Archive for the ‘Did That Really Happen?’ Category

Last night at dinner, I asked the kids, “If you could design an ice cream flavor, what would you put in it?”

I learned that we have a few strange kiddos!

The youngest one (the six year old boy) said, “SALAD!  I want ice cream with vegetables in it!”  Then he told us specifically that he wants, “bananas, apples, and blueberries.”  After a little botany lesson, he conceded that it was fruit that he wanted, but the image of salad ice cream will not leave my mind!

His brother wanted salmon ice cream.

The next oldest, Ethiopian by birth, wanted to use berbere (an Ethiopian spice) to add some kick to her dessert.

I was wondering, “Whose children are these?”

Finally, the one I have to claim, because we look just alike, piped up with, “Well I want peanut butter and chocolate in mine.”  Never mind that I don’t really like peanut butter, I’m takin’ hers!

What flavor ice cream would you make?

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Very Egg-citing!

I have fifty-four eggs in my refrigerator.  Yes, 50 and 4 . . . or 18 + 18 + 18.

Why, you ask, are there 54 eggs in my refrigerator?  That’s a good question!

Easter come early?  Nope.

A craving?  Goodness, no!  (I’m a not so distant egg-hater.)

An egg-stravagant give-away?  I wish.

Instead I have found myself with 54 eggs, three cartons of 18 eggs, because I have apparently developed early onset memory-loss.  Or maybe I just have four kids and too many activities.  And maybe, just maybe I didn’t remember that there was a full carton of eggs in the fridge when I told Handsome to grab some eggs when he was in that isle getting butter.  And then, maybe, just maybe, an hour later when I was at the big box store I forgot that I had told Handsome to get said eggs.  And maybe, just maybe, I laughed out loud and wished (again aloud) for Easter come early when I opened the fridge to put away what I found to be the third full carton of eggs.

I think it’s time to slow down a bit!

And find some good egg recipes.

Got any?

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Earlier today I told the kids that we could have (leftover) French toast and pancakes for breakfast.  My oldest heard me say we could have leftover French FRIES and pancakes for breakfast!  How excited was she! . . . that is, until I told her what I really said.


It is official:  My computer hates me.  Earlier today I was trying to install an update.  It wouldn’t work, and it wouldn’t work.  Usually, I’d call my husband into the room, and he would fix it.  Lately I’ve noticed that all he has to do is come into the room, and the computer straightens up.  Today though, he wasn’t home, so I called him to ask for assistance.  I did the exact same thing that I had already done multiple times – just to read him all of the little messages in the little boxes.  I did every.single.thing. the same, except this time I couldn’t read him the little error message at the end of the process . . . because the darn thing worked.  Why is it that this thing can make me feel like such a fool!


Tonight for dinner my children ate homemade guacamole, a handful of carrots, a few grapes each, a big hunk of yummy bread with butter, and some yogurt.  It was what needed to be eaten.  I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that my oldest thought I was going to feed her French fries for breakfast, huh?!


We started school last week, but tomorrow is the first day that we will really carry out our schedule for the day – pray for me!

[I am hoping that with school for the kids will come some time for Mom to blog – here’s hoping I get to hit that publish button a little more often this fall!]

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We received this letter from a friend this week:

Dear [Gus] and [Little Man],

I am sorry for boxing you.  And I am sorry you got hurt.  please come play again soon.

from, [our friend]

That is definitely one for the scrapbook!  Oh, my lands!  I can’t tell you the laughter this whole situation has prompted.  Our children decided to box with a friend on a playdate.  Their was only one pair of boxing gloves involved, and my children weren’t smart enough to request to be the ones to wear them.  No one was really hurt, but there was one big, giant lump on one girl’s eyebrow.  Same eye that she clobbered a couple of weeks ago; that time she had a huge shiner!  I should pray for her safety more.  (And just to be sure to sound like a conscientious parent, yes, we were checking on the kids.  Yes, they were sneaky and only boxed when we parent-types weren’t looking.  And yes, they knew they shouldn’t have been doing it . . . but they did anyway.)


A friend wrote me the following sentence in reference to our “last day of summer-let’s have lots of fun-day to celebrate and go swimming and eat chocolate chip cookie bars” event:

“I think jumping into a new school year calls for a pan of sugar.”

