An Apology Letter From Mr. N. Ternet

Dear Amber,

I know that I should talk to you in person, because my father (Al Gore) always taught me that apologies should be done face to face, but I am mightily embarrassed by my recent actions. I desperately want to tell you how sorry I am for cutting out on you, and that I know that my actions have led you to a weekend of stress and moments of screaming and hollering out of sheer frustration at your blessed laptop baby, Daisy.

I don't want to make excuses for my behavior in playing hookie from my duties at your home, but just express my deepest and most sincere apologies.

I understand that my actions caused you to not get to blog about your amazing In Real Life meeting with your friend Elizabeth in a timely manner. I know that you so wished you could have come right home that night after your meeting and uploaded your pictures and gushed about how stinkin' cute her children are, but it was me that hindered you. I also know that you would have loved to tell all your blogeeps about how awesomely amazing Elizabeth is and how much you are looking forward to building your friendship with her, because she is just that cool. I also know that you wished you could have told about how funny her husband was and how excited you were that both of your families could meet in full. You probably also wish that you could share about how both your husband and Elizabeth's husband like to pretend that they don't get the whole blog world thing, but are both totally supportive, as demonstrated by even letting you guys meet and chat at a McDonalds, of all places. Just because I am so sorry for not allowing you, my dearest Amber, to blog about your IRL meeting in prompt time, I will post the picture of you and Elizabeth for you. Because I know how important it is to you.

I also feel terrible about not cooperating when you wanted to post pictures and tell about your very fun day out on the lake with your favorite men. I'm sure you had a blog post all planned out about how much you love to fish, and how mad the men were when you caught all the fish, and how much fun they had jumping off the boat instead of being whooped up on by a girl any longer. Yes, I'm sure you would have told your readers all about it, if only I had been working and let you. I feel terrible. Please let me share the pictures from your fun day with your friends. I'll feel better. Please allow me the honor.

In closing, Amber, please let me take this opportunity to apologize once more, and grovel on my megabyte knees for forgiveness. I will do everything in my world wide web power to not let it happen again.

I hope we can still be friends.


Mr. N. Ternet


I Birthed You, Boy.

I always start out with great intentions of being a fun mom.

And then the rascals do something that makes me crazy.

And then the rascals take away my "Fun Mom" card.

Like when I told them it would be fun to make tents in the living room. And they did. And then the tents were turned into stores. And then rocket ships. And then back into stores complete with hundreds and thousands of teensy tiny pieces of paper price tags. And then it was a restaurant which evidently sold nothing but crumbs served on a plate of carpet. And then back into a rocket ship that saved orphan alien babies. And this went on for 3 days. And it looked like this:

Until I couldn't take it any longer, and I stormed into the midst of the alien rescuers demanding that it be cleaned up and hauled back from whence it came. And then the rascals looked at me as if I shot their little alien babies, and then I heard, "But, it was your idea."

And that's when I said, "I birthed you, boy."

Insert removal of card here.

Then there was my ingenious plan to buy (okay, healthy blogeeps, brace yourself, cuz it ain't purty) kid/summer friendly food. Like Gogurt. And chips and dip. And these...

And then I bought this. Because it is a Fun Mom thing to do.

Until I find the nasty little pudding cups and their whipped creamy spoon friends laying all over my furniture. And I march in and announce that never again in the future of me being their mother will there be purchases of pudding and whipped cream.

To which I hear, "But you said that last time."

And that's when I said, "I birthed you, boy."

Card removal? Uh-huh.

Oh, those boys. I should feed them nothing but broccoli and asparagus for dinner tonight. But I won't.

Because I'm a Fun Mom. Ahem.


A Play....About Peanut Butter and People Who Wish They Were Smart


  • Amber -- dressed in swimsuit and swimsuit coverup...not usual shopping attire, but obviously in a picnic pinch, so swimsuit it was.
  • Mrs. WalMart -- a very respectable older woman dressed in her Wally World blues and vest inviting me to ask her to help me
  • 3 Rascals -- dressed in swim trunks (good thing or Amber would look really out of place)
  • Local WalMart establishment; Express CheckOut Lane

ACT IV. Scene I.

