Saturday, October 31, 2009

A Little Pixie Dust

A night in Never Land

Wendy (sewn from an old fitted bed sheet. Sometimes, I impress myself.)

Tick-Tock (recycled dinosaur costume from years ago)


My man Pan

Tiger Lilly (Is she not the cutest thing you have ever seen?!)

The expense of the last three costumes counter balance the economy of the first two. I had to go to the party store and make painful purchases--even though it nearly killed me to spend money on costumes as simple as Peter Pan and Tiger Lilly. Finding a perfectly good Pan costume in Goodw*ll this morning only poured salt in the wounds. Oh, well, I simply did not have the time this year to sew them all.

And this is the first year K did not dress up. I'm pretty sad about that. Where was the Pixie dust to protect him from growing up?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Friday Photo Journalism

Parents Consider Legal Action in Wake of False Advertising Debacle
Texas--Br*tt incorporated, owners to the popular children's icon, Th*mas the Tank Engine, bamboozled countless customers into buying shrill train whistles falsely touted and packaged as flashlights.

The proposed class action suit accuses the company of lying to consumers not only in stocking the toys in a separate, whistle-less section of the gift shop, but also in cleverly concealing the offending mouthpiece located at the base of the flashlight. Unsuspecting moms, steered children past sirens, bull horns, and snap whips to flashlights, deceitfully nestled between toothbrushes and themed underpants, only to be horrified once the plastic came off. Too late for remedy.

"It is MY flashlight. It is for to make the light. And here, it is a whistle. I blow it loud and louder," testified a three year old of his new Th*mas flashlight.

His parents were considerably less thrilled. They grimly agree, "someone should pay."

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Three Questions

Tired of asking your kids about their day at school ("How was your day?" and "What did you learn today?") and getting the same one-word responses ("O.K.," "Fine," "Nothing")?

Try the three questions.

1. What happened today that made you laugh?
2. What was the best thing you ate today?
3. Who did you help?

I don't exactly remember where I picked these up, but I've been using them for over two years now, and they certainly help get the ball rolling around the supper table in the evenings. For instance, tonight I learned that Ian helped an unlucky classmate clean up a dropped lunch tray, Marina caught the giggles on the playground and almost couldn't stop, and Abby found the cafeteria's mashed potatoes "excellent," but the chicken nuggets decidedly lacking. Good stuff. And, as an added bonus, I've found the children now anticipate my nightly inquisition and actively look for someone to help during the day--reason enough for me to keep asking.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Inside Job

**Yes, I know it isn't Saturday, but Tuesday works for me

1. When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up? I went through a stage of wanting to be a veterinarian when I was very young. Then I decided I didn't really love animals that much. Mostly, I wanted to be a mom. I always thought that I would be a foreign missionary if the whole marriage/children dream did not pan out. Around 13, I strongly considered becoming a midwife. Finally landed on a teaching degree as my fall back career. I'm good with kids, creative, excellent classroom manager, and no needles are required (generally speaking).

2. Did you ever pursue that career? No, on veterinarian. YES, on being a mom! Trouble is, it doesn't pay much. And to become a midwife, you must first become a RN, and I thought I did not have the stomach for that. Wish now I had bucked up and gotten over it. I've taught off and on since graduating.

3. If you are not in that field, what changed? Six kids.

4. What is your current job? Substitute teacher...very soon, daycare owner/director.

5. What's the best part of what you do? Telling little children about Jesus.

6. Do you have plans to do something else down the road? Ultimately would like to sell business at enormous profit or keep it for Marina to run one day. Since she is only in kindergarten that is some long range planning. ;0) The master and I are always coming up with one scheme or another. We both would love to travel--perhaps realization of the old foreign missionary dream lies ahead. Of course, I'll never retire from being a mommy, but look forward to being promoted to Grandma eventually.

7. How did you get your present job? God gave us a building. Since I am qualified to direct a daycare center, it just made sense to open a business.

8. Did your parents influence your choices of jobs over the years? No. Mom and Dad did not allow us to get jobs in high school. They said making good grades for scholarships was a better return on investment than any minimum wage job we could get as teens. Now my sister-in-law (not college educated) makes three times what I would make teaching as an officer in a bank. She started as a teller when she was 15. So, I have to wonder? But, I never felt pressure from my parents to enter any certain field, only to follow my interests.

9. What advice would you give your children on careers? Pursue any of your interests, but make sure you acquire a degree in something that will pay the bills.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY, Monday, October 19, 2009
Outside My Window...dark, cool, and clear

I am thinking...boring stuff like minimum standards, and ratios, and TB tests

I am thankful church. *deep breath* I am really starting to love (and dare I say--trust?) these people. Scary stuff.

From the kitchen...'tis but a bitter waste land.

I am wearing...snugly winter jammies someone donated to the women's shelter that has not been here for two years. Hey, if I see them leaving stuff outside the building, I'll tell them that the mission has moved, but many people throw out bags and drive off. Most of the clothes are trash and we dispose of them with our garbage. But if it is something we can use...we wear it. I have no pride. Good stuff that we can't use we take to Go*dwill.

I am creating...daycare and fall festival ensembles. A few of which may end up coming from Party's Plus

I am turn in my application to the state this week.

I am reading...I went through a reading spree about two weeks ago--reading non-stop and neglecting my family and home shamefully--and have now sworn off starting any new books until after the daycare opens

I am hoping...once again hoping that we will be able to sell our old house. The mortgage is a millstone around our necks.

