Wednesday, December 29, 2010

It Could Only Happen To Me

When I was 18 I got a second hole in my earlobes, but for some reason, one side never healed properly and I had to re-open the piercing every time I changed my earrings, so I finally just let it close up. For Christmas my in-laws gave everyone $25 gift cards to Walmart! I wanted to do something completely frivolous that I wouldn't probably use family money to do. I decided I wanted to get my second earlobe piercings reopened with my Christmas money.

It seemed like a really good idea, so I went over to have it done tonight. The girl that was doing the piercings had a real thick accent, making her a little difficult to understand. I also decided to get my right cartilage done, so when she asked me which side needed to be re-pierced, I thought she was asking which side I wanted the cartilage pierced on, and I raised my right hand. So she found the little opening to the hole and re-pierced the right ear.

I remember getting my ears pierced when I was 18, and it hurt. A LOT. So I was pleasantly surprised when the piercing didn't hurt at all. She popped the other earring out for me to put into the other side, and she pierced my cartilage.

While she was cleaning up and getting ready to check me out, I tried to put the earring she gave me into my left ear. And it wouldn't go in. That's right. I had her re-pierce the wrong side!! I told her what happened, and she looked at me and said, "I'm running really low on the earrings you just chose. I don't know if there are any more left. So she searched for another set of the earrings I had just bought, and they were completely out. (Of course.) She looked at me and told me, she didn't know what to do, because there were no more earrings like that.

I looked back at her and I said, "Well, I'M the idiot that had you re-pierce the wrong side. Do you think you could just force the other earring in? It's my own fault."

She said she'd try. So I sat back down in the chair, and she started trying to work the earring in. It hurt. Really bad. She said that she could see it coming through the other side and that if I was okay, she'd keep pushing it through (I do feel at this point that I should clarify that even though it hurt, I was NOT fussing, wincing, whining, or being a baby in any way, but I did have my eyes closed - maybe they were closed really tightly). So I told her to finish the job. When it popped through, it really popped through! It was a very strange feeling. She told me I had to take extra care with that side to make sure it didn't get infected since we had to put it through by hand.

I laughed pretty much the whole way home. You know, people tell me that they admire my ability to laugh at myself, but honestly, if they gave themselves as much material as I give myself, they'd be laughing too! I am the biggest dork on the planet.

So, there you go. I had the wrong ear re-pierced. I am the only person in the world that would forget to check before I had something like that done. Yay me!

Monday, December 27, 2010

My Son Makes Me Laugh

We got a new (fake) Christmas tree this year. As it is its' first year with us, my son said to me, "I don't think that this Christmas tree knows how to be a Christmas tree yet. It's only its first year."
I said to him, "Are you going to teach it how to be a Christmas tree then?"

He turns to the tree and says, "Okay tree, stand still, and hold the ornaments!"

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Christmas tree with gifts underneath.

The most handsome boy on the planet! My wonderful 8-year-old Daniel!

Launa-monster! She loved the gift she got from Dan!

First white Christmas in Atlanta in 128 years!

Kids posing with their snow man!

Close-up of the snowman!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I'm Siiiiiiick. :(

I have been blessed with an extremely strong constitution. I don't get sick. Well, I get sick sometimes, but only the odd cold. If it happens to be something worse, it usually happens less than annually, and it rarely knocks me out for more than a day or two. Needless to say, I am a HUGE baby when I'm sick. Every time I get sick, I am pretty much convinced that the end is near. Conversations often go something like this:

Me: *feebly* "Jeremy.....? Is that you...? Are...are you an angel...? Is this what death feels like?"

Jeremy: "Mary, you only sneezed. I promise you will survive!"

This week I have been very sick.

It started out on Friday with a cough.

It progressed on Saturday with a cough, headache and a low-grade fever.

Sunday I had a monologue to deliver at church as part of the Christmas production. Let me tell you, the only way I got through that was through lots of prayer and divine intervention. Really. I'm pretty sure that God stood right next to me and whispered the words into my ear. My concentration and thinking abilities were next to nothing that day, but I still nailed it (and had a believable delivery)! Fortunately for me, my costume that day was a pair of sweats and my bathrobe, along with n0 makeup, and super-frizzy hair! It was the perfect part for me.

What else? Okay, so Monday, I think I slept most of Monday. Yeah. I did. Jeremy took care of the kids and was wonderful that day.

But on Tuesday, HE came home from work with it! (He works the graveyard shift at a textiles factory.) So we were BOTH pretty useless on Tuesday, and he even called off work. I was supposed to make a cake for him to take to work for their Christmas potluck (I don't think I've ever blogged about my cakes, but my mom used to be a pro, and I learned everything I know from her. I make GOOD cakes!). I had already decided that it would be the better part of wisdom to not infect his entire shift with this nastiness, so I'm kinda glad that he didn't go. I have a graceful out now. I'll make the cake next week and send it in.

