Fun little words to toss around the tongue.

What about bathetic?  Like pathetic...only not.


I think that's my favorite.

Yep.  Schmaltzy.

I'm feeling especially schmaltzy today.

I've been walking through the house in a weird stupor transferring my full-blown sobs to just sniffling snippets of tears.  My pendulum swings from rage to confusion to despondency.

And I have no idea why.

There really isn't a reason for the schmaltzy today.  It's just here.

School was a disaster that left me and the middlest in tears.  I had to put myself in timeout for fear that someone would lose an eye.  And it wasn't going to be me.  Schmaltzy.

My mind is swirling with conversations that I've had that have left me confused and angry and unsure about what to do next.  Unsure how to pray.  Unsure how to react.  Schmaltzy.

My heart is breaking for a family of a little girl that I don't even know.  I've been on my knees begging my Jesus for a miracle for a precious angel baby named Faith.  (My friend, Marla, tells about Faith's story here.)  And though I'm praying for Faith, my prayers naturally shift to pleading with my Jesus to spare my own children from such torment.  Schmaltzy.

The laundry isn't finished.  And everytime I walk past the laundry room....schmaltzy.

The boys are having a hard time liking eachother today.  And in all honesty, I don't like them very much today either.  Schmaltzy.

I miss my mom and dad.  I miss my sister and her family.  I miss my Georgia Peach of a bestie.   Schmaltzy.

I don't know why the schmaltzy days come out of nowhere.  I went to bed last night giggly and lighthearted, and woke up today feeling crushed by an intangible weight.

I guess the schmaltzy days humble us.
And bring us to our knees.
And cause us to remember that we need Jesus.....on the most schmaltzy and un-schmaltzy of days.  And all the days in between.



For The Love of Passie

WARNING:  This post contains material that will make sappy suckers cry.  Don't say I didn't warn you.

This is Tate now.

Cute, right?  Yah.  I know.  But you can tell me again that Kirk and I make pretty babies. 

This is that same pretty baby then.

And here he is again.

And again.

Ugh..this makes my heart hurt.  I miss those squishy cheeks so.stinkin'. much.

But, if you look in every one of those pictures you will see IT.  In fact, if you dig through his scrapbooks you would be hard pressed to find a picture that didn't have IT stuffed in his blessed little mouth.  Or in his hand.  Or two ITs...one in each hand.  Or one at least sitting on the table or counter in the background of a picture.

My purse, our couch, and every other nook and cranny of the house held the blessed plugs hostage.  They multiplied and bred in toy-boxes and under the seats of my van. 

It's how we lived our lives for almost 3 years. 

And I held onto those 3 years with everything I had.

Because Tate was my baby.  My last one.  Milestones like potty-training and sleeping through the night and giving up the bottle hurt my core.  Babyhood was ending.  And I was fighting it with everything that I had.

So it is possible that I let that sweet baby keep his beloved passie for just a wee bit longer than all the baby books said I should.  I didn't really worry about his teeth and the weird looks in Walmart.  Because him holding those plastic plugs in his chubby little hands screamed "BABY" to me. 

And then he grew up one day.  And his daddy (Grrrrr.....) put his foot down on the passie issue, spouting off some weird sermon about him going to prom with a blue sparkly passie stuck in his mouth.  And just like that...the passie was gone.

And I might have cried about it.

And threw the husband dirty looks across the room about it.

And I also might have continued to slip Tate a passie on the sly for 3 months straight.  But if you bring it up...I'll deny it, so don't bother.

Eventually, though, I moved on. 

And I forgot about the passie.


Yesterday the boys and I were busy working in my bedroom.  We were cleaning and moving some furniture, and I found this.


Now....get past the fact that it was actually hiding under my bed, which is just testament to the fact that I NEVER clean under there, and that my mama is mortified about right now.....

But, y'all....I was a mess.
A puddle of snot and tears and mascara on the floor.
And my uterus hurt for more babies.
And then I remembered that I like to sleep at night.  And was over it.

But I did keep the passie. 

Shhhhhh....don't tell the husband. 
He scares easy.


Sick Days

I had big plans for this past weekend.

My house was going to sparkle.  The closet that holds the bowels of our existence and the depths of our memories...read: JUNK...is way past the need for the purging/cleaning/organizing/straightening stage; it just needs to be torched and readied for new memories to collect themselves.  My bedroom is on my nerves and needs to be emptied and deep-cleaned, and the furniture is screaming to be rearranged.  The dirty laundry has been in such close quarters with itself for so long now, it is now beginning to breed....I swear I am finding clothing that I didn't even know we owned. 

