Friday, August 31, 2007

Deep Spiritual Thoughts. Or Not.

Mim woke up a little bit cranky from her nap today, and I was kind of fuzzy myself, having fallen asleep on the couch. We both needed something. Frankly, we both needed chocolate.

I grabbed a Little Debbie Fudge Brownie from the pantry and Mim and I snuggled together on the couch under a nice blanket. Her fussies were gone immediately as the world of the Fudge Brownie opened her eyes. (Or, more importantly, her mouth) Personally, I sat and repeated to myself, mantra-like, "It's Friday afternoon and I'm eating chocolate. It's Friday afternoon and I'm eating chocolate." Then the world righted itself and I discovered a renewed sense of purpose

Sometimes, every woman just needs a little chocolate. I figure God left it on the earth to make up a bit for the curse. You know the one; pain in childbirth, desiring a husband, and man ruling over us. Hey, we've still got fudge brownies. God still loves us.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #28

Another Guest post. This one is by my mother, Lilibeth. (Her online soubriquet) She is an excellent Bible teacher here at the local Chrisitan school. You can see that I come by my biting sarcasm genetically. Yes, you can be a loving teacher and keep your sense of humor.

Thirteen Ways to Annoy your Junior High Teacher

1. If you notice that it’s almost time for the bell to ring, start counting down to zero. If the bell doesn’t ring on zero, start over. Sooner or later you will get it right.

2. Spell your name differently every time you hand in a paper. After all “Variety is the …um…thing that keeps the doctor away?

3. Wave your hand urgently until the teacher finally calls on you. Then ask the same question the student before you asked.

4. If you are grading in class, use your own judgment on the answers. After all, “The Euphrates River” is sort of like “the Gobi Desert”.…and if you traded papers your friends will appreciate your kindness.

5. If you are grading in class, make sure every answer is exactly right. After all, “The Euphrates River” might not mean the same thing as “The River Euphrates.” …and if you traded papers you want to make sure nobody makes as good a grade as you do.

6. If you don’t understand something, call it “stupid”, thus transferring the deficiency to the material, or to the stupid old assignment.

7. If you understand something, call anybody who doesn’t “stupid”. This will make you feel superior and smug…warm fuzzies.

8. Tell the substitute teacher horror stories about your teacher while she is sick at home with the flu and unable to defend herself.

9. Tell the teacher horror stories about the wicked substitute who made you wait in class five minutes after the bell rang, to punish you for counting down for the last five minutes of class.

10. Ask the teacher what you are going to do today as soon as you come into the classroom. This is particularly effective if everybody in the class does it.

11. Decorate every assignment with camouflaged semi trucks and dragons; it doesn’t really matter if you get the assignment finished.

12. Complain loudly about the fact that you got points taken off for the questions you didn’t finish. After all, the stupid old assignment was so long it interfered with your counting down to the bell.

13. Raise your hand to answer every question. It doesn’t matter what the question is…because sooner or later the answer will be “Moses”.

Check here for more Thursday Thirteens.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


I've got two posts in a row today, so make sure you check out the cute picture below this boring report on my heartburn.

I love how all my relatives come out of the woodwork when it's a health related issue. It makes me feel loved!

I appreciate your advice and encouragement, and I've formulated a plan. I think I am going to schedule the scope, but not until after January for insurance reasons. If I've lived with this for 15-20 years I can live with it for a few more months. The most drastic part of my plan is that I'm going to cut out caffeine and pop. That will be very, very hard, as I always have my cup of tea in the morning and my root beer in the afternoon. I'm also going to try Gaviscon and Coral Calcium, but if something helps I won't know what it is since I'm doing so many things at once. Hmmm. I'll have to think about that.

Anyway, I appreciate all of your words and thoughts on the subject, and will ask my gastroenterologist, if I ever get one, about the things that you mentioned. Hubby also wants me to ask them to check for celiac while they're in with the scope anyway, for other reasons. I hear they've made advances in their diagnosis of this disorder, so should probably double-check it.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Tea Party Time!