Today he felt well enough to start trying to do something about the house, which looked like it had thrown up. It's reasonably clean now, and I'm hoping that I'll be able to finish cleaning the kitchen and dining room tomorrow. He has to go to work tonight if he wants to get paid for Christmas Eve and Christmas day. So even though he doesn't feel good, he's off to work. I hear him getting ready now. :(

I finally went to the doctor today. He told me what I was afraid I'd hear: "There's nothing I can really do for you. You've had this thing so long, you just need to let it play itself out. I'm writing you a prescription, but don't fill it unless: By NEXT Friday you still feel like this, or your symptoms get worse, and your fever spikes." He said that there was only a 50/50 chance that the antibiotics would work anyway, so I should use them only as a last resort. He did give me a scrip for a cough syrup that should knock me out for a few hours of blessed sleep! He also told me that if I start having shortness of breath that could be pneumonia, and to get back in to see him.

He also told me a lot of other stuff about sickness and antibiotics, but I can't remember any of it. He told me that he doesn't usually go into so much detail, but that I seem to be very open and willing to understand what he's saying to me. I don't know if he was just flattering me to make me obey his instructions not to fill the 'scrip until the end of next week, or if he really meant it, but I'm thinking that my glassy eyes and mouth breathing couldn't have actually instilled too much confidence in my intelligence or comprehension. But I appreciate the sentiment all the same.

So the real reason that I started blogging at all tonight is this picture of Launa. I love this outfit that she has thrown together. This is one of her favorite outfits, and I have to admit to loving it myself. The pink tights have skull & crossbones on them, but you can't see them well in the picture.

(Sorry, FB friends, I know you've already seen and heard all this stuff.)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

What Happened to My Nectarines?!

Have you ever wondered what happens to a nectarine after many months? In early summer I found a great deal on nectarines, and being the savvy shopper that I am, I picked up a couple. I took them home, but didn't put them away immediately. I guess at some point, Jeremy must have decided to clean up the dining room, or at least clear it out enough that it could be used for its intended purpose. In any event, the nectarines disappeared. I looked for them in the fridge (Where they belong?! HA!), they weren't there. I looked for them on the counter (under all the junk that I keep there, of course), but they weren't there. I looked for them in the dining room on my chair where I had last seen them, but they weren't there. I looked everywhere else in the dining room. Not there. I even looked in my laundry room/storage closet (hereinafter referred to as "the utility room") which is right next to my kitchen. But I could not find it there. I started to worry a bit because I know that nectarines are highly perishable, but I figured that my nose would eventually lead me to them.

The nose never did find the nectarines, but my Christmas stuff did!

I suppose that from my pictures you have probably guessed that housekeeping is not my strong suit. And you would be right. The thing is, if the parts everyone sees are cluttered, imagine how the closets must be! Yeah. It's no wonder I couldn't find those nectarines. My Christmas boxes, when the decorations are not in use, reside in my utility room attached to the kitchen. Along with every plastic bag I have ever brought home from the grocery store, I guess it makes sense then, that I couldn't find the one plastic bag that HAD THE NECTARINES IN IT!!! It is Christmas time, folks! Those nectarines were from early summer! Would you like to know what I found in place of the nectarines?!

Actually, no, you wouldn't.

I will spare you the description, because I don't know how close you are to eating, or just how long ago you ate. Let's just say that I'm not curious enough to have peeked into the bag of liquid I found next to my Christmas stuff as I took it out to the dumpster (sometimes apartment living has its advantages).

You see, I learned very early in my adulthood never, ever to store produce in the utility room with my washing machine. It happened like this: I had a bag of potatoes that I had nowhere to put. I thought my utility room would be a great place for this. Then about a week later, there was a hideous stench coming from that room. I went to investigate, and what did I find?

Exploded potato guts in a bag!! That's what I found!

Ever since that learning experience, I have kept my produce out of my humid utility room. I guess I forgot to inform Jeremy. Hmm, maybe I should tell him now.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Walks In The Park With My Sister

A couple of months ago I decided I needed to get my tush out of the house and moving. The thing is, I HATE exercise! I am an undisciplined do-nothing that tries my very hardest never to be uncomfortable. I couldn't afford a gym membership to guilt me into going because I was paying for the thing. I knew I wouldn't go myself, (I get bored very easily). The kids can't keep the pace that I can yet. I knew I had to get someone that could make me accountable.