The curtain opens with Amber and Rascals standing in checkout line at WalMart. Rascal #1 is holding a bottle of honey (picnic necessity for PB/Honey sandwiches). Rascal #2 is holding a PEOPLE magazine (lounging necessity for a mother who is taking her children to the lake). Rascal #3 is holding this:

(No. Your eyes do not deceive you. That is a 6 lb. jug of peanut butter.)

As the very nice man in red suspenders finishes up his transaction in front of Amber and her brood, Amber is busy swatting hands from the M&Ms and Pez Dispensers. As the suspenders push their buggy away, Amber ushers her clan forward, and the Rascals place their items on the counter.

AMBER: (smiling sweetly to Mrs. WalMart) Hello.

MRS. WALMART: (smiling sweetly back) Hello. These all yours? (motions to the Rascals who are still suffering from bedhead and who have gone back to putting their grabbers on the candy)

AMBER: (smiling because she is only asked this question eleventy hundred times each five minutes) Yes, Ma'am.

MRS. WALMART: (grabs honey and magazine, checks them, and places them in a bag, then picks up peanut butter) Wow. I have never seen peanut butter this huge before.

AMBER: It is large, isn't it? But it is worth it for these 3.

MRS. WALMART: (checks peanut butter and bags it) Did you get it at our store?

This moment of not-so-smart-people moments is brought to you by Peter Pan Peanut Butter...which was, shockingly enough, purchased at Mrs. WalMart's store.

So, Amber. Whatcha Been Up To?

Why thankie for asking.

1. I've been at home. Like actual home. Not just home - town. But, home home. Most of you know of the miracle in which I speak, because spending more than 4 hours of daylight in this house where I receive my mail is way.too.rare.

2. My internet has gone all jabberwonky on me. While I've been at home. Which means zero time on the computer and lots of time in the laundry room. Thank poptarts for Rosie...she has kept me all aTwitter and aFaceBooked.

3. Because of the breakdown of society as I know it internet going on hiatus, I was actually able to get all of my laundry caught up. I've been spending muy mucho time in the purplaliscious laundry room, and I likey. Well. I don't likey the doing of the laundry, but I likey the result. Nothin' like clean undies put away in their drawers.

4. I actually cooked last night. Thanks, I'm sure, to the whole internet catastrophe. But my family was fed a full meal. Too bad the children cried through dinner because the food was "gross." I now realize that I have brought their food snobbery on myself. But probably am not going to do anything about it. Because chicken nuggets and the blue box are just easy....especially now that the internet has been healed.

5. I had a highly entertaining conversation with Tiffani the other night. She decided that I sound like I am 12 (go ahead...call me...so you can hear me in all my tweenishness, too), and I decided that I heart her more now than I even did before. Because when you can hold a 2 hour conversation about nothing and everything all at the same time.....then you are friends for life. Fo' sho'.

6. I walked out on the deck last night to grab a bag of trash that I had set out there while I was cleaning yesterday (yes...I cleaned....another upside of the computer being out of commission), and a beady eyed nastified skunk was staring me in the face. I slammed the garage door in his pint-sized peepers and ran into the house to give the husband a dirty look. The husband responded by laughing at me. Love you, too, honey.

7. I'm trying to vacation plan. We want to take the rascals on a vaca all of their own, and I've been busy researching our dirt cheap best family friendly options. We're looking at Washington D.C. or camping. I know....totally in the same category, huh? But after we stock up on all the smore supplies to feed a small army, we just about have our plane tickets to DC covered. We'll see.

I'm off to take the rascals to the lake today. This will be our first visit all summer, and we are OVERDUE. Our family usually lives at the lake during the summertime, but thanks to the heavy flooding and our way.too.busy schedules, we've had to postpone our trips. Really looking forward to the picnicking and the sunapy today. Not so much looking forward to all the sand in my car afterwards....but I'll deal.

Hope your day is groovy and rad.


Betcha Didn't Know....