Mim is obsessed with her new "house" toys. We have had innumerable (and interminable) tea parties. This evening, Daddy introduced a new, heretofore unmentioned addition to "tea party time" by putting actual tea in the cups. Bless his pointed little ears. It was just about the cutest thing I've seen, though when Mim and Daddy were both drinking their tea.

My husband is a great father. Like everyone, he has his moments. Here are some of the things heard tonight at bathtime. (Which Daddy handles single-handedly every night, as a sign of constant love and devotion to his grateful wife.)

(Daddy said something about Zay and Mim's soap being a surfactant.)

Zaya - What does surfactant mean, Daddy?

Daddy - A surfactant changes the surface tension of a fluid and makes it easier for the particles of that fluid to be wetted out.

Zaya - Oh.

and then, on a slightly less academic note,

Daddy - No! Do not pick your nose with your toothbrush!

And it burns, burns, burns...

I am really getting tired of heartburn. It's just ridiculous. I have had heartburn for as long as I can remember, but it's definitely gotten worse with time rather than better. When I was younger, I thought it was just how everyone felt when they were hungry. Little by little I began to pick up that I was not normal. It wasn't until I was married and in college that my dear cousin J called it heartburn and a light came on. Since then I've been fighting a losing battle with it, and I'm fed up. (so to speak)

I don't get it when I've eaten, which is the weird thing. I get it when my stomach is empty. If it's empty for too long, then it takes me a good 24 hours of normal eating to get rid of it. It comes back every night and I have to eat crackers and drink water and Maalox to get rid of it. Last night I was up for an hour trying to keep it away.

Ugh! I've tried Prilosec, Prevacid, Zegerid, Nexium, Zantac, Pepcid, Pepcid Complete and something else that starts with a P. Not to mention Tums, Rolaids, Maalox and Mylanta. None of them have ever worked. I can't even take them properly to find out if they'd work, because you have to take all those one-a-day pills on an empty stomach and then wait one hour before you eat. I can't do that! My stomach is imploding at that point, and I have to eat unless I want to be the sickest most pathetic wreck you've ever seen.

All that to say, I think I'm going to have to go for the nasty scope down the throat thing sometime soon. I've been avoiding it for lots of reasons, but I really don't know what else to do, and I don't want to live like this for the next 75 years.

Monday, August 27, 2007

And Here We Are

My friend Kilikina and her husband are about to start the official post school job hunt. (He's a PA, so this has been a long time in coming.) I know that they'll end up in God's will, because I know the couple and they are both very strong, committed Christians and very intelligent people.

It reminded me of Hubby's job hunt though, about four years ago. Talk about a nervewracking time. You spend so many, many years going to school, and then it suddenly hits you that this is it. You will have to go out into the world now and make it on your own, because there will be no nice professors to give you help for the tests that will come. (Of course, there aren't the lousy ones that make you want to scream, either, but that's a different story.)

We knew we wanted to stay close to home, which is to say, western Oklahoma, but the options out here are limited, to say the least, for aerospace and mechanical engineers. When Hubs got an interview at a certain unamed large oil company, we thought, "This is it!" Not just anyone got an interview. It was a weekend long process where they paid for your travel, lodging and all food. We figured that this was as close as we would be able to get to our home town without giving up engineering as a career. Two hours is pretty close, so we were counting our blessings. Hubby had a perfect 4.0 all through college, and was an excellent worker. Who wouldn't want to hire him? The interviews went very well, so we waited back in Stillwater for the news to come... and it didn't. Finally we got a letter saying that, although he was impressive, blah, blah, blah. I was very upset. I thought that was our only chance to live close to our families, and I had prayed and prayed for God's will to be done, by which I meant, for him to get that job.

