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Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Archers Graduation Celebration Cake

Today I read the missionary report in church. After that, I shared a little about my eldest son. I told the church how my son is an incredible mountaineer. How he has had experiences with every kind of predator in our area. I told them how he hears God when he is out there. Like the time he didn't go into a spot where God told him not to go. Later a Grizzly Bear came out from there. I told them about how he selflessly carried our baby to the remote lake (see below story) and back. How he has pulled me up the drive way to get out for work. He's just an incredible man altogether. He's been home schooled from Kindergarten to 12th grade. He scored high marks on his GED. He will be 18 next month. The church applauded him. He turned a little red.
Mist made this incredible cake for us to celebrate with. It was sooo good. Women came to sell vegetables outside the church in the parking area. They had some cake with us too.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

This Really Happened in My Kitchen

Here is a photo of the cooking class hosted in my home today. My good friend, Mist, Culinary Arts Graduate was our instructor. The event was masterminded by our church ladies Bible Study and by our girls fitness/devotional group. It was an incredible time. Not only did Mist work like a hurricane making 2 kinds of bread, a grain salad with chicken and fresh cheese (all from scratch), but she did it all with ease and incredible flair. All her spices were fresh or freshly ground. I was awed that she could do it all in the allotted time period. We also had a time of ladies sharing about themselves. It was touching. I read this story that I wrote for my mom. We laughed, we cried, and we ate really well. It was a huge success.

More REAL MAN Camping photos

Here are some more pics. "Persnickety Pika" Lake. My husband, I and Moonbeam. Our whole family. The kids and I hiking back home along the lake. A waterfall.

REAL MAN Camping at Persnickety Pika Lake

Above Photos include The kids "first mile" into the bush. Me n' Moonbeam at the waterfall. "The Archer" with a nice rainbow trout. "Artdog" cooking a pika - mmmmmm. Everyone asleep in the "man shelter".

Well, its finally happened. I actually went "Real Man Camping". I did this despite many reservations. When the day finally arrived I was quite exhausted from preparation. All food, supplies and sleeping gear had to be packed into back packs that each person could trek 4 miles into the untamed wilderness. This included a baby with her supplies. Initially, I had planned to bring a tent. "The Men" poo pooed this idea. I thought the one I recently found for $10 at a rummage sale must have been a sign from God. My husband informed me it was much too heavy. Again, my friend "Nurse Happy Sunny Day", (Moonbeams namesake), offered me a backpacking tent. This time I concealed having it until I felt terribly guilty. After all, this was "real man camping" and I feared my men would be quite disgusted with my trickery. In the end I confessed and was promised a structure to sleep under as part of a compromise.
My eldest son, "The Archer", who I am considering renaming "Haas", gallantly volunteered to pack the baby for me. He said he was the most fit and logical choice. He had thought about this alot and especially wanted this to be a good experience for me. If ever there was a time that he earned my admiration and respect it was certainly on this trip. Not only did he pack the baby in and out, but he carried all his own gear, a tarp and a huge pan for boiling water. The pack was so heavy, I could hardly lift it onto his back. To my amazement, he walked almost effortlessly and had to wait multiple times for some of us to catch up. Wow! In a day where many 17 year olds think of themselves only, this one was thinking about me and the good of the family.
We hiked along a laughing creek much of the way. We hiked along flooded foot trails. We hiked along rock slide areas. We hiked by still waters. In short, we hiked, we hiked, we hiked. Did I mention we hiked? By the time we arrived, I was ready for a rest despite my "tough female" act.
The men shortly went off to fish and find spring water for boiling. The women kept the fire going (and read). "Closet Boss" read 70+ pages of the story of the Indian "Ishi". She kept us informed of his exploits as the day progressed. It was windy and the men returned with the water and one fish. I was quite leery about drinking boiled spring water, though I concealed this fact.
Despite having sandwichs, hot dogs, s'mores, and brownie rations, some of our younger "men" decided they must take it upon themselves to hunt, prepare and cook a pika in a "jiffy pop popcorn" pan. I was again leery about partaking of the large rodent. In the event you do not know what a "pika" is, it is a large squeaky sounding rodent who lives in the rocks. They are thick in this area and live in colonies. They are cute, furry and fun to watch, though they do not appear to be overly appetizing. Thankfully, my son, The Archer, caught more fish as the evening progressed and everyone was again focused on eating fish rather than rodents.
The Men constructed a lean to type shelter between the fire and the lake. By then I was so exhausted I crawled into it and fell asleep not caring. Grizzly bears are known to be in this area and so our men kept a watchful eye. Just as darkness began to fall, they heard a horrible growling sound emerge. They jumped into action. They were quite disappointed to discover, seconds later, that it was only the sounds of me, loudly snoring.
That night I awoke many times. A hoot owl called mournfully all night long. A flying squirrel teased my son, The Archer, causing sleep to elude him. My husband had a bad dream about the campfire getting away. Others dreamed about bears. Me, I had nightmares about earthworms.
By morning, the boys found their way around the fire in the dirt. The girls huddled together in the shelter. It was a lovely morning and "Haas" caught many a fish before tearing down camp. My husband had masterminded a fairly decent trip. He enjoyed the quality time with our children. He and "Haas" were already talking about another. Again, I am leery, but I guess these things have their own way of working themselves out. I guess if you want to "Real Man Camp", go ahead and try it. If nothing else, you will have an incredible work out and your kids will have the memory of a lifetime.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

