once, I had a cactus and I never watered it because I thought that was the point- a cactus doesn't need water. I'm not good with plants.

However, there are many hobby farmers at our church and every year they drop off corn, beans, squash, tomatoes, zucchini, etc. I'm greatful and thankful but sometimes those things come in such a surplus I can't keep up with the canning and freezing and I end up wasting a lot of food. I decided this year that I would plant my own garden and give away my surplus so there wouldn't be any waste. Although, now that I'm typing that out the logic seems a little skewed.

But today I had my first harvest! And I am proud! First of all, let me tell you I was clueless on how much to plant. Here is the squash section of my garden. Clearly I have gotten carried away:

But, look! Here is what I found underneath my 6 squash plants:

Isn't it beautiful? I call it a star squash but if you google recipes it's best to call it a patty pan squash. I'm pretty excited to bake it up for dinner tonight. There is something about eating food I've grown myself that is especially pleasing.

Now if only those tomatoes would turn red!

Date Night

And, no, it wasn't with my husband. It was me and Charlie! We have this great small town movie theatre that shows one movie a week every night at 7pm. This week it's "Ratatouille" and we've been waiting patiently for it to arrive!

Here is what I love about boys- yesterday morning before I left for work I told Charlie we were going on a date to the movies after supper. You would have thought I just told him he was a superhero. The minute I got home from work he was on my heels ready to follow whatever instructions I gave him. He cleaned up, dressed up, put on his "church shoes", grabbed my hand and took me out the door.

We had to stop at the cell phone store because my new phone wasn't working properly. When we walked in he immediately told the lady behind the service counter,

"My mom's phone is broken and that's why we're here, and you're going to fix it and then we are going to THE MOVIES! Because I'm no a date with just me and my mom and we are going to THE MOVIES!" and on and on he went. He even showed her how to take pictures with my phone. She was so gracious to pretend like he had just taught her something new.

The movie was cute but the time we spent together was better. At the beginning of the movie I told him I had his drink if he needed it and he said,

"No thanks Mom. But I would like to snuggle." And he climbed into my lap.

Later he made his way back to his seat and there was a "kissing part" in the movie. I whispered, "yuck! kissing!" and he replied,

"I just like kissing you, Mom. Only you."

And I wish I could have frozen that moment forever.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Five Things

Carrie at With All That I've Been Given tagged me for this "Five Things I love about Jesus" meme a little while ago. I haven't forgotten about it - in fact, I've been overthinking it for the past few days. It's hard to narrow it down and hard to put into words. I've decided that if I tried to be too descriptive or wordy I'd just mess things up. So instead I thought I'd list the five verses that talk about Jesus that I love the most. I'll let the Word speak for me!

II Corinthians 1:20 For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.

Romans 10:4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.

Luke 7:13 And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not.

Hebrews 13:6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.

Romans 9:16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.

Want to know why I picked a particular verse? Feel free to ask me in the comments. And I would love to hear some verses that you all love (and why)! Consider that my tag since all of you have already participated in this I think!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Eyes

So, my little "eye" problem? Saturday morning was no better so I went to the walk-in clinic. They fixed me up, gave me a prescription and said...

"Throw away your make-up."

Ugh. I don't have a lot of makeup. One eyeshadow, one blush, one powder, one mascara...and truthfully, they should have been thrown out an embarrassingly long time ago. But now I have to start all over again. I'm clueless about colors and application and all that stuff.

A good friend from college called me last night and we were talking about how we forget we aren't in college anymore (and haven't been for years!!!). We mocked each other and how uncool we are now.

She said: I watch "10 years younger" on TV and think those people are so 80's. We're probably so 90's and have no idea.

Me: I'm so ordinary.

She said (laughing): At least you don't still wear clogs!

Me: What??? I have three pairs!!!!

See? I'm so uncool. So I've decided to go to a fancy make-up counter at the mall and have them fix me up nice. I probably shouldn't be wearing the same colors on my face that I wore in high school. In my case I should look "10 years OLDER." If you're lucky I'll post before and after pictures. Maybe.