With the semester done, and nowhere to go, we migrated back home like we had every summer, and Hubby started working for his father on the farm. I got a job nearby in an office, and then I was pregnant with Zaya right away. Now the idea of finding a place near home was more important than ever. I remember crying myself to sleep one night because it looked like we might be going to California to interview. No disrespect to anyone who lives there, but that and New York are about the last places in this entire country that I would want to live. I had been encouraging my husband all this time to apply at a plant in nearby W'ville, but he hadn't yet. It turns out that his father had been talking him up, though, to an acquaintance, and to make a long story slightly shorter, they requested an interview and he got the job! Only 15 miles away from our hometown and at a salary and benefits that we had not even imagined he would be able to get his first year out.

Of course, like any job, it hasn't been perfect, but we have really loved being so close to our families for these first critical years of our children's lives. Who knows what the future holds, but I'm so glad, to quote a corny phrase, that "I know who holds the future."

Friday, August 24, 2007


Tomorrow will be my first quinceanera. I and several other musicians at church will be playing a prelude and singing some spanish praise songs and hymns for the quinceanera of "Sara" a local girl who attends our youth group and whose mother and siblings attend our church as well.

We only have 500 people in our town, but a significant number of Hispanics. I'm acquainted with several of the families because I speak Spanish, and started giving English lessons to a young lady in our church a couple years ago. "Maria" and I have become good friends, and spend most of our time speaking in Spanish instead of English. I failed at my ESL efforts, but we haven't given up yet. It is one of Maria's friend's daughters that will be turning fifteen, and I think this will be a first for our little church. I look forward to the new role we can play in the lives of our Hispanic brothers and sisters in Christ, and I think this is a part of it.

For those of you who may not know, a quinceanera is celebration and ceremony for a girl when she turns 15. (quince) It is very similar to a wedding in both cost and appearance. There are attendants, fancy cake and other foods, a white dress and all the other wedding like trappings. Spanish families can spend an incredible amount of money on them. The picture I've included is a stock internet photo, but it gives some idea.

Wish us all luck, anyway!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Guest Post by Tina - Thursday Thirteen #27

This is a guest post by my neighbor friend Tina. She sent it to me, so I thought I'd use it. (Yes, I did get her permission) Just for reference, she and her mother-in-law get along very well. I think we've all received things at some point in time that we would never have even thought about. Some are hits and some, well... It makes me wonder how many of the things I've given people would make it onto a list like this. Probably quite a bit.

I'm not a blogger, but here are my 13 things I wouldn't have known I needed until my mother-in-law gave them to me:

1. Mother-of-pearl cake knife. She knew we would need one to use at our wedding and she graciously offered to give us the one she got for her wedding. I had already arranged to borrow my friend's silver one, so I politely declined. However, she insisted on giving it to me anyway and I currently have it in my knife drawer. I have never used it.

2. Cow head on a stick. I received this for Christmas one year. It was literally a cow head with two sticks. One screwed into the cow's neck and the other screwed into the other end of the first stick. You're supposed to put it in your flower bed. Why would there be a 3' tall cow lurking among my bushes? Oh well...he's there now.

3. New pots and pans. I received a lovely set of pots and pans from the hostesses at my wedding shower. I never used them. I already had my fully functional red pot, matching skillet, and random saucepan. Three pans are all I needed. The Christmas I got the new pots and pans, I had asked for a new screen door. My in-laws refused. They said you should get things you WANT for Christmas. Why would I want a third set of pots and pans? What I wanted was an attractive screen door (which my parents gave us, by the way) I passed down the pots and pans I received at my shower to my sister when she moved out of my parents' house. Joe (her husband) occasionally uses the extra small pan from the Christmas set to cook ramen noodles. I still use my red pans.

4. Red wool pea coat. I actually love this coat. I already had a blue wool pea coat, so I didn't really NEED a new coat, but I like the one she gave me.

5. Anything size extra small. I am not an extra small person! I am a medium sized person! The wool coat is a size 6, so that worked out fine. However, any other time I have received clothing items from Joe's side of the family, I've had to return them because they all think I'm petite. (Just for the record, Tina does look petite.)