And this weekend was going to remedy all of those issues.  It was going to be 48 hours of broomsticks and mop puddles and dust rags and rubber gloves.  I was going to go through enough garbage sacks to cause Hefty to take the plastic stock spotlight from TupperWare, and for the first time in forever every stitch of clothing that we own would be washed, folded, and put away. 

And the world would stop turning.  And the skies would open up and angels would sing.

But....the world didn't stop.

And my house didn't get cleaned.  In fact, it got even more nasty.

Because the menfolk did nothing except traipse their manly muddy boots through the house and crumble their manly man-food all over the floor and change their manly clothes 382 times a day.

All because I was laid up on the couch.  With some funky throat and ear thing.  And the most energy I exerted all weekend was walking to and from the kitchen.

On the upside....

~~~ I did get to watch a gaggle of girl movies.  Ones I hadn't seen in ages.  The DVDs that have been lost for centuries behind the mountains of Looney Tunes, VeggieTales, and Disney classics.  Like Legally Blonde, The Lakehouse, and The Notebook.  All the movies that the husband whines about having to watch, but his opinion becomes null and void if I have a fever.

~~~ I now know how to properly make tiramisu and banana pudding should the need ever arise.  I can assure you...it won't.

~~~ I'm not sure if it is a good thing or not, but I actually bored myself with Olympic coverage.  I didn't think it could happen, but it did.  Hours on end of ski jumping Swiss and curling Canadians might just be enough. 