My sister-in-law Stacey has battled her weight most of her life, but recently lost over 40 pounds (hope it's okay with you that I posted that, Stace), and she has kept it off for quite a while now (well over a year). I decided she was my girl! I asked her if she would start walking with me a couple of times a week. She agreed, and we started going to a local park with a 2 mile walking trail. She's been taking care of herself for a while, but I have been out of shape for much longer than she's been in shape. It was nothing for her to do 2 miles and go on to 4, but it took a while for me to be able to make it as easily as she could.

Anyway, after a couple of weeks, I started looking around and realized, this park is really pretty. Then, one morning, we saw 11 deer! I decided I needed to start bringing my camera along. When I find really nice things to take pictures of, I take them now. I am not a professional photographer. I'm not even a very good amateur photographer. In fact, I have a real knack for moving while I snap a photo or of covering half the lens with my finger. (I understand it's a family trait.) I never see very many deer when I have the camera around, but I've gotten some other interesting photos. I have decided to share them with you today.

An old nest found on the ground.

Pretty yellow fall tree.

Yellow tree behind rock bridge.

Interesting mushroom.

Persimmon! It took me a while to identify this because they are tiny. The blossom cap on some of the others finally gave it away.

Red tree overhanging the trail on a cloudy day.


More geese. Notice the lone white goose in the background. How do you think he got mixed up with such a rowdy bunch? Leave your stories in the comments section.

Line of red trees in front of some Georgia pines on an overcast day.

Half green, half red tree in front of one of the baseball diamonds.

More trees around the park.

Interesting duck we met for the first time today. He didn't like me taking his picture.

I got him to turn to the side a little anyway so I could take his picture.

Now that it's gotten cold and the leaves have fallen off the trees, this grass seems to have popped inside out like popcorn. This is a picture of a big bunch of this grass. (Sorry it's blurry. I warned you, though.)

This is a close-up of that popped grass. Turns out, that's ICE coming out of it! It must hbe really moist inside, and the moisture starts seeping out, causing the ice to slowly form swoopy ice art on the outside! Cool, eh? I thought it looked like packing peanuts and wanted to see if that's what it felt like, which is how I discovered that it was ice! Crazy!

Time For An Update!

Wow you guys! I've been terribly neglectful of my blog lately, and as you can see I'm trying to get back with it. My posts have been somewhat uninspired, but I'm hoping to get my mojo back soon. ;) I've been looking over my blog though, and all of my family pictures are really old and outdated! I think I need to go through and update them so the family looks true to life. Otherwise you may think that I'm a 26-year-old mother of 6 and 3 year olds forever! I'll be 40 with 2 college aged children (insanity!!) and everyone will think I'm a young mom of two babies. Strange how life tricks you into not realizing that you and everyone around you are getting older. Next month I will be 29. 29!!! How does this happen? I need to hurry and get myself into shape. I'd like at least one year in my 20s where I like the way I look and feel.

I have heard that people mellow when they hit their 30s and start feeling more comfortable in their own skin and more content with life in general. I hope it works out that way for me. I think if I were more relaxed it would make a huge difference for my family. I try, but I've been a crazy woman lately. Maybe that's why the blogging has come hard for me. I don't even recognize myself anymore. I've been prickly and irritable. I have a hard time thinking nice thoughts about anyone. Every little perceived slight sets me off. This is really weird for me because I really like most people, and I generally give people the benefit of the doubt. My philosophy for many years is that people are not out to get me, and their underlying intentions are not to hurt me, so I'm not easily offended. But this is not the case anymore. Don't even think about disagreeing with me or saying something that could in any way be perceived as a criticism or ^%@&MARY!!*^$# will come out and get you! And believe me, you don't want to meet ^%@&MARY!!*^$#! Anyway, I'm hoping to get Mary back soon. In the meantime, maybe ^%@&MARY!!*^$# will provide some entertaining material. We can only hope.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Launa's New Socks

I bought Launa socks in early October because I was unable to find all but maybe one pair. Even after searching the house, under beds, in closets, and under the couch *shudder* I still couldn't find any of her socks. It had been a while since I bought socks for her anyway, so I decided it was time. When I went to Walmart to pick out a new set, I was happy to see this adorable pack that had different colored socks that could color coordinate with pretty much any outfit she had! Obviously not considering the fact that I couldn't find any of my daughter's current socks, and that if that happened to any of these socks, they would have no mate, I grabbed the package. I am entirely serious when I say that some of these socks were worn ONCE before their mates disappeared! (I'm sure you could tell by looking at the pristine condition of some of these socks.) I have already had to pair the gray one with the black one, and the blue one with the purple one. I know people joke about missing socks, but really, where DO they go?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Cub Scouts

Daniel started Cub Scouts this school year. He is a bear cub. Today they worked on earning their wood-working badges, and they made bat houses. You read that right, bat houses. Because I want screechy, rabies riddled, terrifying flying rodents around my house. It's a good thing that we rent, because I can say that we aren't allowed to put it up. Here are pictures of the bat house that Daniel, Launa and I (but mostly Daniel) made at scouts:

Daniel and Launa posing with the bat house:

Close-ups of the sides and inside. That's some high quality craftsmanship!

