Thursday, February 26, 2009

Table Scraps

A while back we were having a family discussion around the unfortunate reality that we are all sinners; that we all mess up sometimes; and that believe it or not, parents need Jesus just like kids do.

I tried to break it down for them:

"Our parents screwed us up the way they thought was best. And we are screwing you up the way we think is best. And someday, you will have your own kids and..."

"We can screw them up however we want to!" Mamoune interjected enthusiastically.

"Now, you've got it!"

I fought back the urge to hoist Justus up in the air and sing "Circle of Life." sigh. The baton has been passed.


Monday, February 23, 2009


About thirty minutes after the two oldest headed off for school, Isaiah noticed Nathan's lunch box still in the fridge. I emailed his teacher immediately, hoping to stave off a melt down. (He's my easily stressed over the small stuff kid) Just moments later, the phone rang and it was Nathan. I assured him that I would bring it to the school.

"Will you bring it to my classroom?"

"I'll probably just drop it off at the office since I'll have the other kids in the car, buddy."

"Oh. (disappointment) Well, how many minutes will it take so I can come back up here."

For heaven's sake. "Nathan, I will bring it to your class, okay?"

"Okay, good. Thanks Mom. See you in a few minutes."

I figured he just needed a minute of reassuring love from his mom and I could comply. So, after feeding the little people, we bundled everyone up and loaded into the van. I parked as close to the front as possible and threatened Isaiah with wrath of biblical proportions if he opened the door for any reason short of the van catching fire.

I signed in and tore through the halls of the school at record pace. When I reached Nathan's class, his teacher said "There you go, Nathan. You'll get to eat lunch now." He looked up at me from his desk (just three feet from the door) and stared. I stared back.

"Just put it in that basket by the door." he said. I looked around and pointed. "Yeah, just put it in there." I did. I waited. He smiled. A "thanks but why are you still standing there" smile.

I whispered, "Nathan, could I see you for a second?" He looked confused by this request. I tried to force my eyes to stay open and not disappear into evil slits. "Nathan, could you please come here for a moment?"

He climbed from his chair and met me in the hallway where he gave me a tentative hug AFTER scoping the hall for any onlookers. Seriously?!

And that was that. The boy who insisted on my physical presence even at the risk of his own siblings safety barely gave me a second look. Goofball!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Beach Report (The Final Installment)

Let's just say that with scenery as beautiful as this:

And a man as adorable as this:

There was lots and lots of this:

Insert four oldest children screeching, "EEEWWWWW!"

Which is why we don't take them with us. Well, part of the reason. ;-)

Beach Report (Second Installation)

Aside from the unexpected, there was the purely silly. While relaxing on the beach, I challenged Tim to see who could dig into the sand and find the largest shell. Then we decided to see if we could tunnel over to each other. (Remember building tunnels in the sandbox as a kid?) We shared a brief romantic moment as our hands met in the sand. awww. Then, we moved on to separate projects. Tim took great care in fashioning a sand castle he believed resembled some ancient ruin.

I chose a more modern inspiration and incorporated my shell competition hole into a true masterpiece. La toilette.

On the way home, we stopped at nearby "Sharky's" where we thought the kids would enjoy seeing their fin-phobic mom cozy up to this replica. These are the images that I have nightmares about.

So, now you've seen the unexpected and the goofy but the thing we spent most of our time doing...well...

Beach Report (First Installation)

I promised a steamy report on our trip to Ocean Isle and here it is for the millions of you (or just Tara and Shari) who've been anxiously waiting.

The goal was simple: Good conversation and plenty of it; good food and plenty of it; good lovin' and plenty of it. In two words --MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! It was a great weekend. Great! Really, really great! =) We enjoyed everything we set out to enjoy though there were a few little surprises. For example...

This was the last bullet point on our google map. Just around the bend and we would be barefoot on the sand. It was the first of our "what the heck?" moments. Somehow we missed the detour. Twice. But soon enough we found our way around the construction and were back on track. Then there was this...

I was in the room MOST of the time while Tim made phone reservations. I never heard him ask for the room with the honkin' mirror. But there it was. It was a "what the heck?" and a "well, alrighty then" moment at the same time. You work with what you got, right? ;-) Now, this fellow -he was definitely NOT part of the package.

We decided to drive into Calabash for some food and shopping. Just a mile or so from the hotel, this guy was sprawled out on the bank of a golf course pond. What the heck? We couldn't figure out if he was real or not from a distance, but another family had walked around to photograph him. I watched carefully to see just how close the man got and he was clearly minding his distance which confirmed that this was not just someones idea of whimsical statuary.

Turns out there were two of them soaking up what little heat they could on a cold and overcast day. The other family told us that there was also a third -the biggest one -who was no where to be seen. The guy said that they were pretty reluctant to move since it was so cold and we could "get almost right up to him." We told him we'd pray about that. I was terrified. Next to my so-called irrational fear of sharks is a close second --the fear of alligators and crocodiles. Pretty much any creature that kills by biting, shredding, or ripping away flesh -not on my list of faves. And yet, when Tim asked, "you wanna walk over there?" I found myself saying, "yeah, kinda."