How the "2009 Great Water Challenge" Chart Flipped my Kayak

I suppose the title is ominous and you have already figured it all out, all there is left is for the story to be told. It all started day before yesterday when my husband caught one of the kids pouring out the last of the juice in the pitcher. "How much juice have you had today?" he asked. This simple question also led to the tipping of my kayak.
Due to "no one" drinking all of the juice each day, I took it upon myself to measure out 7 portions of juice into cups. I found that it didn't amount to much per person. Then I made each child aware of how much juice 1/7th of a pitcher really is. It's less than half the size of the glass that we normally use! Add to that I refuse to keep cool aid or sugary drinks on hand.
Consequently, I have yearly put up a "Water Chart Challenge" on our refrigerator with prizes available. I have done this despite my co-workers warning me that I will deplete out my children's sodium and potassium stores and cause a hyponatremic and hypokalemic crisis. Yes, I live on the edge. Anyway, the idea of the chart is simple. For each measuring cup of water you drink, you may make one tally mark on the chart. Every one keeps track and its for the purpose of forming the habit of drinking more water at the beginning of summer.
The first time I made it, I made a 30 cups of h20 to 1 can of pop allowed ratio. Since we haven't been keeping soda in the house, I haven't had to include that. Each year, the kids try to out do each other. Usually we average 8 glasses of water a day which is healthy. It gets everybody drinking more water and for a 2 week period of time their systems get flushed out. None of my children have compulsive water fetishes, but if yours do, then by all means, don't do this.
And so, the challenge was on. This year, my husband participated for the first time ever. As I monitored the chart, I noticed he was neck in neck with me. Every time I drank a glass, he drank a glass. I began to feel a little too competitive. Finally I asked him, "do you normally drink this much water?". His answer "no". Well, the challenge was on and unfortunately I had drank a glass to keep up with him right before I headed out in my Kayak.
It was a beautiful day and I had worked all morning doing house work. The three eldest children were out working at a neighbors doing yard work. Moonbeam finally fell asleep and I shot out the door like a bullet. The river called to me like the pizza hut guy telling me "your orders ready". I'm there. So I headed out in bliss. Not long after that, my bladder began to scream "pull over old lady". I ignored her. Soon, she was threatening me in no uncertain terms. Being Memorial Day Weekend, EVERYBODY is up!! All the cabins that never have anybody in them are filled. I soon discovered that the river was much more populated than normal and there wasn't too many places a gal could, well... go.
I found a little inlet and took it. Unfortunately it wasn't the easiest spot to pull up to and over I went. My bladder didn't couldn't hold a candle to how wet I had become! Well, anyway the day was beautiful and it was a fun ride. I've been trying to dream up some exciting story about how my kayak flipped. So far I haven't come up with much since I'm a pretty lousy liar. I always feel guilty and have to tell the truth.
As I paddled back, I wondered what the neighbor would think. I use his yard to access the river. He is a very sweet older hermit type bachelor guy named "Mack". Mack loves to spend hours on the Internet researching conspiracy theories. He lives a recluse life, though does some over the road trucking from time to time. He is a wealth of knowledge. As I neared his home, I desperately tried to come up with a good story. Luckily for me, Mack didn't seem to notice. He even gallantly helped me carry my Kayak back to its resting place (while telling me about a tv show on the year 2012). Life is good, and I can't keep from smiling when I think about the adventure. That is, until I notice my husband is ahead on the water chart and I've gotta drink more to catch up!! I would say more about it, but uhh... I gotta go.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend

Yesterday was a busy day! After untold hours of house work, I snuck off in my Kayak (I'll tell that story later). Super Catman begged and begged to go to the lake. Neither of us can seem to stay away from it on nice days. After we got back, I baked a home made chocolate cake with whipped cream frosting and berries on top. As you can see, somebody wanted to help Catman lick the bowel.

Friday, May 22, 2009

How Boys Bond

These photos are "How Boys Bond" and my eldest son's attempts at keeping the babies from tearing books off the bookshelves.

Miss Belly Fat Will Not Win

I couldn't pass these up....... Moonbeam pulls herself to standing, while Catman is caught...uhhhh cleaning his nostrils. And do you ever find this kind of thing on your furniture?

Well its been an interesting few days. I was quite distraught to find out that Mist, indeed, has a life. She was unable to run with me this week because of work and family get togethers. Miss Belly Fat reminded me that there was a plate of cookies in the kitchen that might make a good consolation prize. I bravely fought her suggestions with an idea of my own. Upon my first attempt to run, ug, by myself, Catman nobly volunteered to join me. He rode his bike along for about 1/2 a mile and then decided that the hill going up was much too troublesome. Then the sky began to get dark and so I aborted the mission. This was a good thing because not minuetes after I got home with Catman in tow, it started hailing. Today I tried it again, this time alone. Despite Miss Belly Fat's protests, I am pleased to be getting into a running routine. On the down side, Miss Belly Fat lured me unsuspectingly into the kitchen and forced me to make her rice krispy bars. She then probably consumed half the pan throughout the course of the day.
My eldest three children are going off to work tomorrow for a man who lives in the area. They are going to be brush cutting and piling. Currently, Closet Boss is working with the boys in their bedroom. I wisely traded her the dishes job to supervising the boys clean up job. Every once in a while, I can hear horrid sounding shrieks, yells, and temper tantrum sounding cries of anguish.
My husband is snorting, meowing, and making assorted odd sounds at our baby. She in turn is making a variety of noises in reply.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

tra la la chuckle poop

The above photos feature my son, Art Dog, on our camping trip. He is with his brother in front of the beaver house, in the kayak, and with his sister.

Though my children are far from perfect, rebellion has never been a strong suit for them. As a matter of fact, the most rebellious things that i know of include sneaking off seat belts, hiding behind the door to eat marshmallows before dinner (Closet Boss), watching Scoobie Doo (The Archer), and building a camp fire in his trash can at the age of 7 or 8 (Art Dog).
Years later, upon further discovery, the smoldering balsa wood in the trash can was not meant to be a bedroom camp fire, though it fit my suspicions at the time. When a kid says loudly "hmmmm..... I think I'll take out the trash now" and hums a tune while trying to look innocent, you just gotta wonder. I am now told that he had observed his grandfather, Papa Grizzly, leaving the bathroom after being in it for quite some time and noticed a match in the toilet. He was told that lighting a match eliminates ones...er....bathroom odors. With this in mind, my very particular son, was not enjoying the aroma of his.....er...... flatulence. He decided to see if the match trick actually worked. Apparently he passed gas several times and so he felt compelled to light several matches. After lighting so many, he inadvertently threw them into a trash can containing none other than some broken balsa wood airplane parts. You can probably figure out the rest. At any rate, it wasn't meant to be rebellious, it was just meant to experiment on eliminating his own flatulent odors.
And so, I have been quite fortunate despite my grandmothers dire prediction that some day I would have a kid "just like me". When I suspect a rebellious (or possibly disrespectful) sound may be passed in undertone, I do not often correct my children and explain to them the evils of a rebellious attitude. No, instead I have coined a saying, possibly from allowing "Captain Underpants" novels to coexist in our home. The saying is a nonsense term of none other than "tra la la chuckle poop". I find this method to be quite effective in discouraging wayward behavior. I have contemplated writing a parenting book focused on this model, though my husband has discouraged me from it.
Really and truly, I often grieve profusely over rebellious children. This is especially true because I was one of them. This is also true because I am emergency room nurse and I often observe the end results of rebelliousness. For this cause, I would hope to inspire parents everywhere, to weed, water and prune thier tender plants. Though you could try the "tra la la chuckle poop" method of raising children, the "Miracle Grow" of the Word of God would most likely bring a better crop.