6. Expandable cookie cooling racks. When I bake cookies, I put foil on the cookie sheet before dropping the cookie dough balls on it. That way I can just slide the foil off the pan and onto the counter to cool. No need to transfer them to a wire rack. OH, and when these racks are fully expanded, they take up more counter space than I actually HAVE.

7. Grilled cheese skillet. This is a small, square cast iron skillet that is exactly the same size as one piece of bread. Theoretically, you could cook one grilled cheese sandwich in it. However, it doesn't give you room to flip. And I never cook just one grilled cheese sandwich!

8. Sweater protectors. These are little strips of foam that you put on wire hangers to protect sweaters from getting stretched out when you hang them. Who hangs sweaters? Not me.

9. Seasonal socks. I have received more than one pair of these. Christmas trees, snowmen, sunflowers, etc. In size 9-12. I wear 7 1/2; well I would wear a 7 1/2 if I wore seasonal socks. I usually like to stick with neutral colors.

10. Handheld submersible blender. For making chocolate milk. You pour the milk, then the chocolate, and then submerge this thingy and it mixes it up.

12. Decorative Santa Fireman. No explanation needed.

13. Toilet seat covers. Not even I am this particular. If the bathroom is dirty enough that I need to bring my own toilet seat cover, I'll just wait.

Check here for more Thursday Thirteen.

Just for the record, if any other friends and family would like to send my Thursday Thirteens, I'll use them if you'll let me. It can be difficult to come up with one of these every Thursday, so I'm always looking for an easy out.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

A Place to Belong

I never had a chance to post about our big community-wide celebration in late June. It was for the whole town, but hosted by our church, so we were involved on several different levels. They brought in lots of inflatables, a mechanical bull, climbing wall, dunk tank and several booths. Then we had a "singin'" in the evening with some "local talent" and a guest singer.

Everyone had lots of fun. I watched the bungee inflatable for a while, so I was able to take some great pictures of my husband, my father-in-law, (Spanish has just one word for each of the in-law relationships. Why can't we do that?) my brother-in-law and some cousins. Included in the above photo is my father-in-law, trying to beat the system, which is quite typical. He simply muscled his way up the middle row, instead of trying to jump for it. He's been farming and welding and building metal buildings for some thirty years, so he certainly had the strength for it. It was great fun to watch, anyway. His opponent in this picture is my brother-in-law, who ran for it, and is in the process of being flung backwards.

Zaya played cowboy on the mechanical bull, which his Uncle helped him face. Of course the man who controlled it was very gentle for the little ones, but it was fun to watch him crank the power up for the big, tough cowboys in the area. The kids also enjoyed jumping in the big inflatable jumper thingy, and Mommy even climbed the climbing wall. Nerve-wracking, but fun.

Grandma took them around to the rest of it, because I was still in the middle of un-packing. (It was the day after we had officially moved.) She kept them through the barbeque supper and then brought them back, dirty, stained and excited, to change into clean clothes for the singin'. I sang one song in a quartet with my brother and two of hubby's cousins, and then went home and put two exhausted little ones to bed.

All in all, a great time. I hope we can do it again someday when the kids are a little older and able to be more involved or at least remember their involvement.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


That's Mimese for "blow up" which in this instance means "blow out" as in candles.
Please note the three layer Butter-Pecan birthday cake on the right. Yes, I did actually make a cake and some icing from scratch. Not a boxed cake mix in sight. Don't expect it to ever happen again, but it did this week. We ate our cake at Great-Grandma K's house, and Mim's cousin wanted in on the action. They're so cute together. (If I do say so myself.)

Mim did end up with a kitchen for her birthday after all. I hadn't looked at our local W'ville Walmart because I was sure I had never seen any there. I just happened to check, though, on Saturday, and found the perfect little kitchen. She's been having lots of fun with it, and so has Zaya. They have yet to grasp the finer points of organization and clean-up, but I can hardly fault them for something I, myself, have yet to completely put in to practice.