We got out of the van and I proceeded to circle the pond at the widest possible point. Tim mocked me but I was satisfied knowing that if anything came up out of the water, I had a six foot lead. We got within twenty, twenty-five feet of him which was close enough. As I was poised to snap the pictures, I felt it best to give Tim a warning: "If you jump at me right now, I will crap my pants and that will be the end of this day. Seriously. You just need to know." Tim laughed and said, "Well, you just need to know that if he comes after you -I'd like to say that I'm man enough to throw myself between the two of you but seriously, I will leave you standing there and run screaming like a girl all the way back to the van."

Knowing where each one stood, I proceeded to photograph with shaking hands, and one eye scanning for signs of the unseen third gator. Insane! But totally cool.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Counting Down

It looks like our annual trip to Ocean Isle is going to happen. I won't reveal the identities of our hopeful house/kid keepers just yet. I would hate to leave an obvious trail in the event that they have to cancel on us AND their lifeless bodies happen to be recovered in the same day. ;-)

But barring such an odd coincidence, we will be beach bound this weekend! Woot-woot! We are very excited about this time together. The kids are sick of our insensitive gloating. Isaiah made a scathing accusation on behalf of himself and his siblings: "You guys are just trying to get rid of us!"

"Aw, honey" I responded with exaggerated sympathy. "We are not trying to get rid of you...we are trying to get away from you."

You see the difference, don't you? I know. We'll be paying for another year of counseling. shrug.

Since I have much planning, packing, and organizing to do and since I have been struggling to keep the blog clipping along at a steady pace lately; I've decided to create some standard postings. They're just titles, really, that will help me sort life's little moments as they happen and hopefully, keep you updated more frequently.

Blogs are by nature selfish. You write with the assumption that anybody out there gives a poo-shoo what you think. So, you tell there anything you want to hear my opinion about? Some topic that you would like for me to rant or rave over? I would ask if there are things you do NOT want me to share but I think the simple answer there is --don't want to know-don't read it. Of course, I will take into consideration my Uncle Eddie's distaste for human waste stories. =)

Here is the list of headers so far and a brief description of what to expect when you see it in the title. You'll recognize a few of them from this past week.

Wouldn't It Work Better If...
The questioning of things that seem, irrational, illogical, or just plain dumb

Maybe It's Just Me
Thoughts on controversial people, situations, and current events

Table Scraps (formerly Tidbits from the Table)
Encouraging, endearing, or insane bits from our dinner conversations

Out of the Mouths of Babes
Short stories and quotes from the kiddos

Peeps on Parade
Photos or videos of the kids (makes the grandparents happy!)

Confessions of a non-Scholar
My (sometimes peculiar) observations from Scripture and personal applications

The un-Missionary Memoirs
Updates and encounters from the hood

Let me know what you think? I won't plan on blogging again until after our trip and naturally, I'll lead off with a steamy post recapping our romantic get-away. I know you're all dying for that!

Post your likes, dislikes, thoughts, or criticisms below and I'll see you all next week!!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Maybe It's Just Me

Did you watch the Grammy's last night? Tim and I watched an hour or so of it before turning in. There were a lot of interesting performances; some really good, some well, just interesting.

But the one I want to comment on is the combination of the Jonas Brothers and Stevie Wonder. I praise God that I don't yet have a teenage daughter which gives me the complete freedom to mock and assault the Jonas Brothers without invoking tears from any family members. I've never been fond of them. Never. Maybe they are upstanding young men with great moral fortitude. That's nice. But I still don't really enjoy them as performers. First of all, I don't for the life of me know when super skinny jeans and scarf wearing, fluffy-headed, metro-sexual boys who, from the back, could be mistaken for anorexic girls, became the new ideal teen heart throb.

Oh, wait a minute. I have to admit that in my day we had some doozies. Poison, Bon Jovi, The Cure come to mind. I distinctly remember my dad saying, "Why are those boys wearing makeup?" Regardless, I just think the Jonas brothers are curiously effeminate given the mass of young girls swooning over them. But that's not even what bothered me about last night's show. I was hanging in there for the sake of the amazing and iconic Stevie Wonder. It was the moment that one of those Jonas boys called out from across the stage, "Come on, Stevie!" that I lost what little regard I had for them. It irritated me. Seriously. "Stevie?"

I appreciate the Grammy's efforts to bring together generations of musicians, however, I think that a bunch of mid-pubescent newcomers should have been required to address him as Mr. Wonder.

But...maybe it's just me. =)

Monday, February 2, 2009

Wouldn't it work better if...

WARNING: The following post has no literary, spiritual, or educational value whatsoever! It is simply the ranting of a psychotic housewife.

Have you seen the Clorox 2 commercial where the guy in the Clorox van pulls up to a soccer field? He basically tells the kids --you're shirts are dingy, throw them into the wash and let's brighten them up.

The kids run over stripping off their jerseys and tossing them into the washing machine that is built into THE SIDE OF THE VAN (important to note the location). He holds up two detergent lids and says something about using your favorite laundry liquid and a capful of Clorox 2. He then proceeds to dump both of the detergents STRAIGHT down. So, I'm just thinking:

Wouldn't it work better if...he actually poured the Clorox into the washing machine? I have no doubt that his shoes are clean and bright but those soccer shirts -I don't think so.

I would love to see a nice spoof in which the soccer moms, having had their laundering skills insulted, rush the van, push it over in the street, and then stuff the little laundry dude into his own washing machine.