Thursday, July 28, 2011

Scattered and a Little Sappy With some Family History Thrown In

Tonight, in honor of my little Gram, I fried our eggs in the bacon grease. A rather unhealthy homage, for sure, but somehow I had to do it. I don't care how long she's gone, I love my Gram beyond. She was the bees knees. She played UNO and Tiddlywinks and taught me how to "shade" even in coloring books. She got down on the floor and gamed and built with me and told me about her two "dolls" from childhood that were made of blocks: "Puker" and "Gagger." I knew that was funny as a kid, but not sure I completely understood how hysterical that really was. She and Great-Aunt Irene would play with them. Puker and Gagger. Ha! Gram was the youngest of 10 so you know there were some boys in there. Ahem.

This afternoon, my parents brought me a card she wrote me as a little child. I would have scanned it, but I don't know how to use the current scanner. (I know, I know, but Gram would understand) It said, "Dear Pal, I guess I don't have to tell you how much I love you, but think I'd better. Thank you for being my teacher in those printing lessons. As yet guess I have not done to [sic] well. (with wobbly printing) LOVe Gra/A M."

Here she is getting married to my handsome (paternal) grandpa:

Grandpa Milo's family was from Norway and I can't stop thinking about the nut job that just took all those lives in Oslo and Utoya Island and wishing the media would stop referring to him as a Christian, right-winged fundamentalist or what-have-you. He is not any sort of Christian, he is anti-Muslim. 'Nuff said. I hope they lock him up, but I hope he gets help.

Sometimes I feel like I need a little help. My eldest threw a ridONKulous tantrum today over me not having the lunch available that he preferred. It would have been bad enough, but he did it with my Mama and Daddy here. Mind you, they don't judge me or him. Truly I have the most amazing and supportive parents. I wish I had understood 20 years ago how fabulous they were. So I can only hope that Cal will "get it" someday too. Future daughter-in-law, I'm so sorry if I never taught him to pick up his wet towel or his underwear. I was too busy trying to teach him to speak respectfully to women and not to expect to be totally catered to. I hope it paid off. If it didn't, I am sorry he duped you with his good looks and charm. I'd say "sense of humor" but if he's still all about bodily functions and the word "stupid" then I am going to guess that is likely not what drew you in.

My middle had his fist to my throat today. (Truly, that sounds worse than it was. I mean, it was naughty but he's six. He wasn't choking me or punching me. He was mad. He just probably WANTED to choke and punch me.) That said, he did reign it in without actually touching me and later he apologized. There is PROGRESS. And the neighbor boys fight too and sometimes ignore their mama or lose their temper. It's not just me. We just have to stay on these boys to turn them into gentlemen. Right? (Please say "right.")

In spite of these kinds of days, I love my boys (and my gal) to bits. They are wearing me down, giving me wrinkles and gray hair and, as proved by last night, causing me to grind my teeth in my sleep to the point of exhausting jaw and teeth pain. God give me strength to keep loving them all through whatever they throw at me. I had a great example and I threw some stuff, so I do believe we'll make it. If we don't, just take me out of the padded cell and straight jacket at least for holidays, okay?

Gigi is the best, sweetest, goofiest dog ever. I adore her. I want another one, but just like her. One of my neighbors (and friends), whose boys are also pals of my boys, just got THE MOST ADORABLE puppy. Kind of like this (I totally stole this image from a website so I apologize if I've done something I shouldn't), only smaller still:

I could eat her up. She is the softest thing ever. I am getting her (the neighbor's) boys on the bus this year, so I think I will be asking to "borrow" the dog once in awhile too.

Gigi has another new neighborhood friend that we've been sort of dog sitting lately. A neighbor that goes to our church and recently had a baby. They were having trouble getting Layna enough exercise and were, originally, looking to give the dog away as they were feeling so overwhelmed. But we've been taking her beautiful black shepherd self here and there to give them a break and will watch her for the weekend in a couple weeks so they can take the baby to meet her grandpa. I like to help people. And, I like dogs.

