Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Moms in a Blog is giving away some ice cream to three lucky entrants, and I decided to be one of them. Well, an entrant, that is, not necessarily a winner. The ice cream will be coming from

If you won some ice cream from a place that sells only the best, what would you choose? I'm usually a chocolate girl, but I think this time it would be Lemon Sorbet and Coconut Sorbet. What better flavors for the summertime?

With temperatures soaring past 100 day after day, we could all use a break from the heat. My kids love both of these flavors, and I know they would be thrilled to have them. Will I win? Probably not, but it's worth a shot.

By the way, there's still a day left for the annual Bloggy Giveaway Carnival. Follow this link and enter to win some free stuff. It'll only cost you time.

VBS Pictures

Here are the little guys at VBS.

Carl is helping us this week too, so he took a picture of me with my children. A rare occurrence. And yes, Mim is looking like a goober on purpose. It's a family tradition.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Vacation Bible School. Again

It's Vacation Bible School at Grandma Lilibeth's church this week, so we are all tired and keyed up. How can you be both, you ask? Ahh, you have not had experience with pre-schoolers if you do not know. Mim and Zaya are in my "tribe", so they're both being able to participate without causing undue stress to Mommy. Zaya would be fine, actually, but Mim is still very much a "mommy's girl" and this is the only way it would work for her.

My mother's church has done the same style of VBS now for four years, and I've enjoyed in every year. It's the first VBS I haven't dreaded, and that's saying something. You know how it is. You want to help, and you know it's important, but it ends up being shear craziness and you're exhausted by Friday. Sometimes by Tuesday.

Not at Mom's church, though. I can't remember the company that makes these VBS packets (you can set me straight there Lilibeth), but they are all set back in Bible times. The first one was Jerusalem, and I wasn't able to help with that one for some reason. Then we went to Bethlehem and the Sea of Galilee. This year the company was going to offer the Jerusalem packet again, but our kids all still remember that very well, so my mother just created her own. We're at Philippi, and we'll meet Paul and Silas and watch them be put in chains and rescued through their praises.

It's amazing how the kids get into their roles in these sessions. Everyone is dressed in Bible costume, so that helps. And I do mean everyone; leaders, students, helpers. We all have tribes to which we belong, and we stay in these family units throughout the evening and week. Each unit consists of all ages, which works very well because the older students can help take care of their younger brothers and sisters. They explain things to them, help them with their crafts and generally make themselves useful. This also means that no person is stuck with a particularly difficult age group.

There's a marketplace that plays a key role in the evening. It has many different shops, and by the end of the week, each student will have visited each shop and made a craft there.

I could go on and on, but I'm prepared to believe that this is boring to someone who hasn't participated. Suffice it to say, we're tired and busy, but we love it. I left my camera at the church last night, so I don't have pictures yet. If no little heathen Philippian stole it, then I'll put some pictures on tomorrow morning.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

It's a Scorcher

I just wanted to let all of you in the cooler climes know what our forecast looks like for the next 10 days.


And don't believe that little 99 at the end there either. They've been putting 99 and 98 at the end of the 10 day forecast for a week or so now, but it hasn't actually happened.

Needless to say, we aren't playing outside very much.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Summer Crazies

My children have moved firmly into the age of imagination. They come up with the most fantastic scenarios and the strangest ideas. Zaya, for instance, has been pretending to be all different kinds of fireworks. My personal favorites are the smoke bombs and the cracklin' balls, but he's also been a ground bloom flower, a bottle rocket, a strobe light...and the list goes on. He hops down on his haunches and yells "Light my fuse!" with his little finger stuck up in the air. It's strange and cute at the same time.

Mim, the other day, informed me that Goki helps to unclog sewers. Apparently he just dives right down the pipe and gets rid of any clogs. And no, we haven't had any plumbing problems recently. This springs entirely from conversations that the kids have had with Art about where water goes after we flush the toilet, drain the bathtub etc.

And if Goki's plumbing career falls through, Mim's got a great career as a bag lady ahead of her. I bought her a cart to use for her little kitchen, thinking she would play "shopping" or somthing similar. Instead, Mim fills her cart up with all sorts of toys and precious treasures and hauls them around the house.

There are a ton of other games and crazy ideas that are currently filling our days, but I won't bore you with the details. Suffice it to say that we're surviving the 100+ degree temperatures so far, and I hope their imaginations will at least last us through August.

We have ventured out a few times, actually, to feed the goats near Grandma Lilibeth's house, and to play in the pool with friends, but since I don't really want to know what my children look like in the middle of heat exhaustion, we haven't pushed it.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Yet Another Moment of Self-Doubt

My friend recently loaned me a book called MotherStyles. It's a book about, well, mothering styles and is based on the Meyers-Briggs personality testing. I've never actually done the Meyers-Briggs, because it costs money and you know...

Anyway, according to this book I am an ENTP. That means Extravert, Intuitive, Thinking, Perceiving. Those all sound like high-falutin' words, but really it just means that I like to be around people; I don't enjoy the normal day-to-day aspects of living; I'm not very emotional and I don't do schedules and routines very well.

Yeah, that's pretty much me.

It has a bearing on the rest of the post, really, but it'll take a bit to get there.

I'm also reading a book called If You Want to Write by Brenda Ueland. It's a very old book, actually, and very encouraging to read. She talks repeatedly, though, about spending time (a lot of time. Hours.) walking and thinking before you even sit down to write. She also says that when you do sit down at your typewriter (computer) you should be willing to again sit for hours if necessary while you let your ideas develop slowly.

Well, that's all well and good, but there are so very, very many things in my life that I think, “If I just had a little time to myself I could do that.” Unfortunately, the little bit of time that I can carve out has already been claimed. These are all the things that my conscience demands I do with my “free time”.