Friday, July 20, 2007

The Book

I am a closet Harry Potter fan. And by closet I mean I actually hide the books in my closet so that I don't upset any extended family members. He's a touchy subject, that Harry Potter, and I'm not much of a fighter. I'd rather not make waves and mostly try and avoid the subject altogether. I'd just like to read my books in peace, thankyouverymuch.

My sister in law (who worked at the library for a few years and is a true book lover) preordered the new book for me for my birthday. I have big plans for tomorrow that include pacing in the front window until the mailman comes and maybe or maybe not giving him a big hug or (at the very least) a squeal of glee when he hands me the book. I have finished all my housework (and banished the boys to the backyard so my house stays clean), paid the bills, balanced the checkbook, and bought groceries. Chad is taking the boys out for the afternoon and I plan on reading, reading, reading, until I'm done. I'm not turning on the TV, reading the paper, or even getting on the computer for fear I'll hear how the book ends. BIG plans.

This morning when I woke up I noticed my eyes were a little dry and scratchy. I stumbled into the shower without actually attempting to open them (I'm not a morning person so I've mastered the art of getting out of bed and getting into the shower without ever opening my eyes). I rubbed them with my fists under the spray of hot water and OUCH!!! that really hurt. There is a little mirror in the shower that Chad uses for shaving so I rubbed the steam off and looked at my eyes. They are almost swollen shut. They are puffy and watery and a reddish-purple color. As the morning progresses they are getting worse. I called in sick to work because it's way to embarrassing to go out in public like this.

All my plans of reading and reading I fear are being replaced with ice packs on my eyes and Benadryl naps (because I'm not really sure what caused the swelling and allergy medicine seems like a good plan).

I'm fairly sure that the arrival of my controversial book and my swollen eyes are unrelated. Please don't tell any of my extended family about my eyes. Just in case.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Picky Eater?

Charlie goes through phases with cereal. He'll eat one kind for weeks until he wakes up and decides it's no longer his favorite and he now has a new favorite. This week it's generic rice chex which is fine by me because he likes them plain so we aren't starting the day on a sugar kick.

Henry likes a little variety and while he'll eat the cereal of the week he also likes a piece of fruit. Preferably a banana.

While I sliced his banana I asked Charlie if he wanted some, too.

"No, Mom. Those are disgusting."

After breakfast we went outside, the boys on the swingset, me in the chair reading a book.

"Mom? What kind of grass is this? Blue?"

I looked at it and it was blue. So I responded, "I don't know...blue grass, I guess. Why do you want to know?"

He shrugged. "Cuz it's good."

And he ATE it.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

The Kindergarten Teacher

The other day I attended a luncheon in the small town where I grew up. I was the youngest person there by about 20 years but I still had a great time talking with some of the ladies. One in particular had been a kindergarten teacher at my old school. She's been retired for years and I was in kindergarten in 1983 so it had been awhile.

She asked me about my life and I filled her in on my husband, my kids, and where I am. She then said, "Were you in my class?"

I hadn't been but I told her I remembered going to her class once a week for singing. She laughed and said that was one of the things she missed the most about her teaching days. She would play the piano on Friday's for all three of the classes as we sat cross legged on her special song time carpet. I told her that was my only real memory of kindergarten. I had small memories like my nameplate on my table and the dividers they would put up during testing.

"Oh, the testing..." she rolled her eyes and smiled. And then she surprised me with this-

"The reason I thought you were in my class is because I remember a pink sweatshirt you used to wear...didn't it have a whale on it?..."she trailed off.

I think my mouth must have been hanging open and I felt tears stinging my eyes. When I was little money was very tight. I didn't realize this until I was much older because my parents did a great job of not making it an issue. My mom was creative and one of the things she did to make money as well as to save money was to sew.

My pink sweatshirt was one of the fads of the early 80's. She would buy solid colored sweatshirts and applique a picture on the front. An apple with a worm for a teacher, a sailboat, a duck, or in my case, a green whale with white polka-dots. On song day there was a song with this line:

Did you ever see a whale
with a polka-dot tale?
Down by the bay...

I intentionally wore that sweatshirt just so the teacher would notice me. So she would see how much I loved singing in her room and sitting on her special carpet. And now twenty-five years later I find out that she did notice me.

"You remember that?" I asked with my hand at my mouth as I tried not to let my voice crack. "I wore that just for you."