Mim also got dishes and play food to go with her kitchen, as well as a doll stroller and bed. She and Zaya have had a grand old time playing house, and I hope they continue to do so. (I do realize that it would be totally normal for them to never look at the thing again, though, so no foolish optimisim here.)

On a different note...Thanks for the encouragement and advice about our dryer issues. Part of the problem with our dryer is its age. It's really very old. I'm sure there is still a lot to be done with it, but we're planning to buy a new one sometime soon, so we're having a hard time summoning the will-power. Hubby has looked at it already, and he said it blew part of its breaker. It was still running, but not heating. He switched the breaker back, but we're using it on the low setting so that it won't flip it again. I'm not sure if that's a dryer problem or an electrical problem. Either way, yes, Sunny, I probably did spend too much on gas and machines. I'm really a terrible spendthrift.

Monday, August 20, 2007

This is the Day We Wash Our Clothes...

Is it against the law to go to the laundromat if you have a washer and dryer at home? If so, clap me in irons and call out the special forces. We are loading up every scrap of dirty laundry and linens in the house and heading for the nearby town. (I need a name for that town, since I talk about it so often. Any ideas?)

Our dryer still doesn't work very well, so it takes 1/4 of eternity to do a load of laundry with it. That means I have to use the clothes line, which is great, but you can only do so much with it. Those are my excuses. My husband doesn't like the laundromat, but he knows the look of a crazed and reckless housewife and so was too smart to protest. (I love that guy!)

Anyway, see you after the laundro-party!

Update: Mission accomplished. It took about two hours, but I washed every dirty thing in the house. Yee-haw! Mim and Zay ran around like goobers and talked to any and all. One poor old man sat and listend to Zaya for about 15 minutes. When I walked around to rescue him he smiled really big and said, "He likes to talk!" I'm afraid he gets that from his mommy. Now I've got to go fold everything. Putting it all away will have to come later.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Look, look!

I just had to tell a certain neighbor that recently began reading my blog that I actually used my iron this morning. Really! I ironed Zaya's shirt for church. Ok, so I had to look a while before I found my iron, but I found it. I don't actually own an ironing board either, but it worked, anyway. Included is a picture of Zaya wearing said (slightly less wrinkled) shirt.

Thank you, thank you. All mothering prizes will be handed out at the end of the month, so tune in later for the acceptance speech.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Never Mind

My idea was to get Mim things for a little play kitchen/housekeeping set-up for her birthday. It's really ridiculous out there, though. I wanted a simple little play kitchen to put on the only four free feet of wall space that we have in the house. (Next to the dining table) but I guess that dream is not to be; at least not right now. They're just all a little bit crazy. Either they're teeny-tiny and unusable past age three, or they're from the "Baby's Upscale Villa" line. I don't want a kitchen for my two and three year old that puts their my own kitchen to shame. They wouldn't even know what to do with pretend ice and water in the door, faux granite countertops and their own little plastic HDTV with internet connection. Ok, so maybe it's not that bad, but just about.

My poor mom-in-law has been searching stores in the city today, but we've finally decided to settle for a little tea set with pots and pans for now. There's just nothing that will work in our little space that isn't insanely expensive. Too sad.

I know Zaya and Mim would both love it, because they play with the kitchen at the church nursery all the time. Maybe we'll still be able to find something, someday.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Thursday Thirteen - #26

13 Quotes From Famous People.

The following were all swiped directly from Uncle John's Biggest Ever Bathroom Reader. A series I highly recommend for reading anywhere.