I hope the bats don't end up with tetanus on top of their rabies.

As a reward for sticking with me this long, an added bonus - Launa playing the DS:

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Sweet Launa

Okay, so this might be "overshare" territory, but I was in my underwear after my shower, and Launa came in. She wanted me to help tear the perfume samples out of a magazine we had been talking about and looking through together earlier. So I sat down, and we were looking through the magazine, when she starts patting my adorably distended mommy belly. She said, "Belly, belly, belly. I used to live in there. It used to be my home." And she kissed it. Suddenly my belly doesn't seem so hideous to me anymore.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

More Than Just A Family Story

The kids had Fall break over the weekend (5 days off in a row!), so we got to go visit my family in St. Louis. My grandma has had a rough year and recently moved into my folks' house. It was really nice for my family to get to spend some real time with her, since we have rarely been able to make visits across the country to visit her in California. Before I went to bed (super late on that last night in town), my mom got out a little album that they put together of family snapshots.

You know how there are some stories that you hear about growing up, but you really can't grasp the true horror of it until you have lived life a little? We revisited one of the tragic stories of our family history as we went through the album and as I was telling Jeremy about it later, the depth of anguish I felt over this story surprised even me. Here it is:

As we were going through the photos, there was one of this beautiful, goofy, adorable little girl with short, tousled, blond hair, and the typical knock-knees and giant teeth of a pre-teen, holding a lit-up birthday cake and grinning ear-to-ear. My aunt Nancy. It was her eighth birthday.

When my mother was very small, and my uncle was an infant, the family was involved in a terrible car wreck. In this wreck, my grandma's pelvis was crushed and she was told that she would never walk again. My aunt Nancy was thrown from the car and died on impact (this was in the early 60s when seatbelts weren't even installed in every car). My grampa, who has always struggled with depression couldn't care for the entire family, so the oldest three children stayed home while my mom and uncle Mark, who were babies at the time, had to be cared for by separate friends and family members until my grandparents could get things back under control in their lives. The oldest child, my aunt Debi cared for the home and the other two siblings, while still going to school and maintaining her grades. At the age of 12. This one event set them back for years as people and as a family. The accident happened two months to the day after the photo was snapped of Nancy's 8th birthday.

Grampa and Gramma made it through the tragedy. My Gramma walks. Nancy is a well-used family name, in honor of the aunt/sister/daughter that everyone loved and missed. It has occurred to me that on Tuesday, my son Daniel will be the exact same age as my aunt Nancy was when she passed away. And I now dream of the beautiful little girl frozen in time, waiting in The Father's arms for the rest of her family to join her in their own times.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Cool Facts About Spiders!

So I asked the exterminator about the black widow looking spider from my back window. I told him that it looked like a black widow with a red squiggly line down it's back. He told me that it was a male black widow because they have either a red squiggly line or a dot on it's belly instead of an hourglass. I told him how strange that was since there was an egg sac in the window. He told me that it must have been the dad and that he got away from the mom (who usually kills the male after mating), but was coming back to eat the eggs. I feel kind of bad that I had J kill the eggs, since it sounds like the dad had the same goal in mind. The exterminator told me that the males are also venomous. As he was leaving, the exterminator told me to take the broom and sweep down all the spider webs on my front porch because spiders only make enough web in their lifetimes to make one web. They absorb the web (Liz told me that spiders can absorb their webs, but I didn't know they can only make one web in their lifetime) when it gets really yucky, and then use it to make a new one. If their webs are knocked down though, since they can't make anymore webs, they will starve to death.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

My Dining Room Window

I don't go outside as much as I should. And I rarely have any reason to go out back. My back door is in my dining room, right next to my dining room window. As I was coming inside from the back today, I noticed all these bugs on the ledge and I thought, "Wow, we must have a serious spider living on the window!"

I ran inside to grab my camera and take a picture of the window sill to show you the carnage. When I came out, I was surprised to find ...


It looks like a black widow, but instead of an hourglass, it has a red squiggly stripe down it's belly. I wonder if there's a variety of black widow that looks like this, or if it's a benign garden spider sporting camo?

Friday, July 23, 2010

New Banner!