That I was a candy striper in high school. I volunteered at a local hospital, and, yes....I even wore the cute little pink seersucker outfit.

That I was bitten by a very poisonous tropical spider when I was 5 years old. The doctor had to dig (literally, dig) the poison out of my leg. In my head, I can still see the green gunk as she dug it out.

That I am still traumatized by that whole incident.

That they baled our field for hay today. I love the smell of cut hay.

That I am a published author. (Don't get excited....it was a short story in a college publication...but, hey....my daddy was proud of me!)

That I was on the Speech and Drama Team in High School, and that I competed all over the state of Missouri in SD competitions. I went to State Tournament for Dramatic Interpretation. Can you believe it? Me? Dramatic? Shocker.

That I still have all my trophies in my attic.

That I probably will never get rid of them.

That I bribed the children today with my leftover Canadian money.

That they thought they had won the lottery.

That I sliced my thumb open on a metal paint roller while painting a clothing closet on a mission trip to an Indian Reservation in Wyoming.

That I passed out cold while getting stitches.

That I was given the Indian name RED THUMB as a result.

That I'm still irritated that I don't have something cool like RUNNING ELK or FLOATING BREEZE. Nope. RED THUMB. Awesome.

That I pop my gum, even though I know it tops most every pet peeve list I've ever read.

That I've tried to stop. And can't. So sorry.

That I'm a food snob. But not in the way most people are. No. I'm a junk food snob. Only the best of everything terrible for you can enter the pipes of mi familia.

That I sleep with a blankie.

That I know that you are laughing at me right now.

That I checked out a book at the library today.

That I probably won't even crack the cover because I'm still irritated that our library stinks like skunk and didn't even carry the book I had my heart set on getting.

That after a wreck I had in high school, I was called "Petey" (from the Little Rascals) because of a nasty black eye I had.

That I used to wish my parents had named me "Amberly."

That I now know that would only make the case worse for me and those of you that think I'm 12.

That I would have named my daughter "Emma."

That I still would if I were to have a daughter today.

That I wanted to name one of my sons "Titus" and another one "Micah."

That the husband wouldn't let me.

That I have it in my heart to adopt a baby.

That I wonder everyday if it will ever happen.

That I'm overly exhausted and probably won't remember typing any of this in the morning.

Enough ramblings for one night. G'Night, Friends.


A Little Cheese, Please, To Go With My Whine

Coming home is hard after vacation.

Not the actual coming home, because I'm all about sleeping in my own bed with my own pillow and my own blankie, and Heaven knows I was so excited to see my babies...


Have Mercy....the laundry. And the errands. And the cooking. And the cleaning. And the children evidently did not forget how to fight while I was gone (as I had so hoped while I was holed up in my bamboo infested hotel room).

I don't believe in the Google Reader, as many of you know, but I don't have to have a Reader to tell me how behind I am on all my blogeeps' bizness. I feel so out of the loop. And I can't stand to be left out.

My heart is still heavy from burdens that some friends and family members are carrying, and helplessness does not become me. I'm a doer. And a fixer. And though I know that prayer REALLY is enough, sometimes I just feel like my hands are tied as to what to do.

So, I'm reeling.

My mind is in a thousand different places.

My house has been hit by the Great Suitcase Tornado of June '09, and it seems as though the dirty clothes multiply as fast as I get some of them washed.

And my refrigerator is full of nothing except fishsticks, hot dogs, and a couple of cans of my dad's Diet Lemon Tea that he forgot to take with him.

I may or may not get to the store.
I may or may not get my laundry done.
And I may have to just ask you all to forgive me on the blog reading and just start fresh. (If I had a Google Reader, I'd contemplate hitting "Mark All As Read.")

Because I'm tired.

And though vacations are amazing....

Home is better. And I somehow need to find mine under all the chaos.


The End of Super Fun Vaca

I hate turbulence.

I love to fly, except for the pesky turbulence. I find myself white-knuckling the armrests and looking around nervously to see if the flight attendants look ancy.