1. You do not lead by hitting people over the head - that's assault, not leadership. - Eisenhower

2. Rise early. Work late. Strike oil. - J. Paul Getty

3. I always advise people never to give advice. - P.G. Wodehouse

4. If you see a snake, just kill it - don't appoint a committee on snakes. - H. Ross Perot

5. Of course we're doing this for the money. We've always done it for the money. - Mick Jagger

6. Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever. - Napoleon

7. Children today are tyrants. They contradict their parents, gobble their food, and tyrannize their teachers. - Socrates (470-399 BC)

8. Few things are harder to put up with than a good example. - Mark Twain

9. Never keep up with the Joneses. Drag them down to your level. It's cheaper. - Quentin Crisp

10. Never accept a drink from a urologist. - Erma Bombeck

11. Never hit a man with glasses. Hit him with something much bigger and heavier. - Anon.

12. Once a woman has forgiven a man, she must not reheat his sins for breakfast. - Marlene Dietrich

13. Victory is joyful only back home. Up at the front it is joyless. - Marlene Dietrich

Check here for more Thursday Thirteen.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

In lieu of gifts, send tiara

Happy birthday, Mim! She is two years old today, and thinks she's the queen of the castle. (She pretty much is, but don't tell her I said so.)We moseyed into the nearby town today where Daddy works and met him for lunch. We'll have a couple of quiet family get-togethers this weekend to celebrate. Nothing huge. It's nice when they're too little to care about parties.

I'm more or less back, I think. Not normal yet, but much better. It's been a crazy week, but hopefully no one else in the family catches my bug and we can all return to the crazy chaos that is our every day.

Thanks for all your prayers for me and for my husband's grandparents. They are moved in to the home and an attached apartment, and the whole family is beginning the process of helping them settle in and feel at home about it all. Instead of being able to help my mother in law with all of this, she's been helping me by taking the kids in the mornings of Monday and Tuesday, and checking in on us in the evenings. I really love living close to my family. I hope I can catch up on being helpful now that I'll be well soon.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Fun Times

I've been rather under the weather since last Thursday, so I'm having trouble posting and thinking and all those other incredibly strenuous tasks. I'm trying some new medincine today, and hoping it will do the trick. Until then. Hi. Glad you stopped by. I'll be back soon, I hope.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Thursday Thirteen - #25

13 Non-Fiction Books on my Living Room Bookshelf

1. Scotland: Highlands and Islands (Cadogan) - Richenda Miers
I've always wanted to visit Scotland, so this is just a little bit of dreaming in book form.

2. Sneaky Uses for Everyday Things - Cy Tymony
I bought this for my engineer husband. It tells how to use common household objects to make radios, alarms, and all sorts interesting things.

3. Lost Languages: The enigma of the world's undeciphered scripts - Andrew Robinson
This is a very interesting book about all of the ancient languages that we have yet to figure out.

4. Basic Country Skills: A practical guide to self-reliance - John and Martha Storey
I like reading this book and pretending that I have skills. It's the kind of book you read and think, "Yeah, I could do that! I could have a garden like that! I could raise animals and make my own homeade soaps and candles and clothes and furniture....Sure I could!"

5. Financial Peace: Restoring financial hope to you and your family - Dave Ramsey
Ramsey is a very wise financial counselor, and his books are well worth the time to read. We received this one for a wedding present, and have tried to follow the spirit, if not the letter, or his recommendations.

6. The Expert's Guide to 100 Things Everyone Should Know How to Do: Samantha Ettus
Because it's important to know how to tie and necktie, or at least to think you do.

7. Christian Writers' Market Guide 2007: The essential reference tool for the Christian Writer - Sally E. Stuart
Yes, well, everyone has a dream. Some days I don't think it'll every actually happen, as I think my writing is about as boring as spit, but we'll see.

8. Father Flanagan of Boys Town - Fulton Oursler and Will Oursler
This was my first biography as a young kid, and I loved the story of Father Flanagan. I cried at the end.

9. Material World: A global family portrait - Peter Menzel and Charles C. Mann
This is a fascinating book. My husband had to buy it as a text book for a ridiculous class called Cultural Geography. The class was a complete waste of time, but the book has been one of our favorites. It has pictures of statistically average (for their countries) families from all over the world, standing outside their homes with all of their posessions around them. The difference, from some places to others, is absolutely stunning.

10.Children of the Storm: Childhood memories of World War II - Charles Perkins
This is a compilation of the memories of people from different countries and different socio-economic groups who were children during the war. Very interesting.