In case you haven't noticed, I have added a new banner image. How do you like the Flock Of Seagulls 'do? It was better before I went downstairs to get the camera. But it's still the same basic shape. Love that girl. She's ridiculous.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Knives I Just Don't Get

Here are two knives I've had for the last 9 years. They came in a set. I don't understand them. What do they do? What is their intended purpose?

The top knife is a lot like a steak knife, but instead of curving up on the end of the blade, it curves down. The bottom knife is shown flipped over on the next picture. This knife has two blades, one going one direction on top, and the other facing the other direction on bottom. It's hard to see what I'm talking about in the pictures, but I hope you get my meaning. Notice the handle: It is meant only to be held one why the double edge?!

These are the knives that I just don't get. Do you have any gadgets around your house that inspire awe and wonder (like, you wonder what the heck it's supposed to do)?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Polling Problem

Hey, I just added a poll so that you can vote for your favorite Georgia monster. The poll wasn't working properly, so I took it down to try again. If you haven't voted, come give it a try. If you have, come vote again because your vote has been reset. Thanks!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Freaky, Weird and Messed-Up Bugs From God's Country

So, I've been living in Georgia for some time now. (2 years this month, can you believe it?!) The bugs here never cease to freak me out amaze me! Anyone who knows what kinds of bugs these are, or any interesting information about them, please let me know.

This is a bug I found right outside my front door when I was telling Jeremy goodbye before he left for work. It was about 11:30 pm. I liked him because of his loooooong antennae.

I woke up to this guy in the doorway between my kitchen and utility room. Because of his stillness and legs-up positioning, I thought he was dead.

Turns out he was just in the throes of death. When I scooped him up into my dustpan and it flipped him over, he started writhing. But he was on his way out. I tossed him outside.

This is a moth I found on my wall out back when I was tossing "mandibles" up there outside. I just thought it was really interesting, so I took a picture of it. Then my bratty neighbor kid killed it. He fed it to a spider.

Speaking of spiders...

This impressive specimen is the same kind of spider that I battled while I was blind and naked in my bathroom. In this case, I had just seen 2 roly-polies crawling around my house and I was on the phone with my dad lamenting the vast number of roly-polies that have been sneaking into my house. I was starting to explain to him that my house is the official roly-poly graveyard since they seem terribly fond of coming here to die. I walked back from the living room where I had seen roly-poly #2 to the kitchen where I had seen roly-poly #1, and looked where the roly-poly had been. Instead of a benign if somewhat annoying roly-poly, there was this huge, nasty guy waiting for me! I was so surprised that I screamed right into my poor dad's ear! (Sorry Dad, I do feel bad about that.) Well, I had seen him, so he couldn't be allowed to live. ::shudder:: Then, I had to figure out how I was going to do it! (Because, of course, I still haven't gotten around to buying that bug spray I promised myself I would pick up after the other spider attack...really, why do I procrastinate so much?) Ack!! I opted for the Clorox Ready Mop which was close at hand, and which kept the spider a good distance from me. This picture was taken after I had smashed the snot out of him! (I suppose that's kind of obvious, since one of his legs is lying next to him, and he's in a crumpled heap.) Ugh. Just looking at the thumbnail of this sends shivers up my spine! In fact, I have to type this in "Edit Html" mode so I can't see the picture! I have seen several of these in my house, and they make me nervous because they are quite large (easily 1 1/2" including the legs, maybe even bigger, but I am not getting close enough to one to measure). Again, I can't get close enough to one of these to figure out if it's a brown recluse or something else. If anyone knows, let me know...actually, I may not want to know. ...If it is a brown recluse anyway, because if that happens, I don't know if I could ever get close enough to kill one, even with a broom or mop. Ick!

So there you have it! Georgia's greatest and most fearsome critters. Hope you enjoyed looking at the strange creatures that God has used to make my life more interesting while I have been here.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Dentist!

I took Daniel to the dentist in late February for the first time in about 18 months.  (Bad Mom!  I know.)  Of course by then, he had gone from having perfect teeth, to having 8-9 cavities that needed to be filled between his teeth.  (FLOSS, for goodness' sake!  FLOSS!)  One of his cavities actually needed to be crowned.  This was going to run us just under $800 out of pocket to do.  On his baby teeth. *sigh* We don't have that kind of money, so like any good overwhelmed mommy, I ran and hid from the mess for 3 months.  Well, the tooth that needed to be crowned really started to hurt him, so I took him in for a consultation and a second opinion from an office that came very highly recommended from a couple of individuals and a general dentist.  