I couldn’t agree more!


{wrote this yesterday but was just too tired to actually hit the post button}

While it is still hot, hot, hot outside, the temperature inside has cooled considerably; we spent our day having our first day of school.

The kids woke up to find at the bottom of the steps a pile for each of them – new school supplies, a few treats, and a mom-made All About Me Poster.  A little side note:  one of the things that I enjoyed this year was that when we went school shopping, the kids opted to save some money and not buy everything new.  We did buy a few new things – either things we didn’t have before or things that needed to be replaced – but over and over they said, “I don’t need a new one of those; I’d rather spend the money on something fun!”  I didn’t prompt this, but they are learning that smart decisions get rewarded!

We did a devotion this morning from 1 Corinthians, talking about how we should honor the Lord with everything that we do.

Then we dove into a checklist of back-to-school kinds of activities.

Here is list of things to do this week:

  • Draw and color a page for the front of your binder.
  • Organize bins and binders (each child has a bin where his/her school books live and a binder that is his/her main work binder)
  • Sharpen pencils and have erasers ready
  • Art Lesson (Yay!)
  • “Why Study History?” lesson from Tapestry of Grace
  • Calendar (one child decorated around the calendar, one child wrote family birthdays and holidays, and one child crossed off all the days until the 20th)
  • Reading
  • “All About Me” Poster (The kids were supposed to work on this any time they didn’t have something else to do)
  • Put together a time capsule

And that, my friends, sums up the official end of our summer break.

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So the other night, I took great care to boil the eggs that we intended to use for the egg-dying festivities.  We also planned to eat them at our family get-together on Saturday.  One little problem:

Handsome came upstairs to wake me the morning after the boiling and said, “Uh, there’s a little problem.  We can still dye the eggs, but we can’t eat them.”  I knew immediately what had happened; I completely forgot to refrigerate them overnight – Ug!

Anyway, we went ahead and decorated them, and since I wasn’t worried about them spoiling, we used them as our centerpiece for our Easter meal.  Here’s what our happy little accident looked like!

Uh, I know that they’re not your “normal” Easter fare, but the kids had a blast being creative . . . and who am I to stop them!

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Last week’s game was particularly intense.  This team had smashed our team the first time we played them; it would have been embarrassing, except for the fact that two of Bubba’s friends were on the other team . . . and well, that just made it unmentionable . . . except for the fact that these girls are just great, so no one really said anything about the defeat.  They just went ahead and played together.

Last week’s game was a completely different story; Bubba’s team was in the lead for the first half, and during the last half the score was tied as each team inched forward basket by basket.  Then in the final minute, one of their players scored.  The crowd went wild – crazy, screaming parents everywhere!  Every one thought that was it; these girls are good, but beginners don’t score with just a few seconds on the clock . . . except that one of them did!  Bubba’s team scored again with just seconds on the clock, and the game ended in a tie.  It was a great game, and it was perfect that in the end no one lost.  They had all worked SO hard!

Fast forward to this week.

The players are all warmed up, the game ball is out, the ref is walking to mid court.

Bubba’s coach runs all the way across the court to us.

He must have something really important to tell us before the game.

He bends over in front of us and says, “I forgot to tell you last week:  Near the end of the game, when the play was really fast and furious.  Everyone was really working hard.  Bubba was playing her position when one of the other team’s girls made her shot, Bubba looked at her and said, ‘Woa!  That was a great shot!  Good job!'”  He laughed and said, “That was just a great moment in the game!”

All at once, I was bursting with pride (that’s my girl – what an encourager!) and doubled over with laughter (you just gotta love a competitive spirit like that! haha!)


Another silly little note:  This was the week for our children to be guarded by giants!  During their basketball games, both Bubba and Little Man were guarded by players who were so tall that our kids weren’t even as tall as the competitor’s shoulders (and our kids aren’t short for their age).  It was like watching Shaquille O’Neal play basketball with PeeWee Herman!

It’s a good thing our kids are good sports!

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So I finally scheduled family pictures, and wouldn’t you know it, Little Man went and lost his two front teeth this last week.

What is it with my kids (particularly that adorable stinker) and pictures!


There was also this, posted last February:

For months I’ve been telling family members that I was going to have a picture taken of all four of our children.