She smiled again and said, "Funny the things you remember..." and she patted my arm and walked over to speak to another lady nearby.

Lately I've felt small and a little lost. I've been wondering what my place is and if anyone even noticed me anyway. I guess I'll never know the things I do that get noticed. But after this conversation I sure won't feel so small. I left the luncheon with my head a little higher and my smile a little bigger. All because of a kindergarten teacher who noticed me.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Battle of the Wills

We are having a bedtime battle this evening. Charlie threw a horrific tantrum right before dinner that clearly showed us he had not taken his nap today. As punishment for his meltdown he was told to finish dinner, take a bath, and go straight to bed. It was 6:30.

Chad has left for Wednesday night church so I'm here to deal with the crying and scheming and trying to weasel out of his punishment. His latest attempt was this:

Charlie (peaking out his bedroom door): Mom....

Me (giving him the look): What.

Charlie (chin quivering): I just told Jesus on you.

Me (biting hard on my lip): For what?

Charlie: I told him you had to be nice to me and let me get out of bed and let me listen to my radio and to not be punished....and to not be mad. (tears)

In my defense, I had not raised my voice at all yet because I knew his bad behavior was from lack of sleep. Any attempt on my part to reason with him or argue with him would be fruitless because he is highly irrational and emotional with no nap.

I took him back into his room and tucked him (nicely) back into his bed.

Charlie: I prayed to Jesus that you would let me play toys. It didn't work.

Me: Jesus knows you can't play toys when it's time for bed...

Charlie: Oh.

As frustrating as tonight's circumstances are I enjoy watching him work out his faith. He knows he can pray but he's trying to distinguish what he can pray for- and that prayer isn't a magic guarantee to get what he wants. At this point in his life I'm thankful for the open conversations we can have about Jesus. He's a regular conversation topic around here and that makes me happy. For now I will take comfort in knowing even in the bad days (or evenings) the whole idea of "who is Jesus?" is being worked out in our home. Not just who He is to me or to Chad but who He is to Charlie. He's making his faith his own.

Or he's just trying to get out of bed...

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

A Real Monday

Last week was a week filled with picnics and parties. We attended six all together which made for many late nights and skipped naps. This week I'm determined to get us all rested but Monday morning I wanted to "sleep in" one more time.

I'm a slow morning person. I'm actually not a morning person at all so I have to get up very early to have the freedom to move as slowly as possible. Somehow, Sunday night, I convinced myself that I could get ready for work and get the kids ready for the sitter in one hour. I must have taken too much cold medicine.

I woke up at seven a.m. and actually got ready in a decent amount of time. The boys were so tired I had to wake them up for breakfast. Initially that seems like time is working in my favor but not really....one boy slept a little too hard and the sheets, the pj's and the boy all needed to be washed. One little glitch in my schedule is manageable.

When I walked in to wake up my youngest I was greeted with a lovely smell. Lovely. And very messy. More washing of sheets, pj's and another boy.

I was still doing well. The breakfast was on the table, the babysitter arrived, and I was off to work with a few minutes to spare. I opened the garage and realized my husband had taken my vehicle- I knew that was going to happen, I had just forgotten. Back into the house for the right keys...left my briefcase in the house. Back into the house for the briefcase. My babysitter was laughing at me just a little. I made a comment about Mondays.

And then I tried to start my husbands vehicle. All I heard was a strange clicking noise. I tried a few more times and then called Chad. I tried to be kind but it was Monday, I was now running late, he left me a vehicle that didn't work, and he was 45 minutes away! Not good. Everyone I know that could have taken me to work had already left for work. Chad had to come and get me.

I decided to use my time wisely and blow up the pool for the kids while I waited. I looked for the valve for the air compressor for ten minutes before I went back inside to find something else to do. Once inside I discovered an overflowing toilet. I can't make this stuff up.

Chad returned home. I calmed down. I was only one hour late for work. And the rest of the day went just fine. And the van didn't start because Charlie turned on the dome light the day before. When asked why he said "Because I like it on." Okay then.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Weekend with the Grandparents

Apparently they'd had enough.

Why my posts are few and far between...

Hours of refreshing entertainment right out our back door.... a relaxing summer indeed!