After they got done looking at his teeth (and taking their own x-rays), they brought him out and told me how good he was in the back and how they had no trouble with him, and he was all smiles.  This is always nice to hear.  However, by now the verdict was even more bleak.  3 of the other cavities were now going to need to be crowned.  My bill will now be $2000.  Out. Of. Pocket.  For baby teeth.  They will fall out in about 2 years.  At this point, I start sobbing hysterically, and the poor girl going over the numbers with me doesn't know what to do with me.  She asks if I'd like to send the kids back out to the waiting room to play while we discuss our options.  The kids say they'd like to go play, so, even though normally I don't like to let them out of my sight in public, I allow it.  We discuss options, I have a chat with the dentist who tells me that they may not have to do crowns on those teeth if he doesn't hit the nerve, but he wanted to err on the side of caution.  Meanwhile, Daniel still needs to have a crown put on his hurting tooth immediately at a cost of $344.  Well, I have a Benny card, and I think there's enough left on it, so I head back out to the waiting room for them to call Daniel back again so they can do his crown.   

They have a cool safari themed waiting room.  There's a big fish tank that people can walk behind, and there's this climb-y enclosed thing the kids can play in. And there are a couple of televisions and plenty of seating.  On first glance into the waiting room, I don't see the kids, so I figure they must be in the climb-y thing, or behind the fish.  I look behind the fish.  Not there.  I look in the climb-y thing.  Not there.  Huh.  I check the bathroom.  Not there.  I go back to the climb-y thing and call for them.  Nothing.  There's nobody inside. I do another quick sweep of the waiting room, and they are clearly not there.  I tell the lady behind the desk that my kids came out to the waiting room to play, but they are not there, and would she please check the back for them.  She checks.  They are not there.  I make another sweep of the waiting room and all the nooks and crannies.  NOT.  THERE.  So I ask the lady at the desk if she will allow me to check the back and see if my kids are there.  Not knowing what else to do, she says yes.  I wander around in back looking for the kids, of course I can't see them there.  The assistants back there ask me what I'm doing, and I tell them that my kids are nowhere to be found.  So they all start the search for my kids.  

By this time, I'm starting to freak out.  There's no shouting or hysterics yet, but there is some definite desperation.  I am imagining myself having to call the police and fill out reports, and some MANIAC has just walked into a dental office and took off with my children, and I'll never see them again, and how am I supposed to live without them?  What will I say to Jeremy?  I am the only person on earth that could lose both of their children in one afternoon in a dentist's office!  What if they don't come back?  I really don't think I can survive that...

They call me from the waiting room.  They found them!  The children had been hiding in the climb-y thing, laying flat under the windows so that I couldn't see them.


Okay, let me just say, that as happy as I was that they were still alive, they came tremendously close to being skinned alive right then and there!  Lucky for them we had more time to wait in the waiting room, because if we had been ready to leave, we would have gone straight home, where I would have tanned both their hides so well, that they would not have been able to sit for a MONTH!  I stared them both down, and told them that that was NOT funny.  And to never, EVER do that again.  I should have used their restroom to thrash them ... everyone would have heard, but I don't think there would have been one parent there that blamed me.  *sigh*  Anyway, I don't think they will try that again, because they could tell that I was serious.  So much for "Oh, he's been so good!"  I was so embarrassed.  But at least I still have my brats.  Strangely enough, I love 'em anyway.  

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

And Now, My Son's Comeback

Daniel had been playing Inkball on the laptop when he came down to ask if he could play something else because Inkball was getting too difficult.  Jeremy overheard and said, "Is this what we've taught you?  That when it gets hard, quit?!  Well I didn't raise any quitters!!"  Daniel turns around and says, "Actually, you just did."  Smart aleck.

Another Launism

I was minding my own business when Launa came over and asked me what my favorite thing to do was.  I told her, "Spanking the kids." She said, "No!  Not something that hurts."  I said, "Kicking the kids?"  She said, "NO!!!  Nothing that involves violence!"

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Launa's Day

Today was Launa's last day of pre-k! It was a 1/2 day so I picked her up at 12. For the award ceremony, she won the award for being kindest! I can't tell you how proud that makes me! I think at the Christian school I used to work for they would have called that the Timothy award. :)

Anyway, we stopped at the store after school so I could get lunch and a couple of other things for dinner. Afterwards, while we were driving home (well, I was driving, Launa was sitting in the back seat) I was listening to Limbaugh. Launa calls from the back seat, "Mom, will you please call the man on the radio and tell him to leave and go home?" I asked her why I should do that, and she told me, "Because I don't like to listen to him." *sigh* I'm raising a couple of Liberals. Where did I go wrong? Actually, I had to laugh, and I changed the channel. Love that silly girl.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Speaking Of Grampa...