~~~ I am up-to-date on all things Kardashian.  Thanks to the rousing marathon of Keeping Up With.... that was on the other night, I am now an expert on this fabulous train wreck.  Could.Not.Look.Away.

~~~ And I slept.  A lot.

Thankfully, I'm on the upswing now.   About time.

The boys, however, are wishing me back to the couch.  Apparently I'm a much more fun mom when I'm laid up. 

Because much to their chagrin, all nagging and harping has returned to its regular scheduled programming.


Me and Mr. Schue

Please know that I see the complete irony of my profession of lobsterage with the husband in my last post, and then today's.  It's how I tend to roll.  And, lucky for me, the husband is quite secure with all of my extra-marital affairs with fictitious characters. 


Possibly the best show ever.  It is actually quickly gaining speed to overtake my beloved Friends as my all-time favorite.  I never thought I'd say that.  Definitely feels like infidelity.  Like I'm trading one Rachel for another. 

What I adore most about GLEE, though, is that it is High School Musical for grown-ups.  And I love me some Wildcats.  Drama and showtunes all wrapped up together just rocks.  And when you add pretty people....well...just shut the window and call me Edgar.

It is also possible that I enjoy a heaping helping of the GLEE gang because of Mr. Schuester.  Swoon.  Like in the category of Mr. Darcy's swoonage. 

See...he's very special, isn't he??? 

Now...switch gears and cut to this morning.

I had set my alarm for 4:45 a.m. for 15 minutes of snooze-allocation.  Then I could be up by 5; teeth brushed and tennis shoes laced up by 5:15; and to the gym by 5:30 to meet my gymeeps. 

Before I progress, let me chase another rabbit down a twisty trail.  It is a documented fact that if I awaken to a loud, harsh, blaring beeping then it takes me to a very nasty place.  So, I have always opted for the clock radio option when it comes to alarms.  It just ensures a longer lifespan for those around me.  But since Rosie has her iHome, I treat myself to a wakeup call from my playlists.  It's a party every morning now.

Back to this morning.

All I remember is that I was with Mr. Schue.  In the GLEE music room.  And Mr. Schue was singing "Endless Love" to me.  And I was swooning.

And then I was back in my bed.  And the clock said 5:30.  And I had slept 45 minutes while listening to Mr. Schue croon to me.

It was blissful.

Even if it made me uber late to the gym.

Luckily Lisa completely understands the beauty of the Mr. Schuester dreams and forgave me for leaving her high and dry on the elliptical. 

It's what friends are for.


He's My Lobster

I just realized that I totally bypassed Valentine's Day.
Get it? 

Bypass?  On HEART Day?  Crack.Me.Up.

Well, I didn't really bypass V-Day...not in real life anyway.  Just here.  Like here.here.  I didn't blog about my Valentine.  I didn't say anything about my husband.  Sheesh.  Some sweetheart I am.  I should be tar and feathered. 

So....in honor of the husband who is my for-better-or-for-worse-better-half Valentine....I give you:

Fascinating Facts About Me and the Husband That You Had No Idea You Were Missing Out On But Now Your Life Will Be Complete Because of This Post.
You're Welcome.

1. What are your middle names?
  • His -- Matthew
  • Mine -- Janell  (I usually spell my name JANELLE, with an E, because it's more romantic like "Anne with an E" from Anne of Green Gables.  Not sure why my parents named me just plain ole boring Janell.)
2. How long have you been together?
  • Married?  12 years. 1 month. 3 weeks. 4 hours. 12 minutes. & 8 seconds. 
  • 9 seconds.
  • 11 seconds.
  • shoot....you get the idea.
3. How long did you know each other before you started dating? 
  • Exactly 4 school years.  I met him on the first day of 9th grade, and we started dating on the night of our high school graduation. 
  • A collective "Awwww" is appropriate.  Go on.  I'll wait.
4. Who asked who out?
  • Neither.  We just kinda ended up together.  We were one of "those."
5. Whose siblings do you see the most?
  • It's a toss up.  We're one of those families where no one lives in the same town as anyone else, so it's pretty tit-for-tat.  Just depends on the weather and price of gas in Norway.
6. Do you have any children together?
  • Um...you do know what blog you're reading, right?  But, I'll play along. 
  • Yep.  Kids.  Three of 'em. 
7. What about pets?
  • Velvet -- the black lab puppy we found in a ditch.  She died.
  • Daisy -- our sweet yellow lab that was our first pet as a hitched couple.  She died. 
  • Lucy -- a black lab that was the spawn of Satan.  She died.
  • Seeing a theme here?  Moving on.
  • Ty and Puddles -- my dogs from my parents' house that moved in with us.  They died.
  • Einstein -- our turtle.  He was set free.  But I'm sure he died.
  • Luke Skywalker -- a cat.  He got in a fight with another animal; lost his bottom lip.  And then he died.
  • Ozzie -- our golden retriever.  Best dog EVER.  Had a run-in with a car and the car won; left him with 3 legs.  He's been missing about 5 weeks now.  We're very sad.
  • Lunabelle -- our Humane Society dog that we considered ours for exactly 25 hours.  Then we took her back.  She is still alive.
  • Indiana Jones -- our cat.  He's still alive.
  • We don't have the best luck with pets.  But we're nice people, wear our seatbelts, and occasionally give money to charity.  Don't hold our animal inabilities against us.
8. Did you go to the same school?