Proverbs 29:17 (New King James Version)
17 Correct your son, and he will give you rest;
Yes, he will give delight to your soul.

Proverbs 20:11 (King James Version)

11Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.

Proverbs 3
1My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments:

2For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.

3Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart:

4So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.

5Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

6In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

7Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Camp Out Adventures at Gooniebeaker Lake

On Sunday, my husband and I took the kids "pud camping" at Gooniebeaker Lake. We call this "pud camping" because my eldest son does not consider camping at a designated camping spot "real camping". To him, you must hike miles away from civilization and survive with what you can carry. To me this is quite creepy but I may be attempting it with my family in the near future... I will keep you posted.
Anyway, we went "pud camping". The whole family piled into our Suburban and pulled behind a short trailer carrying my kayak and an old, dilapidated canoe, which we found some years ago on the side of the road. When we arrived at Lake Gooniebeaker, I barrelled out of the car. With child like enthusiasm, I tore out in my kayak onto the lake leaving my children behind to set up camp. I had put pig tails in my hair that morning. Whenever I wear pigtails, I lose about 30 years and gain the mentality of a child. After exploring the entire lake, my curiosity satisfied, I returned to find our campsite set up. I diligently watched for the "Gooniebeaker Guardian Lady". She has taken it upon herself to be a defender of Gooniebeaker birds every where. One can be innocently out enjoying the afternoon and the Goonierbeaker Guardian Lady will appear out of no where. In my imagination, she arises out of the swamp. She teaches children to help protect her beloved water fowl. Rumor has it, she may have axed a community owned boat because she didn't want fisherman getting too close to their nesting grounds. This rumor is highly controversial and most likely untrue. At any rate, the Gooniebeaker Guardian Lady did not show up. Possibly because she is a figment of the blog authors imagination. I tried to confirm her existence, however the highly imaginative woman (this blogs author that is) refused to be interviewed for a comment.
My husband mostly enjoyed sitting in his folding chair, feet up, reading a magazine. He did go on some walks with me, manned the fire pit, and did some other special things. My favorite memory, though, is when he read us Patrick McManus stories at night around the campfire. My eldest son, "The Archer", hiked up a near by mountain and came face to face with a bull elk. He also fished with his Dad and brother. My Daughter, "The Closet Boss", spent the majority of her time reading. In between my adventures, she was found each time in a statue like position, book in hand. She is re-reading (or quite possibly re-re-reading) the "left behind series". My Son, "Art Dog", maintained his normal care free state. He romped around in the swampy bog, raced with his brother, borrowed the kayak a few times and spent a little time fishing. Most of the time he could be seen with a far away, happy go lucky expression soaked and muddy. My daughter, Moonbeam, made it her desperate goal to frolic in and eat dirt. She fussed and fussed and squirmed to get down until I could stand it no more. I had to let her play in it (just a little) despite my utter disgust. The children didn't like this one bit and lectured me thoroughly, though none of them wanted to fight her to keep her off the ground.
My son, Catman, enjoyed many adventures. We took the old, dilapidated canoe out to a hidden waterfall at the back side of the lake. We explored an uprooted tree that made a cave like root structure. He told me "I will remember this experience even when I'm 80". On another excursion with Art Dog paddling along in my Kayak, we also visited a beaver house and serenaded them with a Pillar song. We picked fluffy, seeding cat tails and he got fluff every where! We also visited a spooky, floating, weedy bog island and stood on it. At one of our stops, I told him he could push us off in the canoe. This pleased him immensely. He informed me that doing this task was a great "life experience". It amazes me that giving my 6 year old a responsibility as simple as pushing off a canoe could bring him such joy. On our paddling excursion I called the boys "men" and narrated the trip as if we were Lewis and Clark type explorers. He spent nearly the entire camping experience wet, muddy, filthy and having the time of his life.
All in all, it was a great outing for us all. We were all sad to see it come to an end so fast. There is talk about a "real camping trip" to which I entertain quite mixed emotions and quite possibly a little fear. My biggest trouble on this trip was the desire to scarf down multiple campfire hot dogs and umteen s'mores.