That story reminded me of another one from when I visited them in 2000.  My grampa took me to church one Sunday when I was over, and he parked in front of this older looking building, that looked a little like a storefront with no windows.  We got out and he gestured to the door on the building and said, "Okay Mary, that's where we're going."  

I read the door: "Church of Scientology, Mission of Buenaventura"

I turned right around and started to get back in the car while exclaiming, "GRAMPA!!! We can't go in there!!"

He started to laugh and pointed across the street to the big Lutheran church and said, "Nah, I'm just kidding. We're going there."   

You know, he had a sick sense of humor.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

I Can't Believe I Forgot This!

There's this great story about my grampa that I was going to be sure to mention when I wrote about him, and I just now remembered that I had forgotten it!  Here it is:

When I was 18 years old, I went to visit my grandparents in Ventura, CA.  That was in the Fall of 2000.  While I was there, they were filming to movie Swordfish in downtown Ventura, and my grampa thought it would be a special treat to take me over there to watch some of it.  So we went.  

Grampa parks the car, and leads me down to where the filming is taking place. 

He walks past the barricade and continues to walk down the street.  

Past the actors dressed in SWAT gear on a tank, past the people running the opposite direction down the sidewalk. 

I'm tip-toeing behind him whispering, "Grampa, I'm not sure we should be back here!"  

Suddenly, the director is shouting over the loudspeaker, "EVERYONE WHO IS NOT IN THE MOVIE GET ON THAT SIDE OF THE STREET!!!!" 

LOL!  Yeah, he was yelling at us!  I was SO embarrassed, but I didn't want to ruin Grampa's chance of watching the filming, so I sucked it up and we went across the street to the crowd behind the barricade and tried to watch, but there was nothing interesting happening and we finally got to leave.  

You know, at the time I thought he was just being oblivious, but now I wonder if he was trying to photo-bomb the movie.  That would have been awesome! 

That is the story of how my grampa and I almost became movie stars!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

I Wish

I just saw an ad for World Vision that said:

"I can bail out:

a: A National Bank
b: Auto Companies
c: A Child Slave"

And all I could think was, if the government hadn't taken my money to bail out national banks and auto companies, I could afford to sponsor a child. Except I wouldn't do it through World Vision because a good percentage of your money goes into their advertising campaigns. I want to put it in with the charity who will use the largest amount of my money possible for the child I sponsor.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Ahhhh, Lou Rawls! I could listen to that man sing forever!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

My Favorite Cake

Jeremy's aunt called me on Thursday to ask me to make a cake for her husband's 40th birthday.  She told me that I could do whatever I wanted as long as it was all "Over-The-Hill"ed out!  So this is what I came up with.  I am proud to say that it is of my own design, and that the "rocks" the edge the cake are chocolate rocks I found in the candy dept. at Walmart.  I LOVE this cake!

Oh yeah, I forgot to add nostrils to the skull at first, so I added them after I took these pics.  I took another picture with the nostrils, but I haven't uploaded the pic to my computer yet.  So you'll have to use your imagination. ;)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Spring Break

Launa and Shadow at James and Jody's

This Spring Break was unusually eventful for us. I decided that I needed an internet detox, since I had been oblivious to my family to an unacceptable degree.  I got off to a good start, but couldn't ignore my grampa's passing on Tuesday, so I wrote two tributes to him - one here and one on FB. Thursday, Daniel had his testing for learning disabilities. I'll get the results on May 7 -you know, two weeks before school lets out for the Summer. Hopefully we'll be able to start some strategies and get some kind of coping mechanisms in place before school starts in the Fall so he can take 3rd grade by storm! 

Friday we went to visit my brother at Ft. Bragg in North Carolina. We got there in the early afternoon, and hung out and made dinner together that night. Saturday we decided to go to the beach, so Jody got out her GPS and pointed it toward the nearest beach which just so happened to be Wrightsville Beach, NC. We grabbed lunch within a couple of miles of our destination at a local fast food restaurant, in which the girl behind the counter was especially rude to my brother and treated him like a moron. When we were done there, we headed back toward the beach, but got stuck in awful traffic. After waiting in traffic for about 30 minutes to get a mile, we realized there was some kind of event going on in town. People were dispersing from what appeared to be maybe a parade, and girls were dressed in old-fashioned debutante dresses out in front of the historic mansions of the town!  Wouldn't you know it?  We chose the annual Azalea Festival to visit their beach.  But the town was beautiful, and the girls in their pretty dresses were a thrill for Launa, so it wasn't a total loss. When we finally got to the beach, we stripped down to our bathing suits, and ran for the water!  

Did you know that the Atlantic Ocean in North Carolina in April is FREEZING?!  Well, you do now!  