  • We went to the same High School.  We fell in love in Spanish class.  And I used to borrow his way cool silk shirts.  Holla.
9. Who is the most sensitive?
  • The husband has a way sensitive nose.  Like don't even dare touch it with the tip of your pinkie or he will come unglued and slug you.  You think I'm kidding?  Just try it. 
  • But I think the question means feelings and lying-on-a-couch-talking-to-a-legal-pad and stuff.  Me.  Definitely me.  It is possible that I cry often.  But not as much as the husband if you touch his nose.  Just sayin'.
10. Where do you go out to eat most as a couple?
  • That question insinuates going out alone as a couple.  That doesn't happen. 
  • So....McDonald's.  For Happy Meals.
11. Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple?
  • Vancouver.  Eh?
12. Who has the craziest exes?
  • I plead the Fifth.
13. Who has the worst temper?
  • Me -- about stuff that doesn't matter
  • Him -- about stuff that does
14. Who does the cooking?
  • I guess I do, but I don't really call what I do "cooking."  It's more "dump stuff out of boxes into pots."  But we'll call it "cooking" if you want to.
15. Who is more social?
  • Um...that would be me.  The husband would be content to never come in contact with another human being for the rest of his life. 
16. Who is the neat freak?
  • We both like things neat, but neither of us freak out if things aren't.  Praise.the.Lord. because neat doesn't happen around here very often. 
17. Who is the most stubborn?
  • He is.  No question.  Although he lets me have my way a lot.....Sucker. *wink*
18. Who hogs the bed?
  • Him. Him. Him. Did I mention Him?  No? .....Him.
19. Who wakes up earlier?
  • He's going to want me to tell you that he does.  Because he gets up at 6 a.m. every morning to go to the gym.  Truth is:  the alarm is on my side of the bed because he can't hear an alarm go off.  So that means I have to get up every morning to get him up.  The things we do for love.
20. Where was your first date?
  • I don't remember.  Shameful.  I do, however, remember the night that we "hooked up."  That's something, right????  It was at our Project Graduation, and the next morning we went and ate breakfast together at Steak-n-Shake.  Romance over a plate of skinny fries at 7 in the morning. 
21. Do you get flowers often? 
  • Nah.  But that's alright.  I'd rather buy new shoes.
22. How long did it take to get serious?
  • Um.....started dating at the end of May.  Engaged in November.  What do you think?
23. Who eats more?
  • I can hold my own, thank you very much.
24. Who sings better?
  • We both think that we sound marvelous.  No one else seems to agree with us.
25. Who does the laundry?
  • I can count on one hand the loads of laundry that the husband has done since we got married.  And those were only because I was out of town, and he wasn't at his mama's house.
26. Who’s better with the computer?
  • If you're talking techy?  Him.
  • If you're talking socially?  Me. 
27. Who drives when you are together?
  • The husband.  But I will take the wheel if he is dead tired.  But I don't know why I do, because he rarely sleeps when I'm driving.  Apparently he doesn't appreciate my skilz.
28. Who picks where you go to dinner?
  • That would be me.  Because I'm a princess.
29. Who wears the pants?
  • I prefer a cute summer skirt, thanks. 
  • Kidding....he does.  And he grunts and beats his chest, too. 
30. Who has the better sense of humor?
  • Not a day goes by that I don't giggle at that man. 
31. Who eats more sweets?
  • Again.  I plead the Fifth.
32. Who cries more?
  • I'm a faucet. 
33. What's your favorite tv show together?
  • We used to be very mature tv watchers.  Very grown-up shows like CSI and NCIS.  But then I dragged him to the dark side of Reality TV.  Muahahahaha.
34.  Would you marry him again?
  • A million times over.  He's my lobster.


Betcha Didn't Know....


Betcha Didn't Know is a fun little game that I like to play every once in awhile that lets you peek into some corners of my boy crazy life.  Really it just is another outlet for my superior hankerings for randomness, but we'll pretend it is for your own information.  Oh...and if you want to play, too (because I LOVE to peek into other people's randomness..uh...I mean corners of your lives), then have at it.  I'll leave the code for that nifty button up there at the bottom of this post.

So...let's get to the stuff that I Betcha Didn't Know.....

***That I spent an hour vacuuming my kitchen, dining room, and entryway floors followed with a good scrubbing on Saturday.  An hour of my life that I will never get back.  Especially since not 18 minutes later, the Rascals and their Father tromped their snowy muddy footprints all up in my business.  It is possible that I growled and bared my fangs in their general direction.

***That I like to vacuum my hard floors instead of sweeping them.  Because my floors are gross.  And I always feel like I get up all the dust and gunk and legos that were threatened to be thrown away if they weren't picked up better than with a broom.  Saturday I even busted out the husband's ShopVac.  Made me feel powerful.

***I actually used the ShopVac because my vacuum wasn't working right.  The handy husband discovered the problem when he tore it apart.  SOMEONE, who shall remain nameless but whose name starts with a K and rhymes with Shmeaton, had given their wizard mask a haircut and decided that the best way to dispose of the evidence was sucking up the 394,329 pounds of long stringy white hair with my vacuum cleaner.  