Scripture reading
Bible Study
Play with my children
Provide meals, clothes, etc. for my children
Clean the house (which we all know encompasses more than a few hours worth of effort.)
and now, write. No, walk leisurely and then stare at my computer screen for hours, and then write.

Ms. Ueland's suggestion, of course, is that I put the writing at the top of that list. Obviously I can't do that. Every single one of those things has to come first. Not to mention all the other bits of life. Church commitments, grocery shopping etc. etc. etc. etc.

Instead of getting all these admittedly worthwhile things done, and by done I mean satisfactorily, I pick at each of them and get just enough accomplished to realize how really far behind I am.

So here's my question. If I were an ISFJ, like my friend, would I have no trouble scheduling all those things in there? Is it just my personality type that is messing with my ability to accomplish anything, or is it that I'm a lazy undisciplined slob?

Monday, July 14, 2008

Dance, Baby, Dance

This is a video of my children doing their own special little choreographed number. The song is from VBS at my parent's church last summer. They loved the music, the fast and the slow songs, and still remember quite a bit of the motions. For this song, however, they've devised their own.

The lyrics are:

Love the Lord your God with all your heart
And with all your soul,
With all your strength.
These commandments that I give today,
Shall be upon your heart
Upon your heart.

Hear O, Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One.
Hear O, Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One

Tuesday, July 08, 2008


I have to confess; I married a pyromaniac.

A very intelligent and responsible pyro, but a pyro nonetheless.

I'm afraid he has passed these tendencies on to his offspring. Particularly Zaya.

We've had several different fireworks sessions this year, because we went camping instead of having the usual family Independence Day bash at my in-law's house. Art loves blowing things up, and so do the other men in the family, so the 4th is always a big event.

This is strange for me, because I grew up in a family where fireworks only happened to other people. Sure, we had sparklers, and even the occasional Black Snake, but nothing that flew or went BOOM. I have to admit that it can be enjoyable to watch things explode, but I prefer watching the kids (and by this I mean those over and under 20) having so much fun. It makes me nervous, but Art is very careful with the little ones, so I don't worry nearly as much as I would otherwise.

I think it's just something to which I'll adjust. I love a man who likes to watch things blow-up. It could be worse.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Camp T

We had a great time camping with Art's family this weekend, and we came away with one major lesson learned.

Camp in May or September. Maybe even April or October.

We all survived, but it was hot; not miserably hot, just sticky hot. The kind where your hair sort of plasters onto your forehead. Actually it wasn't too bad in the shade, even in the heat of the day, but you can't do a lot of hiking, exploring and general camping activities if you're sitting in the shade.

Uncle Cody figured out how to camp, though. He moved his hammock along with the shade and had no trouble staying relaxed and at ease.

The heat didn't stop the fishermen, and the kids loved messing with the poles, throwing rocks into the lake, and generally bugging the daddies and uncles who were trying to catch something. In the following pictures, Mim discovers salmon eggs and critiques Grandpa's fishing techniques.

Uncle Chris took it all in stride and helped the little ones out with their own poles. It's wonderful to have so many easy-going relatives. The kids are at ease and the parents aren't worried.

We watched fireworks at a different park in town later that night, and the kids loved it, of course. We've decided we should go back next year to see the fireworks in the same town, but this time we're going to stay with Aunt Lizzy and Uncle Chris in the air-conditioned house.

Aunt Lizzy is the lake manager out at the lake where we had our campsite, so we were able to see her periodically, even though she was at work for part of Friday afternoon and Saturday morning. She's enjoying her job, and all sorts of crazy stories to tell us.

Zaya really loved the campfire, and spent a good bit of time on Saturday morning throwing things into it. As proof that I did go with the rest of the family, here's a picture of me helping Zaya with his pyromaniac tendencies.

Zaya, Mim and Jaida all spent the time playing with each other, getting dirty and generally being cousins. None of them were ready to leave, which means we left at just the right time. We wanted them to leave remembering that they enjoyed themselves, and I think they did.

Next time, though, the high will be in the eighties. No, really, I mean it.

Friday, July 04, 2008

What to pack....

Here is what Mim decided she needed to put in her stuff sack this morning to use at the lake.

Who am I to say those things won't just be critical to her happiness and well-being? Well, I guess I'm the Mommy. She won't be taking them, as long as I can distract her in time.

Thursday, July 03, 2008


We are heading out tomorrow morning for our First Family Camping Trip. (Imagine the scary organ music in the background.)

We'll be going with Art's entire family, so there will be nine adults and four children. But still. The kids are 1, 2, 3, and 4. Not exactly easy ages to watch in July heat near a lake.

They are so, so excited, though, that I think they'll have fun regardless. The women involved (some of us anyway) are all fretting and thinking and making lists and packing...and the men are just rolling their eyes and telling us to stop worrying about things.

For instance, I stayed awake for about 30 min. the other night worrying about what I would do if the kids woke up and needed to use the bathroom in the wee hours and it was raining outside. I mentioned it to my husband when we woke up the next morning and he said, "Take a big Ziploc bag."

Oh, well, yeah I guess that would work. I should've just woken him up at 2 a.m. when I couldn't sleep and asked him then. Of course, my normally intelligent husband is really just dumb as a rock in the middle of the night, so his idea would probably have been less than brilliant. If I were to use the past to judge, for instance, it might be something like, "Pack the monkey in a big boat."

Be that as it may, we will be leaving in the morning, Ziploc baggies and about half the rest of the house in tow. It's a good thing we'll be parking the car nearby, because I think I would need a few camels to haul everything otherwise.