Gooniebeaker Lake Camp Out Pics B

1 our family
2 cat tail island adventure
3 reading Patrick McManus around a campfire
4 girls reading and relaxing (note my purple fluffy pjs)!
5 relaxing boyz

Gooniebeaker Lake Camp Out Pics A

1 Artdog - soaking wet fun!
2 playing in the dirt - ug
3 creepy tree root cave
4 secret waterfall exploration
5 an avid reader

Saturday, May 16, 2009

prayer and fasting

Today has been quite an emotionally trying day for me. Perhaps you've been there. It all started last Sunday when some one was telling me about their family troubles. I was so touched and grieved over the situation, I blurted out "somebody has to do something", well perhaps that was in my brain. Before long, I decided that we should fast and pray over the situation. Now I have to begin by telling you that I am as carnal a Christian as the next person. I do not like fasting, however, it is needful and powerful to do with prayer. Before long, I heard of some more grievous situations. Again, I thought to myself "somebody has to do something!" and again I was reminded that it is my job to pray. Before long I was coordinating a corporate (church wide) fasting and prayer mission directed at and on behalf of some heartfelt needs.
This is all well and good, and if I were a normal person, perhaps I could be awarded a cookie, however I am NOT a normal person, and as I said, I am not really good at fasting at all. As the day approached, people told me their prayer requests and some planned to fast from certain things all or part of the day such as food in general, coffee, Internet, whatever. We all decided to set time aside to be in prayer, coordinated by me....... about now you may be thinking "you can't be serious".
I had decided to fast from coffee for starters. As I rolled over in bed, I didn't feel much drive to get out. I knew that instead of my cup of coffee, I would be enjoying a big glass of water. I went outside to pray with big pained frown. When I returned my frightened family was already consuming cereal and I wasn't needed in the kitchen. I went about my day except for a minor altercation with my husband who decided that it was in his best interest to avoid me.
I had decided to fast from breakfast and lunch along with my coffee fast. Around lunch time I became increasingly nervous. I didn't want to cook or be near food. The kitchen called my name like a bad nightmare. I decided that everyone could suffer with meal 4 of the nasty rice and bear casserole gruel. There would be no temptation there. I went off to pray.
After lunch time, I was becoming increasingly disgusted with myself. I was nervous and sleepy. When the "Closet Boss" asked me if I wanted to go out on the river, I was all for it. There's no food on the river....right? Of course she borrowed my kayak and I took the heavier canoe since it is harder to maneuver. The river is high now, and the current is a lot to work against. For this reason we decided to go down river first. In my imagination, a new neighbor was barbecuing next to the river bank. He invites us up for a delicious meal and won't take no for an answer. He hands me a juicy high quality brat. I am being tormented by the delicious smells of the...... "Mom, why is your canoe stuck in the bushes?" Closet Boss asks. Onward we go, the easy way, down the river.
Since we used to live down river, and across, we recognized many cabins along the way. Closet boss had fun remembering and reminiscing about walks we went on when she was much younger. We decided to stop at our old house, now somebodies retirement investment. I had to pee. Sorry, but 5 kids later, my bladder is almost as demanding as "Miss Belly Fat". Closet Boss is horrified.
With cat like ability, I jumped out of my canoe onto a floating dock and then onto the embankment. Every time I am wearing my wetsuit, I also have this problem with imagining that I am a spy. Here I was, jumping out of an...er....water craft... with my wet suit on. After completing my secret urination mission on the side of the bank, I snapped a quick photo of our old property for posterity. Closet Boss remained horrified for the most part. Its hard having a mom with a weak bladder who thinks she's a spy.
Soon the river became much faster. Its quite high with all the snow melt off the mountains. It began to dawn on us that we would need to paddle up river to get home.
After near exhaustion, we pulled our respective water crafts out of the river. I was ready to collapse. My husband wasn't happy with me for being gone so long. I didn't bother to explain the physics of up river versus down river. I was pretty sure he wouldn't buy it. Especially after suffering with his 4th meal of bear gruel. Through a case of mistaken identity, I was left alone with a napping baby while the rest of my family went off fishing. I felt quite sorry for myself for the first 30 seconds. Then there was this gentle reminder that today I was planning not just to fast, but to pray.
As I felt the prompting to pray, the presence of God overwhelmed me. I felt closer to God than I had in a long time. Immediately, I realized that a couple of meals lost was well worth this closeness that I was feeling to God in prayer. I had all the windows open in the house and every so often violent wind would blow through. It felt just like the Holy Spirit was assigning angels in a blaze to fight the forces of darkness and accomplish His work in the requests that I was making. It was great, cool, and better than the best spy movie.
I decided to grill a big meal for dinner. My family had had all they could take of the bear gruel. I hear when you fast, you are supposed to resume your meals as if you had missed nothing (in other words, not eat like a slob). Though I had pretty good intentions, I wasn't incredibly successful at resuming as if I had missed nothing. This can be blamed in part to the Closet Boss's oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. At any rate, I do recommend prayer and fasting, and I do believe that it can change your life and the lives and situations that you are praying for.