11. Southwest: SmartGarden regional guide - American Horticultural Society
Another dream. Some day, maybe, I will be able to make something grow. Maybe. Although I would debate Oklahoma being classified as Southwest. We really have no classification, I think.

12. The Complete Guide to Home Carpentry: Carpentry skills & projects for homeowners - Black & Decker
I like looking through this book and trying to talk my husband into building the things contained therein.

13. The Joy of Signing - Lottie L. Riekehof
Everyone needs to know a little sign language. I know only a very, very little, but I think it should be something we teach right along with reading and writing. Imagine the communication possiblities if we all could sign. (I feel the same about Morse code)

Check here for more Thursday Thirteen

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

One more step...

Please remember to pray for my husband's family, as we've just put his grandmother (granny) in the nursing home. She is actually handling it very well, but his grandfather (Papa) is having a bit of a struggle with the enormity of the decision, as I'm sure we all would. She should be able to leave, actually, before too long, but it is still one of those "steps" that no spouse or child ever wants to have to make.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Of Mice and Muggles

I haven't posted in a while because a friend loaned me book 7. I finished it this morning, so I am back in the real world.

We have a mouse living somewhere in the undersink cabinets in our kitchen. He has already destroyed a bag of flour and left his special little calling cards all over that cabinet. I've set five traps for him, and he has outwitted them all. I put peanut butter in them, and he just licked them clean without setting off a single trap. The little stinker. I'll get him, though. We've reset them all and are trying again. My sister-in-law says that nothing beats a good hunk of cheese stuffed into the little toothy part of the trap. I'm going to try that next, I think.

Anyone else out there have a sure-fire mouse solution?

Oh, and the picture below reminded me....I have yet to see the inside of my card, because my dear husband has not written anything in it yet. I think, this time, we had better just move on and let it be the thought that counted.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Happy Anniversary to Us!

Tomorrow will be our seventh anniversary, and I finally got a card. It has taken me seven years to convince my sweetheart to buy me a card for our anniversary. I think the conversation that did the trick was one I was having with Joshua, my brother, who is engaged to be married and still has a lot to learn about women. I was trying to explain why women value cards, and I finally realized what it was that we truly want. The men were talking about how pointlessly stupid cards were. Just a little piece of paper with a lame joke or lousy poem. Who cares? Why do women want that so much?

Here is the answer, for all you men out there, or you women who need the argument. It's their writing. We want to see, in writing, that our husband still loves us, needs us, wants us around. If you're like me, you can hear it said all day long, but when it's written down, it means so much more. Before we were married, we wrote little notes to each other, and letters when we were apart. Now that we're never apart, there's no need (from his point of view) so we don't. We women, I think, in the back of our mind, are thinking about the future. What if...someday...I would want to have something to read that could remind me of the wonderful man I married, and that he really did love, value and respect me. (In this picture, it isn't opened yet, because he hasn't actually written anything yet, so I can't open it. We're getting there, anyway.)

Lest you think I'm ridiculous, let me point out that I didn't just get a card. He also made me a ring, which is great since I lost my wedding ring. Yeah, that's right, I lost it. All carat's worth of diamonds and both little bands of gold. Who knows where it is. I was hoping to come across it in the move, but no such luck. I'm truly terrible with keeping track of things, so it was only a matter of time, but it's still heartbreaking. Hubby has lost his, too, sometime in the last year, so he made both of us rings out of stainless steel. They're very nice, because he doesn't do anything halfway. In fact, he'd kind of like to open a side business, making them for other reasonable (cheap) people who are tired of losing $500 dollars at a time when the misplace their ring.

I also got some lovely red mixing bowls, which match my kitchen that I'm trying to "accent" with red. This whole color thing is new to me. When I'm done I'll take a picture. For now, you just get the gifts themselves. Oh, and we got to go on an actual date last night. Maybe our fifth or sixth since we met. We've never been keen on going out on the town. My mother came and watched our kids yesterday evening, and we went and ate Chinese food. (Well, super deep-fat fried Chinese food, which I suspect of being no more Chinese than hot dogs.) I let Hubby pick out a Wii game as his anniversary present, so we went and bought that at Wal-Mart. All in all, a nice peaceful evening. My mother even had the kids asleep by the time we returned, which is all but miraculous. Thanks again, Mom!!