I finally schedule it.  Wednesday, 4pm.

I arranged the entire day’s schedule so as to make it to the photographer promptly a few minutes before 4, well-rested, snacked, and ready to smile.

We started out the day with breakfast, piano practice, and chores – just like always.

Next we did school, taking care to get it all done quickly though thoroughly; there would be no time for catch-up this afternoon.

I realize, while doing school, that the boys have not had haircuts since I can remember.  Shaggy hair is not good for pictures.  Recalculate timing of the afternoon and figure out that I can fit the haircuts in, if I just manage my time well.

10am – K, our sitter arrives to watch the kids for a couple hours while I run about like a chicken with my head cut off run as many errands as possible, since this is my only chance all week to get out of the house without the hassle of a child in a car seat and two other children who take all day long to get in and out of the van.

I return home at noon, and as I turn the corner to my street stop congratulating myself for all that I’ve accomplished (and still returned home by noon) and realize that there is a concrete truck parked across my street…and the concrete workers really don’t care that I am paying the sitter while they take up the road.

Finally mange to squeeze by the truck before my head explodes.

Dash into house with bags in hand.

Sitter asks if I can take her home.  Really, I don’t mind at all, but I immediately start re-calculating the afternoon fitting in lunch, nap, snack, and travel-to-the-photo-studio time.  I can do it, so I do.

Return home.

Feed ravenous children who decide for the first time ever that they are going to savor every. bite. that. I. have. laid. on. their. plates. while I count the minutes.

Finally, Little Man is done with his lunch (or did I take it from him, I can’t remember…really, I jest).  Take him out to garage to do the quick haircut.  Sit him on step stool, just like always.

Forgot towel to drape around his shoulders.  Dash inside and upstairs to get towel.

Return to garage and shivering half-naked boy.  Think, “Have to move fast.  Time is ticking.  Boy is freezing.”  Hurry!

Pick up clippers.  Hurry!

Two swipes with the clippers.  Hurry!

I think,”Wow!  Little Man’s hair must have been really long, because the contrast here is just striking…or maybe I’m doing something wrong…but I can’t be doing something wrong; it’s picture day!”  And then it slowly begins to dawn on me that I am making my son bald!  The guard was not on the clippers, so I had created a 5 inch wide bald spot on the left front of my child’s head.

Start laughing and crying at the same time.  Think, “Well, I guess I could just ask that the photographer only photograph the other side of his head”…only to look at that side of his face and realize that side of his face is covered with a giant bruise, left there after an attempt to fly.

More laughing and crying and calling the studio to reschedule.

This is why my family doesn’t get pictures of my children.


This was taken later that night.  You can’t see the bald spot just all that well, but it’s there.  I asked Little Man if he would like me to make him “bald” all over or just leave it.  He just sort of laughed and told me to leave it as it was, he’d be happy to wear a hat all week!


And this, posted two days later:

You may recall that a couple of days ago I wrote an entirely true story about why I had to postpone our family pictures.  Believe it or not there’s more!

After the haircutting incident I called the studio and rescheduled.  I made the date two weeks out…two weeks for the hair to grow and the bruise to heal; that should do it, I thought!

Two weeks pass by.  No one, I repeat, NO ONE gets damaged-in-a-visual-way or bruised or another bad haircut during that time.

The day before the BIG-PICTURE-DAY Handsome was home in the afternoon.  Our whole family was in the family room, just hanging out as families are wont to do.  Suddenly there was the sound of child’s flesh hitting the floor and lots of really loud screaming.  We were all right there, but none of us (but the three year old, and he’s not talking) knows exactly what happened…but there was blood and more screaming and a bit, fat lip!  The.day.before.the.pictures!

Whatever he did that caused his lip to get smashed between the floor and his teeth caused Dimples’ lip to swell to approximately sixty times it’s original size, and being the Mother-of-the-Year material that I am all I could think about (after the ice was applied and the screaming did stop) was, “I guess I’ll reschedule pictures again!”

The good news is:  The swelling had gone down almost completely by the next morning, and I decided not to reschedule the pictures.

The bad news is:  By that second afternoon a scab had formed over Dimples’ lip, so his lip looks a little, tiny bit deformed in the pictures.