Matthew 6:16 “Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 17 But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18 so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.

Mark 9:28-30 (New King James Version)
28 And when He had come into the house, His disciples asked Him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?”
29 So He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.”

Friday, May 15, 2009

Tough Question from a Six Year Old

Really, I am quite pathetic! After running 2 miles this morning with my friend, Mist, I am indulging in a peanut butter cookie with chocolate chips melted on top. As if to thwart my slovenly behavior, part of the cookie burnt in the microwave and there is an odor of evidence. What will my family ever think when they return home and discover that I was in here blogging with cookies?

Today I have decided to tell you about my day yesterday, well part of it anyway. I really had wanted to get out in the kayak, but as you may have guessed, God had other plans for me. In the morning, I attended the church ladies Bible Study. It would have been good if Moonbeam had cooperated better. When I got home, everyone was famished and feeling quite neglected so I made them a huge pan full of rice with spaghetti sauce, misc veggies and bear burger. It didn't turn out very good, due to accidentally making way too much rice for the proportions. I have been forced to serve it as a meal for lunch, dinner and lunch again today. This has made them all feel further neglected. That meal scored no points in my favor.
After the atrocious lunch, I went out "bear hunting" with my family. It turned out to be 4wding up onto a remote road up a mountain in the middle of no where. Since my husband has a misunderstood, inner drive to follow "a road less travelled", I became quite nauseated during the ordeal. Moonbeam fussed. My husband drove back and forth through the snow drifts "using his snow driving techniques" until he could break through a few feet at a time. The bicycle he placed in the back of the truck made me feel quite leery. Its there in case we get stuck. On the way back, my daughter decided she wanted to learn how to drive. My husband was quite pleased to accommodate her. This all lead to more nausea on my part (though she did great).
At long last, I headed out on a hike with Moonbeam. Half way down the trail, it dawned on me that I should be getting out in my Kayak. When I reached home my 6 year old was thoroughly disgusted at the prospect of my leaving again. It dawned on me that the most important thing ever is to spend time with my little ones. I once again aborted the idea of kayaking and told him I'd stay home with him. He said "no, you're going to take me for a bike ride".
And so, Catman and I embarked on a bike ride. We splashed through puddles together. We visited a far away favorite spot of his. We rested on a log together. We carried on some profound conversation. After I had exhausted from watching him brave a particularly favorite puddle spot and his pants were soaked in mud, we headed home. As we hiked up my driveway together, Catman broached a very nerve wracking subject with me. "Mom", he said......... "you know how boys are different from girls?"........ He looked around as if to make sure nobody could hear him. Then he whispered in my ear "like balls?". Time stopped. I dreaded the question that would come next. "Well", he said, with furrowed eyebrows, "their insides are different too, right?". I defiantly didn't like where this was going. Dead serious, he looked up and me and said "Mom, do girls have a heart?"