The weekend we have the dog, we have to figure out what to do with both pups while we travel to my folks (not long. 1.5 hours) for a picnic with some of my mom's relatives from Sweden. Kinda cool. Never met them. May never see them again, but it's pretty neat. Wonder what they will think of us showing up with three wild kiddos and a couple dogs. Awesome. I can only hope someone tries to throw a tantrum like today to really complete the "American stereotype." :-) Granted, I don't plan on drinking any Bud Light or eating McDonalds, so maybe we're okay!

I need to go put #2 and #3 to bed. Cal is at his end-of-season baseball picnic with Daddy. We made it to both the boys' end of season games and it was fun as kites to see Cal and his buddy Zach make a great play at first base and see how much he's learned this year. Tate was voted "Outstanding Hitter" for his team. I don't know whether they will stick to baseball or not, but I love that they are doing it now and would pick it over any sport for kids their age. Not sure Ellie is interested though, so maybe she will have to go another route when she's ready. Maybe gymnastics? Not dance, though she's a natural. Sorry Kor, I just can't do it. ;-)

I am putting off bedtime and tidying up, but it needs to be done. End of story? My kids are naughty, but fabulous. My dog is fabulous, but sometimes naughty. My family is just fabulous. Friends? Let's make the make the most of the few weeks before we're back to the school-year grind.


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Ms. G, I Found Our Retirement Home

And there are some more of you out there we'd love to join us!

Seriously, if this video doesn't make you smile, I don't know what will....

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Heat Wave

So far, July has been hot, hot, hot. Brown grass, scorched plants, sticky air, panting dog hot. But in the midst of it, this little chickadee is learning in our tiny pool to swim on her own.. even without a bubble.

Hot diggity!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Selective Memory

Sometimes I start worrying about weird things. Maybe weird is not the right word. Unnecessary? Maybe worry isn't even the right word. I just get this hamster wheel brain thing going and I can't stop myself. Like today, I stood at the kitchen sink in a pretty summer dress and a vintage apron, keenly aware that I was unsure where the waist of my apron should go, as the dress I was wearing was high waisted. Really? Up under my bust? Except the other way was incredibly strange and gave me a funny little "puff" between my chest and my actual waist. Nobody needs an extra puff in that area, I don't care who you are.

And then I started watching my kids splashing around in our cheapy inflatable pool with their 2 dollar squirt guns and hand me down swim suits. I saw them happy and laughing and silly and fighting and showing off for me in turn. I watched the bottom of Ellerie's bikini droop farther and farther off her bum the longer she was wet. I heard countless "Mommy, watch me"s and I soaked in the heat and sunshine while I washed the dishes (from the past three days that couldn't go in the dishwasher). I felt warm and fuzzy, nostalgic and weirdly sad all at the same time. Will they look back on this summer remembering the joy they felt squirting each other in the face with a water gun? The happiness of climbing the tree with an icee in their hand? Or will they remember being forced to sit in the van after church because of a bad attitude, screaming for all who passed by to hear "I HATE EVERYONE!!!!!" Will they remember me constantly yelling and nagging and then crying? Will they take me out of my straight jacket for holiday dinners only to STILL complain about what I cooked? ;-)

Mostly, all of this speculation doesn't matter. I do my best, I say I'm sorry when I don't and I start over. I know that my kiddos know they are loved deeply, but sometimes it does feel like there is so much negativity. So much fighting and whining and anger and tears, it makes me wonder how all the joy will shine through when they look back. When I look back. But memories do seem to mellow. Sometimes I wish I could have more of the rosiness right now. Still nostalgia, being what it is, requires time and perspective. Things taken for granted now will be savored later.

Truth be told, I don't mind if we all remember each other someday with an extra touch of sweetness.

But, I'll be fine if we forget my belly poof altogether.

Friday, July 1, 2011

June is Done

Well, we rounded out June and the start of summer vacation with some water time with good friends.

Then we dove straight into VBS week, prepping our church for the hundreds of kids that were relying on our team's 6 months of planning for an awesome week learning about how wild God is about all of us!

Whether because of us or in spite of us, God used these little kiddos to bring in a big supply of food for our community food cupboard

and a good chunk of change for church plants in Cambodia in only 4 days!

And, you know, I think they had a little fun too...