But he was smiling, and that’s all that really matters . . . right???

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(A little background:  We often talk about having more kids.  We often say how much fun it would be and how much we would enjoy having the opportunity to raise more children.  But then the conversation always goes back to the fact that if we have more, we have to have a larger vehicle…and that, my friends, frightens me to no end.  I just can’t imagine driving one of those, big giant million-passenger things around town, looking for a place to park, and having to maneuver through traffic!  Eeks – it’s enough to make me cry just thinking about it!  And so then, I decide that I’m just happy with four children, and I change the subject.)

Today was such a fun day!

Our schedule was all out of whack, because we had a field trip planned right in the middle – yay!

We managed to do a couple “schoolish” things before our ride arrived, then we packed ourselves into a fifteen passenger van with nine other people.  There were booster seats and car seats everywhere, but it was so much fun!  We three moms sat up front and chatted while the kids made all sorts of noise in the back; we all loved it!

As we pulled up, another homeschooling family stood on the curb and laughed with/at us as we all unloaded from the “bus” like clowns from a car.

We all saw The Nutcracker, and every one of us really enjoyed it – even the boys!  It was a shorted-for-kids version, but they sat glued to it for the entire hour.  Not even the three year old blinked.

On the ride home, everyone ravaged their lunch bags and gobbled down much needed sustenance.

I was the first to unload my children, my stuff, and all of our safety seats from the safety of my friends’ van.  With a big smile, I waved good-bye from my garage.

What a blessing to have these friends and this time with my children!

And then…and then…Bubba said to me, “Mom, I hope that we can have a van like that someday.  It’s just like riding the bus!  We could ride the bus everywhere!”

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Me: What did the wise men bring to Jesus?

Bubba: Gold!

Gus: Mirth! (Well, maybe they did, but that wasn’t exactly the answer I was hoping for!)

Little Man:  Frankenstein!  (I’m pretty sure this wasn’t one of the gifts, but I sure did get a good laugh!)


Me:  Where does sap come from?

Gus: Barf! (she meant bark, as in the bark of the tree.)


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Yesterday I was sitting in the foyer, putting together a garland to hang on the handrail of our stairs.  I had spent too much time looking up internet inspiration, and I was bubbling over with ideas.  I also was really hoping to make the whole garland (and make it look nice) without spending a dime.  I had a box of miscellaneous ribbons and decorations from my own basement and one from my grandma’s basement and a few odds and ends that I had “borrowed” from around the house.  As I was beginning to put it all together, I thought, “Oh, I wish that I had a few cool feathers to use – that would be perfect!”

Not even five minutes later, I heard this huge, “THUNK!” against the back door.  I look back and see a huge print of a bird on the sliding glass door.  Poor thing!

I dashed to the door, only to stop dead in my tracks half of the way there, realizing that there was a bird.of.prey sitting on our grill just outside the door.  I thought that he must have hit the door and was recovering on the nicely placed perch.  I quietly (so as not to scare the bird further) called the kids who came dashing from all the corners of the house to gawk at the bird.  After much discussion and page flipping and some reading too, Bubba decided that it must be a norther harrier.  He had flown away by the time that we got him all figured out, but we just had to tell someone.

We called my grandpa, a birder for many years who has traveled places just to see birds, to tell him of our excitement…and the bird print on the door.

Though while Bubba was telling him the story, I realized that the story was not as I had thought it was.  I stepped to the window to look at the spot where the bird had been, only to find the northern harrier…standing in a pile of loose feathers.  And those were not his own feathers he was standing in!  (eek!)

When the bird of prey moved a bit, it became clear that he had something feathery clasped in his right talon, and he wasn’t lettin’ it go!  About that time, my grandpa (over the phone) started saying, “Well, the harriers have to eat too!” and laughing like only he can do.

He also told us that hawks and similar birds are known to scare prey into flying into things.  The impact dazes the prey, and the bigger bird then has a meal.  In our case, we believe it was a tasty dove that our harrier had for lunch.

For the next hour my kids sat by the window watching that bird eat.  It was as if they had never seen anything better!

And now there’s a big pile of feathers in my back yard.  I might just go get some for the garland, if it weren’t for the fact that every time I saw them I would remember from whence they came!  I hope God doesn’t think me ungrateful!

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