I’m on a long haul flight as I type this. Straight from Vancouver to Memphis. And I already feel like I’ve been on this plane for hours. Make that days. Flights home are always so much longer than flights to your vacation spot. I guess it is because when home calls, there just ain’t nothing like it. My babies are meeting us at the airport tonight, and I can’t wait to see them. To trace Sawyer’s sweet freckles with my fingers and run my fingers through Keaton’s hair. To scoop up the TaterTot and smother him in kisses. Oh those boys. My heart just aches to see them.

Yesterday was our last day in Vancouver, and we discussed heavily the possibility of whale watching. My Tweeps and Blogeeps had been crossing their fingers (when they weren’t using them to attack their keyboards) for me to go visit the wonderful world of whales, but it just didn’t happen. It is still high up on my bucket list, but it just seemed like every avenue we checked into to go observe Free Willy kept coming in hitched up. Too expensive. Or too far away. Or the next day guaranteed (with us not having a next day to guarantee).

We also thought about heading up to Whistler (the home of the 2010 Winter Olympics), but decided against that, too.

So we settled on heading up Grouse Mountain….Vancouver’s highest peak. There looked like all kinds of touristy things to do up there, and it was relatively inexpensive and close.

With Grouse Mtn. being located in North Vancouver, it required us to take a SeaBus to get across the ocean.
Oh my gosh. The whole time I just kept thinking how much fun the boys would have crossing the water on the hugacious water taxi. And I may or may not have resembled a giddy 5 year old on the ride over, but that hasn’t been confirmed.

After we came off the water, we hopped a bus that took us straight up to the base of the mountain. And then we hopped on one of these that took us up to the top.

This is me, in the slightly freaky SkyTrain.

When you realize that all that is keeping you from plummeting down the edge of the mountain is just a couple of cables and a freakishly small hunk of metal…well, it is just a might unnerving.

I made it to the top of the mountain with my sanity still intact, and our first stop was in to the gift shop to buy me a jacket. I had brought a hoodie, but nothing prepared me for the FREEZING temps on the tippy top of the hill. Geez.
Here I am in my way-cool new jacket. Thanks, Husband!

On top of the mountain, we watched a Birds of Prey Demonstration. Very cool.

I think this guy’s name was Gizmo.

And this was Rocco.
And we also took in a burly lumberjack show. They were SO much fun to watch! They did all kinds of manly competitions, and they weren’t too shabby on the eyes either!
We also took a chair lift up to the Peak of Grouse Mountain. It was so breathtaking. We could see all of Vancouver from where we were. Nevermind that I wanted to throw up while on it.

And I played in the snow….in June.

Oh. And maybe the best part! We ate BeaverTails!! Goodness Sakes, I’m not sure anything more divinely scrumptious has ever passed past my lips.

We also met Grinder and Coola, the mountain’s resident grizzlies. They were very “friendly” with each other. More than plutonic, should I say?! The husband made me take a picture, but this is a family show, so I’ll refrain from posting it. Here are the bears with some distance between them.

(Did I mention that Grinder and Coola are both male bears? Uh. Yeah. Needless to say, we were all double-checking to make sure that we had, in fact, entered Grouse Mountain, and not taken a detour to Brokeback. *wink*)

After taking in all the sights of the mountain (and a few more than we had bargained for) we ate an extremely high-priced cafeteria style meal.

That’s a $10 bowl of tortellini you’re staring at, folks.

Mountain robbery, I tell ya. Mountain robbery.

After bussing and SeaBussing our way back to our hotel, we packed suitcases and then headed out for a late dinner. Remember the Shepherd’s Pie that I had a few days ago? Yeah…will neither Kirk or I had been able to get that restaurant off of our food-centered minds, so we went back. And though the food was delicious, it didn’t quite compare to the other day.

After dinner, I batted my eyelashes at the husband, and he so generously walked me down the street to a little store that I had been ogling my entire stay in Vancouver.

Yes. It is a store….entirely devoted to Cupcakes. Does it really get any better than that?

I think not.

And because the husband loves me so much, he bought me a chocolate cupcake with mint buttercream icing.