I thought that wizard looked balder.  I must learn to be more observant to all things of a less hairy wizardy nature.

***That I got cupcake pajama pants for Valentine's Day.  The husband and I gave eachother a swanky new living room for every holiday this year, so the cupcake jammies were even more than I expected. 

***That the cupcake jammie story would be so much sweeter if I left it there, but in the interest of full disclosure, I must tell you that it is possible that I reminded the children every time we passed those very cupcake jammie pants in the store that they would make their mama a very happy lady if they would tell their daddy that mama really needed her some cupcake jammies.  Luckily they have good memories.  And lucky for their daddy, they just happened to be on clearance.  Score.

***That I am engrossed in all things Olympic.  I chew nervously on my nails throughout sports and events that I didn't even know existed, and I whoop and holler through sports that I've never cared a lick about. Curling?  I'm there.  Hockey?  You betcha.   Marathoning skiers?  Um-hum.  Love it all.   I'm also slightly obsessed with all of the outfits that parade around.  I tend to be distracted easily by bright colors and shiny objects, so the lycra and spandex abundance serves me well.

***That I'm losing copious amounts of sleep due to said Olympics.  It just doesn't seem patriotic to turn the coverage off before they are signed off for the night or watch other programming.  Just doesn't seem right at all.  Like I'm committing Olympic infedelity. 

***That I'm ready for Old Man Winter to get on up out of here.  I'm ready for Spring.  And flip flops.  And suntans.  And not going to bed with my teeth chattering.

***That what pushed me over the edge of wanting Mr. Winter to move along were the snowy boot tracks all over my newly vacuumed and scrubbed floors.  Stick a fork in me.  I'm done.

***That my newscaster just announced that she's pregnant on the 5 o'clock news.  And I feel as though I need to buy diapers and host a baby shower. 

***That you can play the Betcha Didn't Know game, too.  Well...you did know that, because I already told you that you could, but anyway.....all you have to do is tell me stuff that you Betcha I Don't Know.  And you can take my little button over to your place, too, if you want.  Can't wait to hear what I Don't Know!!!  C'mon...I triple dog dare you.

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Blessings all over your sweet heads, friends!

When Our Worlds Collide -- Fancy Needs Jesus Too

My sister graduated from high school while we were living overseas.  She holds a diploma from an International School, and I've always been a bit jealous of that.  My high school diploma is from a Midwest town where the mascot was a Mule.  Yes.  A mule. 

Moving on.

The summer after my sister's graduation, as our family was preparing to bring her back to the States to start college, my parents presented her with a gift of a Senior Trip.  Michele was enamored with all things European, and my parents were able to work out a 10 Day Family Vacation through 10 countries in Europe on our way home to Arkansas. 

That 10 days was amazing.  I was in Jr. High and thought I was too cool for the world, but looking back, I realize how special of a trip it was.  My sister was in heaven, and our family saw and tasted and smelled and experienced things that we had never seen, tasted, smelled, or experienced before.

In addition to doing all the normal touristy things, we had the opportunity to meet up with several missionary families that were stationed in some of those European countries.  Some we spent the night with, others we just shared a meal with. 

And as my parents were busy swapping stories, I remember thinking, "How did they get so lucky to get this gig?"

I mean...if the Mission Board is sending folks to hang out around the Eiffel Tower or spend their missionary careers in a cottage in the Swiss Alps, why in the world would someone ever choose a third world country for their assignment?

It didn't make any sense to my 12 year old head.

And I actually remember thinking that my parents were downright crazy.  And I was a bit bitter.  Because instead of jungle life, I could've been spending my mornings frolicking through Dutch tulips or perfecting the wearing of the beret.

I have a couple of friends now who have answered the call of foreign missions and have been given these seemingly glamorous assignments.  I mean....suffering for Jesus in the heart of Italy can't be too shabby, huh?  Or bringing the Word to folks on the ski slopes of Austria?

But this week, as I've been glued to the Olympic coverage, my heart is heavy.  Because though I love the healthy spirit of competition and the brotherly feely-good bonds of nations coming together for the sake of sport, the truth of the matter is that most of those countries that those athletes represent are lost.

It doesn't matter if a country has spectacular landmarks or serves phenomenal food or has all the modern conveniences a person could hope for.....if they don't know Jesus, they're lost.  Plain and simple.  Lost.

I'm actually almost convinced that it probably is harder to share the Gospel in such a place.  Because the attitudes that come with having "everything" are usually harder to penetrate than those of a people who know beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are needy.