Friday, August 03, 2007

Ok, well I think it's interesting, and it's my blog.

Before I forget how cute this stage was, here are a couple of the funny things I hear Mim say all the time.

Mommy! Keepakapu toolide! Capilla toolide!

Even when I give you the translation, this won't make sense. I promise. Here's what it is translated literally.

Mommy! Pikachu slid! Caterpiller slid!

See. Still no sense right? The explanation is that she was trying to imitate her brother. He is constantly making up the wildest and craziest stories about what he and various cartoon or game characters did. One day, he came and told me a story about how he and Pikachu and a caterpillar (No, he knows nothing about Pokemon. He encountered Pikachu as the character in a game [Super Smash Bros.] and has suddenly decided that Pikachu is one of his best friends.) went down the slide at the park. Now, whenever he tells me any story involving the aformentioned Pikachu, Mim chimes in with the original phrase I wrote. It's so very strange, and I think I'm probably the only one in the universe who could translate it, which would be a good feeling, I guess, if my children weren't talking about video game characters as if they were living and breathing.

The funniest part of all that, really, is that Mim always says "toolide" for slide. For instance, these are some of the things we heard last night at the park.

"Mimi toolide by delf" (Mim slide by self)

"Leetto tiny toolide" (little tiny slide)

"Mimi toolide leetto tiny by delf nummy" (I believe I would like to slide on my tummy by myself down the smaller of the two slides.)

That child cracks me up. We figure it's always toolide because when she was first learning the word it was frequently used in the infinitive. ie "Mim, would you like to slide?" It could also be part of her "me too" syndrome. She has heard, "Mim, do you want some too?" or "Mim, do you want to do it too?" so many times that she adds "too" to quite a few words.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

What if...

My husband says that when he was little, he was very afraid of bridges. When his family would travel over the river bridge near here, he would duck down into the footwell of the car until they were safely over.

That's the mental picture that I'm struggling with this morning, as the news about the Minneapolis bridge collapse comes in over the TV. When we saw the first breaking report last night on the internet, my husband said, "I've been over that bridge several times! I've been right there!" That stretch of road is between the airport and the sections of the city where he had his business classes.

It brings a special new horror to an already horrific event. My husband could have been there. Of all the things I've worried about when he went to Minnesota for business trips, it never occured to me to worry about the bridges. (Oh, it will now, yes.)

Amidst my sorrow for the families who are hurting this morning, and the everyday mundanities that command my attention here at home, this image keeps flashing through my mind. My husband, who looked quite a bit like my little boy, ducked down into the bottom of his parent's car, and my husband, as he left for work this morning; healthy and strong and alive. Instead of absolute relief for that fact, I find that I have to repeat to myself...

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. - II Timothy 1:7

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

YeeHaw! We're Ridin' Again!

We finally have internet! Yeah! I feel like I have rejoined the human race.

Now if my kids would just go to sleep, I could get some things done. As it is, I have to keep running back and forth trying to get them to stay down.

Just a little complaining here. In our town, there are two possible sources of high speed internet. Two. The cheapest one (wireless) is $50 a month and the cable-internet is even higher. They're both locally owned, so they aren't part of any of the big package deals offered by people like Cox or SWBell. That's part of the reason it took us so long to get everything hooked up. It's a hard pill to swallow. Previously we had a deal through the school, so we weren't having to pay nearly so much.

Oh well. It's a small price to pay to be re-connected to the digital world. I'll start sorting through all the pictures I've taken over the last month, and get them in where I can. This one above is of Zaya on the mechanical bull at our big church/town celebration on June 30th. That's his uncle (Hubby's baby brother) holding on to him.