And so the husband wouldn’t feel left out (because I sure wasn’t sharing my cupcake!), we stopped in at the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Company and picked him up a couple of treats.

That would be Cheesecake Bomb and a Peanut Butter Brittle Bomb.

Apparently they were “the bomb.”

And that brings us to the plane. With the most horrendous turbulence.
And I’m trying to refrain from digging my fingernails into the husband’s arm too severely. Because apparently blood is frowned upon on aircrafts. Who knew?!

My trip to Canada has been amazing.

Like I said before, time away from real life is refreshing for my soul.

I’m more in love with my husband now than I was a week ago.

I’m glad that I’m able to scratch off another country visited on my list.

And I’m grateful for opportunities to explore pieces of God’s creation that are new to me.

Thanks for hanging out with me on my Super Fun Vaca! I wanted to document everything from the food we ate to the places we went as a keepsake travel journal for my family, but I’m so glad that some of you have been able to travel vicariously through me and the husband this week.

It’s been real.

And it’s been fun.

But it, for sure, has been REAL FUN!

Super Fun Vaca…..Over and Out.


Super Fun Vaca Day 7

I can tell I'm winding down.

And missing my rascals.

The hotel bed isn't sleeping as great as it was earlier in the week, and I'm getting tired of the clothes in the suitcase. The food is still amazing, and though the fact that I haven't had to do dishes in a week is pretty darn wonderful, I am actually looking forward to our little family meals of chicken nuggets and mac-n-cheese.

To perk me up a little bit, the husband took me out to the most beautiful place.

It is an amazing park that juts out along the seawall of Vancouver, and its mix of gardens, landscaping, and plant life are remarkable. Add that the Pacific Ocean is lapping at its edges, and you pretty much have an idea of what paradise looks like.

Beautiful, eh? (Like that throw back to my Canadian peeps?!)

We saw tons of Canadian Geese. Which Kirk and I decided that since we were in Canada, then they are probably just Geese.

I have a thing for boats. And this blue houseboat was just about the cutest thing I'd seen all day. Next to the goose, of course.

Look! There were even totem poles! I'm not sure anywhere is complete without a good ole' totem pole!

And this one is for my Nashville posse. You're welcome.

And then I decided that I was WAY underdressed.

And then Kirk decided to get in the spirit of all the earthiness that goes on up here and hugged a tree. It just seemed like the right thing to do.

And then we pretended to like eachother.

We ate at a little restaurant inside the park, and here I am looking all touristy with my park map and slurping my frozen lemonade.

I even stuck my feet in the Pacific Ocean. Oh.My.Stars....cold is not even an adequate description.

After the long trek back to the hotel, I rested my poor feet. I was flip flopped out and was grateful for the nap that we were able to catch before heading out for dinner.

We went to this amazing Mediterranean restaurant. And it was faincy. But, unlike most of the other shmancified restaurants I've eaten at this week, I understood everything on that menu. Because Italian food is part of my love language, and I was in heaven.

I ate this.

Yes. It was amazing.


I ate it all.

And then I ate dessert.
That's gelato made by the in house pastry chef, and, yes. It was amazing.

And here we are at dinner.
This vaca must be working....Look! He's smiling!

And that's me with Sandra.

And every good meal needs someone peering through their beverage.

On our way back to the hotel, we stopped in at a little souvenir shop. You know the kind. They are stocked to the brim with refrigerator magnets and teensy spoons. We had to buy trip gifts for the rascals, and they are going to hate us be thrilled when they find out that all we brought them were tee-shirts. You're welcome, kids.

We are having an amazing time on our trip, but like I said, I'm beginning to wind down. I'm really missing my babies and cannot wait to see them and snuggle them up tight. Vacations are so good for my soul. It is so nice to get away from real life for a little bit, because I always appreciate real life so much more when it begins to hit me in the face again. I feel like I'm a better mom, a better housekeeper, a better wife, and a better friend when I come off of a getaway.

Canada has been great.

But I'm positive that there is no place like home.

One more day of Super Fun Vaca.

But for tonight, Super Fun Vaca Day 7....Over and Out.