I am hearing...clothes tumbling in the dryer.

One of my favorite things...hearing Marina laugh. It is a loud, brash, guffaw sound, so very incongruent with my thin, waif-like little girl, that I invariably laugh along with her.

Around the house...Staying up late hours to try and keep up with the housework after working in the daycare all day. Futilely, I may add; I am not keeping up at all. And we ate take out twice today. TWICE! I think that sets a record.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...More daycare, TB test, I think we have some parent/teacher conferences, my parents are visiting this weekend...

A picture thought I'm sharing:

The bluest eyes in Texas.

Friday, October 16, 2009

What A Day!

Thomas the T*nk Engine came to a railway near us, and we hopped aboard. Considering we once drove all the way to Colorado for a similar event, I was thrilled to make this super-fun family outing as a day trip. On the way back, we stopped at a pumpkin patch. I'm pooped, but wanted to show off some my best pictures!
Randy would not cooperate for pictures but wanted instead to stand in front of Thomas and look and look. He kept saying, "That's my friend, Thomas. I ride in the freight cars?" I kept telling him that, yes, we would ride Thomas, but we would ride in 'coaches' not 'freight cars', but no need to confuse him with the facts.
I did a double take when I saw this little girl running around the state park. She is Cara's twin for sure! They looked so much alike, I had to ask the mother how old she was. I know Cara has a biological half-sister who is only a year older than her, and boy was I curious when I saw this cutie run up to a very Caucasian looking mommy. Just in the nick of time I thought to ask, "How old is she?" instead of blurting out, "Is she adopted?" Turns out this little girl is only six months older than Cara, and when we met her daddy, he was an Asian man with darker than usual skin tone. Both of us snapped pictures of our look-alikes, and the funny thing was, I know the man was looking at John and me and the other, Arian N*tion kiddos and thinking, "Where did she come from?" But he was polite enough not to ask. Kudos to him! Isn't that hairstyle darling? I'm strongly considering having Cara's hair cut in a chili bowl now that I've seen how cute she will look in it!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Never Before

And with any luck, never again. Thought I'd take a quick potty break between committee meeting and evening service. Pee in haste, repent at leisure. My skirt did not clear the commode. Thankfully, I was able to rush out of the side door without (I hope!!) anyone seeing me. I really must give up wearing broomstick skirts. I have not the careful, cautionary personality they require.

*If you wonder why my posts are few and far between, something has gone wrong with the computer. It takes forever to type on a website. You have to peck S-L-O-W-L-Y. Otherwise, the cursor just blinks at you. Getting a post up on blogger is painfully slow. I don't do slow.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Everyday Celebrations

I began the seasonal clothes sort today. This evening, the children discovered winter pajamas in their drawers. You'd have thought it was Christmas morning! They were that excited over the "new" clothes. Mind you, none of them were, in fact, new. Abby is wearing a nightshirt I found at GoodW*ll. Ian is styling the moose jamies I made him last winter with fabric I picked up from the discount table at Hancock's. Rina's Barbie nightgown and Randy's puppy dogs night clothes are hand-me-downs from older siblings. Yet--in their minds, at least--"Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed as one of these."

Lord, grant that they will always find such pleasure in the simple things of life.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Saturday Nine-Let's Go To Bed

1. Has a relationship been effected by how one of you slept? No, not really, but we have had some pretty heated discussion regarding the whole fan/no fan issue. Once, early in our marriage, I talked in my sleep (which I do from time to time), stating, "I want a divorce." Unfortunately, he was awake at the time, and heard me--very clearly. I honestly don't remember what I was dreaming about and was shocked when he repeated it to me. I most certainly did not want a divorce, but as you might imagine, he was quite upset for some time over the incident.

2. What side of the bed do you sleep on? right.

3. Do you sleep on your back, side, or stomach? I start out on my side or stomach, but usually awake on my back.

4. Describe the bedding on your bed right now. How does it change with the seasons? Are you particular about your pillows or linens? When we moved last year, I refused to move with the comforter because it was old (five years or more) and not in good condition. I figured that if we didn't take it with us, we would be "forced" to buy another one. Guess what? We still don't have one. We sleep with a sheet, and on cold nights, we throw on a quilt. Poor folk have poor ways. Our linen closet is in such bad shape, my mom is embarrased for me when she comes to visit.

5. When sleeping with someone, do you hog the bed, steal covers, or snore? The master says "no," "yes!" and "sometimes."

6. What do you wear to bed? If it varies, explain. Night gowns or T-shirts in fall, spring, and summer. In the dead of winter, I'll wear flannel pj's. Oh, and my bra.

7. No matter how much you love someone, would you rather sleep alone? No, I've never minded sleeping with someone. Unlike the master, who cannot rest without me, I don't have to have a partner to sleep soundly.

8. Tell us about a time when you awoke in bed, saw the person next to you and thought, "Oh, no..." I had to giggle, becuase this actually happens to me all the time! ;0) Any night I don't remember to put the baby gate up in the boy's doorway, Ian or Randy will come curl up next to me, and it gets really crowded and uncomfortable. I wake up in the middle of the night, stiff and cramped, and look over to see their sweet little faces.

9. Tell us about a time when you awoke thinking it was a different day than it was. In college, I hated waking up on a Tuesday and thinking it was a Wednesday. It's a bummer to get ready for an 8:00 class when you don't have one until 9:30.