We spent a lot of time on the warm sand instead of in the water, although the kids really didn't mind the cold water much.  They were having a blast finding sea shells and playing in the waves.  Daniel surprised me since he can't swim, and is usually a very cautious kid, by running into the water up to his waist all by himself without any adults very nearby. (I have to admit that as his mother it also alarmed me tremendously, but any time that kid wants to be adventurous, I try not to discourage it.) We had a good time burying each other in the sand, and walking on the pier.  Jeremy and I went over to the pier first and we got there just in time to watch someone pull a 40 lb stingray out of the water!  It was very cool!  Jeremy and I went back and got the kids and James and Jody, and we all went for a walk down the pier. After spending the day on the beach, we decided that we wanted to get some fresh sea food from a local place, so we went to a local shop and asked where a reasonably priced seafood place was.  The guy told us to go to a place called Heironymous (I have no idea how it's spelled) and we plugged it into the GPS.  So we got to the restaurant and got a place to sit. We decided after having a look at the menu that we would take the kids to McDonald's for dinner afterward in order to save money knowing that they probably wouldn't eat the more expensive food we would order from this restaurant. Two other parties were seated at the same time we were. The waiter took our drink orders, but didn't come back to take our food order until the other parties had already gotten their food.  Then we waited for over an hour for our food.  We decided to pay for our drinks and leave, so we asked for our check. Suddenly, the waiter was all excuses (he actually told us that they were putting a large party in priority over us because the two waiters were sharing the tips from them), cared about our food, and told us it was ready and in the window, were we sure we didn't want to stay for the food?  Well, we allowed him to persuade us to stay. (BIG mistake!) The food must have been sitting in the window for a very long time because by the time it came out the food was cold, and crab legs couldn't be cracked. Anywho, we were pretty ticked off, but then we received the bill.  Just under $100.  Jody, spurred into action, went to have a chat with the manager, who incidentally was the man who seated us.  He remembered seating us, and agreed with Jody that it had been an excessively long time ago, and gave her a $30 gift card to help pay for our meal. Meanwhile, our children are starving, because they had just spent a day at the beach and we stopped for dinner at 7 pm and it was now 9 pm. We still had a 2 hour drive home. So when we finally got to McDonald's, we decided that the kids had earned Happy Meals instead of dollar menu for being so good at the adult restaurant. Jeremy went in to order. 10 minutes, later, we were wondering what had become of him, so I walked in to see what the hold-up was. He was just putting in his order. I would like to take this moment to say that the restaurant was not packed out.  I don't know why it took so long for them to get to him. I would also like to say that these time frames are NOT exaggerations, they are actual amounts of time that we waited for service and food. 10 minutes later, he finally emerged from McDonald's with the two Happy Meals he had ordered. 

Maybe you can help us come up with a new slogan for Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. Here are a couple that we came up with:

Wrightsville Beach, NC: Service at OUR convenience.
Wrightsville Beach, NC: Where we will get to you when we're good and ready, and not a minute before!

Despite all the food difficulties, we did have a good time at the beach, and the kids now know that the ocean is REALLY salty!  Daniel, who was having a blast running into the ocean later amended his opinion of his day to say that it was the worst day of his life because he swallowed too much salt water.  Whatever...I guarantee you I won't be able to keep him out of the ocean when we make another trip later in the Summer. We have come to the conclusion that there's no reason for us not to make a couple of trips a year to the ocean since we live so stinkin' close to it!  This is a luxury!  But we will meet James and Jody at a halfway point next time. 

Daniel in the water - alone.

Jody, Launa and me.

Daniel Launa and Jeremy

Launa and Daniel with Uncle James. Note Uncle James' Haitian farmer's tan!

The most handsome man alive.

Pretty sky that day.

40 lb. stingray.

The good-lookin' people.

James kisses Jody on the pier.

Anyway, Sunday was our last day together, and Jody had been wanting to take the kids to a place called Monkey Joe's, which is a bounce house. Since we had such stringent time constraints, we did not keep the Sabbath holy and went to play. It was a good thing that we went.  The kids got to get a lot of their energy out before we made the 7 hour trip home. And they went to sleep in the car and slept well, which was good since they had to go to school this morning. Since I had the car, I didn't Daniel up at 6:10, and instead let him sleep until 6:50 and then took both kids to their schools in opposite directions. Tonight, they went to bed nice and early without excuse or argument.  They knew they were tired. We had a really good Spring Break.  We just wish we could have spent more time in North Carolina. There was not enough time, but Summer break is right around the corner, so we'll do it again before Summer's out!

Launa bouncing

Daniel sliding

James after about 2 hours of Monkey Joe's.