I'm trying to check my own presumptions at the door.  Realizing that accepting the Call to go to a nation that is rich and glamorous doesn't make it easier.  That cakewalks aren't handed out when it comes to missionary callings.  That straws aren't drawn for assignments and the couple that gets Tuscany cackles mockingly at the couple that drew Botswana.

There are people in the world that are lost.  Deeply and dreadfully lost.

And it doesn't make them any more lost if they live here...

....than if they live here.

Please take the time to pray for all of our missionary families that are actively serving our Lord.  And please pray for the people that they are trying to reach -- that hearts will be opened to the Word, and that lives will be changed.


Drugs Schmugs

I was flipping through blogs this morning and found to my much delight that my friend Kay had composed a post while she was on drugs. 

Not illegal drugs, silly.  Just the turns-illegal-if-you-harbor-a-meth-lab-in-your-home kind of drugs.  You know..the ones you have to sign away the lives of not only your children and your spouse, but also the life of your great aunt who lives in Buloxi, to purchase. 

Blogs on drugs make me snort giggle, really.  My good buddy Carpoolqueen recently delved into the mystical world of codeine composition. 

And people say bloggers are boring. 

Anyway....all the drug chit chat made me remember a funny encounter I had with the law once upon a time. 

The law, you say?  Oh yes.  The Fuzz.  The Pig.  The Po Po.  The Five-Oh.  The Heat.  The Bacon.  The Feds.

Now...I've had slightly more encounters with our friendly law enforcement officers than I care to discuss here, but my favorite story with the coppers involved me and a friendly bottle of Nyquil.

It was the mid-90s, and I was on a highway in Texas known to be a high drug trafficking route.  On my way back to college from my sister's home in the Great Big State, I was cruisin' along in my very unfancy Oldsmobile with my boombox sitting in the passenger seat.  I wasn't cool enough yet for the fancy DiscMan with the tape deck converter, so I resorted to packing my boom box with D batteries and spinning my Celine Dion and Green Day cds anytime I went on a trip.

I had contracted a horrid head cold whilst at my sis's and without my mama there to help me through my self-medicating, I erred on the side of bad judgement and downed a double dose of Nyquil before heading out on a 4 hour trip on an already sleepy Sunday afternoon.

It wasn't long before I got tired.

And not just like tired tired.  But like I'm going to keel over head first into the floor board tired.  And I'll take Celine Dion and her "If You Asked Me To" self down with me.

Somewhere between half-consciousness and just plain dead, I saw the blue lights.  And there might have been a siren.  But I would have had to have been fully coherent to notice that.

I pulled over because I thought I remembered that being what you were supposed to do if you saw the flashing blues of The Po-Lease.

He swaggered to my car, hand on his weapon, ready in case the ponytailed girl with the Baptist University sticker in the back window of the Olds tried to make a violent move.

"Ma'am?  I noticed you were doing a lot of swerving back there.  You feeling okay?"

"Oh, Officer, I'm fine.  I'm just on drugs."

Um.....probably not the wisest thing to say while speaking to a burly cop on the side of the Cocaine Corridor.

What proceeded was an interesting sequence of events which involved me with my hands splayed on the Olds, pleading my case of Nyqul consumption, and a thorough search of my car.

Which, I must add, turned up nothing but the bottle of green stuff, a pile of used kleenexes, and a suitcase full of dirty clothes.

So he let me go.

With strict instructions to "be careful, feel better, and do not tell police officers that you are on drugs."

Dually Noted.

---- Can't wait to see what kind of Google hits this post gets!!


Catch-Up .... All For Jim-Dad

Jim-Dad called the other night making sure that we were still alive because I hadn't posted lately.  I didn't think much about the fact that I had taken a mini-hiatus, but apparently my absence from the blogosphere stresses my parental unit. 

I called Jim-Dad and Sweet Mama last night and assured them that we all were still breathing....

And Jim-Dad asked when I was going to blog again. 

Gotta love him.

My sabbatical was really only due to busyness.  And my wonky internet provider and its crazy rules about fair sharing of Internet time something-or-other.  I really don't understand it, I just know it annoys the jackheck out of me when the boys suck up all my time by playing all those farm games on FaceBook.  And after a whole day of harvesting cows and feeding corn and sending pigeons to people, my internet runs slower than dial-up.  And to deal with the stress of slower than snail pageloads, I just shut the lid, unplug, and do laundry.  Hmmmm....come to think of it...maybe it is all an evil plot by the husband to keep fresh undies in his drawer. 

Thankfully we've been pretty busy lately so it has relatively kept my mind off of the conspiracy being formed against me and all my social networking outlets.

Our family has taken to Family Movie Night every Friday.  Well, it really is The Kids and Mom Movie Night, because Daddy is usually snoring on the couch.  But at least we're all in the same room together.  This past Friday night, we snuggled down to watch Night At The Museum 2, which was a mistake only because the boys had seen it before and were bombarding me with "Watch this part!" and "Do you want me to tell you what's going to happen?" through the entire.thing. 