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

don't be alarmed but my daughter may be an alien

The other day, I returned to my home from our women's devotional group. It was a peaceful early afternoon, though it did not stay that way for long. My daughter, "the sock fashion expert", had taken it upon herself to clean out our families "toy closet". This set in motion many terrible tales too horrible to mention, though I will torment you with just a few.
Gone are the days of not being able to walk through my children's rooms. After spending the first 13 years literally not always being able tread through my children's rooms to reach their beds, I devised a wickedly mean plan. One day, as if I were the mad scientist who cracked, I stuffed all of my children's toys into boxes in a large walk in closet which was intentioned for a pantry. Their rooms became walkable, and I kept the dreaded closet door locked. I only allowed one type of toy out at a time and closely monitored the time out of the closest as if the toys were live gerbals out of their respective cages.
This worked well until visiting children arrived. These visiting children were cunning and crafty. They could tell that I was occupied and wanted to sneak into the toy closet at will, disrupting the organized boxes profound beauty. I also soon found that trying to get other peoples kids to respect my rules wasn't worth the offense that it could bring to an adult friendship.
After some years of visiting kids, 5 kids of my own, and much less will power, my toy closet became untreadable. This is where my daughter, "the sock fashion expert", stepped in. This week, she single handily organized a coordinated attack on reorganization of the dreaded domain. This erupted much havoc in my home. Eventually all the kids got on board with the work. All except for my 6 year old. After many painful screams and cries, I assigned him to organize the silverware drawer (as a distraction). He was thoroughly disgusted that valuable items such as broken toys were being thrown out.
My oldest son, 17, arranged all the games on a high shelf. He laughed fiendishly and plotted with my 13 year old daughter, who has shamelessly named herself "the closet boss". My 11 year old son, "Art Dog", was not at all interested in being recruited, though he dutifully responded. He dawned some furry duds and hopped around obeying "the closet boss" as she sent him on missions with items from the closet. My 6 year old made many excuses to check the trash can often and was quite suspicious with every fiendish laugh from the closet. My 10 month old, Moonbeam, kept dragging herself over to the activity and was eventually placed in my back pack to avoid the mass chaos.
I, myself, tried to assist, but soon became overwhelmed. I assigned myself my daughters dishes chore and some baking for every ones sanity involved. The closet soon became unrecognizable. I'm not sure where all of the items disappeared to. It suddenly appears quite organized and managable. You never knew what you would find in there. If you were missing over due bills, inevitably, there they would be. If you were missing dirty clothes, somewhere lurking in a bin, there they would be. If you were missing a kid, well, you get the idea. Even the beloved remote to our remote control fart machine has been located.
Life as I know it is no more. We have entered the unfamiliar zone of organization. Today my daughter cleaned out the fish tank, or rather fish grave. They had all died but one lone fish, which swims as if it were partially paralyzed. It doesn't really do what a fish is supposed to do (if fish are supposed to do anything). I fear my daughter may have been zapped away by aliens and replaced with a motivated, organized clone. I think on the way home from work tonight, like "Men in Black", i may read the Enquirer to see if there has been any alien cloning going on. I also suspect that there is a galaxy hidden in one of those organized toy bins.
Really, she is doing a spectatular job!!!! I'm so grateful for the work she has undertaken. My 13 year old is truly "incredibly virtuous"!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Super Catman to the Rescue

Super Catman found a button in his sisters mouth today. He saw she was acting suspicious and did a finger sweep. He found this button!! Hooray - Super Catman is a True Hero!!

Cigar Any One?

Hike in to a Remote Lake

Today we hiked into a remote lake. Its a short drive to the trail head from our house. The neighbor girl, Kiree, came with us. As we were about to leave, it poured rain. As the rain cleared, my husband decided to chance it. It turned out to be a lovely day. We fished (though we didn't catch a thing!), roasted hot dogs and eventually the kids skipped rocks. It was a fun day.

I TAG HEATHER from Bless Your Family

Tagged by "ME", the Sock Fashion Expert!!!

How old are you? A wise woman never tells her age

Is this your first tag? No

Have you every moved? Yes

What is your favorite animal? I like lots of animals, German shepherds, snow leopards, wild animals - bob cats, mountain lions, oh and my furry pet kids

What is your favorite movie? Me, I think bells of innocence is creepy. Fireproof for sure!!

What is your favorite book? The Bible for sure, otherwise Always Enough by Heidi Baker

Are you an elf? No but when I grow up I want to be like the elf guy in Lord of the Rings.

Who do you like better, Eowyn or Arwen? idk

How long have you been riding? Not much idk

Who are your favorite Lord of the Rings characters? The elf warrior guy who does flips and shoots a bow. He’s the bomb.

Do you get a lot of homework? Yes

Do you think tagging is awesome? No

How many times a week do you ride a horse? Never, but I’m working on my husband to get me one so I can be like the elf guy.

Do you like blogging? Yes

Do people think you're strange? Um… yeah, but don’t tell nobody.

Do you like getting comments on your blog? Yes

Do you like getting new followers on your blog? Yes

Do you get bored easily? Very Rarely (only boring people are bored)

Do you have an awesome blog? Absolutely

How many followers do you have? 17

What was the scariest moment with a horse you have had? I’ve been thrown at least twice when I was a teen. Another time, one decided to not move when we were far away from anything. I didn’t know what to do!

Who do you like better, Sauron or SarIuman? The cool elf guy, none can compare!!

Do you like school? When my kids feel like learning

Are you a good actress? I have to be, I’m an Emergency Room Nurse!!

Do you like music?? Yes

Do you like taking personality quizzes? No, but I am doing it for my wonderful daughter, the sock fashion expert

Do you like long or short posts? short

Are you easily entertained? Mostly

Are you going to tag someone else? Yes

I tag HEATHER!!!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

i might be a were wolf

My recent adventures include a trip to the big city 3 1/2 hours away. It always seems to amaze me that I can never find contentment in the things that I am buying. There is always "something more", just out of my reach. Being satisfied is a state of mind. Its a state of mind with grocery shopping, with eating, with buying "stuff" and with whatever else you want to apply it to.
Recently, after many years of begging, pleading and hissy fits, my husband resigned to taking back over the check book. Neither one of us enjoy the dutiful job. When you are the one with the check book, you are always aware of the families financial status. You know what bills need to be paid. You know how much money is left over for gas, groceries and the like. Its kind of like Eve eating from the tree of knowledge. Knowledge is a burdensome load when it comes to being fully aware of ones financial status.
Its been years since my spending money on groceries has been monitored. Since I've been the one paying the bills, I just bought groceries blindly. Usually its me stuffing the cart full of things that I deem "needed". Then when the checker runs up the bill and gives me the total I am dumbfounded. I get a sick feeling in my stomach and I write the check with a "hope for the best" attitude. I almost always spent more on groceries than I thought I should be spending.
Now that my husband has taken back over the check book, he has tried to give me limits on grocery shopping. Though I WANTED him to take over the check book, I am unfortunately resistant to change. I think every trip to town thus far has resulted in a "hissy fit" on my part. Most of this is due to my lack of maturity. I want doughnuts in the morning. I want ice cream in the afternoon. I want to spend $4 on a latte. I want all kinds of unnecessary things and I don't want to be monitored! I enjoy spending money frivolously. I can't help myself! Perhaps we may chalk it up to my fallen carnal nature.
And so today I survived a trip to the city with constraints. Surprisingly, I got everything I had on my list (except for some mocha powder for making iced slushy coffee drinks). I find it quite amazing that everybody is into "being frugal". Its a buzz word today. Women are proud of saving money and doing well on fixed incomes. We both chose not to work regular jobs so that we can be home with our kids. Because of this, we make choices to be content with living creatively. I am learning to cook with sprouted grains. For years now, our main meat staple has been venison. I learned to render bear fat last fall. All of these things I have enjoyed doing.
I just change when I get into the city. Its like the were wolf who changes with the full moon. When I get inside of Costco, I grow fangs and fur. I prowl down every aisle for my prey and when my husband says "ca ching" I begin howling.
I hope you will all diligently pray for me because tomorrow I am the special speaker at a women's aglow meeting. I am hoping to become a little more spiritual prior to the meeting tomorrow. I am aware of several women who are coming from long distances expecting to hear an encouraging message. Little do they know that today I had fangs, fur and claws.

1 Timothy 6:5-7 (Amplified Bible)
5And protracted wrangling and wearing discussion and perpetual friction among men who are corrupted in mind and bereft of the truth, who imagine that godliness or righteousness is a [a]source of profit [a moneymaking business, a means of livelihood]. From such withdraw.

6[And it is, indeed, a source of immense profit, for] godliness accompanied with contentment (that contentment which is a sense of [b]inward sufficiency) is great and abundant gain.

7For we brought nothing into the world, and obviously we cannot take anything out of the world;