Note to self:  Only rent movies the boys have.not.seen.yet.

On Saturday the boys had their last basketball game for the season which couldn't make me happier.  I'm all about watching the boys play and all, but eight o'clock games on a Saturday morning take me to my nasty place. 

That evening the husband and I headed out for a night with the besties.  It was Mr. Lisa's Little Slice of Life's birthday, so we celebrated by doing some things that were very non-Baptist.  We went to the horse races (Gasp!) and caught the very last race of the day, but still enjoyed watching the horses run.  And you can't find better people-watching than at the races.  Seriously....it might just top the airport.  After the races, we went and did a very Baptist thing.  We ate.  Baptists like to eat.  And Baptists really like to eat Cajun food. 
After eating, we went to a little hole-in-the-wall to go dancing.  (Double Gasp!)  Technically, I should say we "functioned."  Because that's the Baptist thing to say....but really, we just danced.  Lisa and I love to dance, and luckily, we have husbands that humor us by taking us out to shake our groove things.  Judge if you must...but it's good therapy for me. 

Moving on.  And I won't use the word "Baptist" anymore.  I promise.


Sorry.  Had to do it.

Sunday let me rock sweet snuggly babies in the nursery at church.  I adore nursery duty.  Because I get to smell that sweet baby smell and love on precious baby bodies, and then send those snuggly stinkers home with their mamas and I get to take a nap. 

The Super Bowl  on Sunday night was devastating for me.  I think I was the only person alive that wanted the Colts to win and wanted the Saints to suck snot, but my loyalty runs deep.  Peyton Manning and the rest of his buddies have been my main men for as long as I can remember, and I might also be in the habit of referring to Mr. Manning as my boyfriend.  So my devastation was severe when they pulled out a big.fat.loss.  It was compounded with all the taunting and horrific chanting of "Who Dat?" in my ear at our small group Super Bowl Party.  But I drowned my sorrows in cheese dip and burnt to a crisp thanks to me slightly overcooked pigs-in-a-blanket.

The past couple of days have been subject to the Internet conspiracy, so I filled my time with lots of housework, laundry, and the education of my children.  You know...all the stuff that I usually put off when my internet is working.  But, the days have been good despite my lack of outside communication.

And that brings me to today. 

The Internet is back in working order, the children have been banned from all things farm-related for the day, and I'm going to try to keep my mojo flowing.  Try being the key word there.

One thing is guaranteed....there won't be nearly as much laundry folded and put away now.  Because I have blogs to read.  And tweets to twitter.  And faces to book at. 

If you see me around these parts today....DO NOT ask me about the housework.  You'll just make me feel bad.

And bad isn't a color that works well for me.


Words of Wisdom Regarding Woofers

I read the books of Proverbs today.

Because I was sure that there had to be a verse in there somewhere that dealt with the foolishness of people who do foolish things regarding pets.  (What with all the foolishness that Solomon speaks of and all.)

Maybe something like:

Those who send back perfect canines will be considered fools.


Foolish is she who rejects the perfect pooch.

I was looking, because I think I might just have made the most foolish mistake in pet ownership history.

Because today......I sent Lunabelle back. 

That dog didn't jump on my furniture.  She didn't eat my shoes.  She didn't use my floor as a latrine.  She didn't bark.  She didn't whine.  She shook hands.  She sat when you told her to. 

She really was THAT good.

And I sent her back.

Foolish is she who rejects the perfect pooch.

But as perfect as she was, she just didn't jive with our rough and rowdy bunch.  Mainly because....well....she wasn't rough and rowdy.

You see, the ONLY problem with Miss Lunabelle is that Miss Lunabelle doesn't like to play.

And in our house....playing (or at least pretending to play) is a requirement. 

Lunabelle didn't even fake on the playin' side.  She just walked around, laid around, and laid around some more.

And this morning in our family meeting that was held to make the big decision on adoption or not, all three boys along with their mama and their daddy admitted reservations.

And any reservation is enough reservation for me.  Because I'm not going to house a new family member if she isn't going to pull her weight.  Just sayin'.

It really all boiled down to us realizing that even though she was on all accounts PERFECT...she wasn't perfect for us.

And so we are back to square one with the dog hunt. 

And we are trusting fully that our dog is out there.  A dog that fits our family like a glove.  That plays with the kids and doesn't eat my shoes.  That is fun but not filthy. 

And so we will keep looking.

And I will keep listening to all of you tell me that I have done lost my ever-lovin' mind. 

Go on.  Hit me with your best shot.

I'm ready.


We're Pregnant!! (Totally thought I could type that with a straight face.)

I forgot to take my Prozac yesterday.

And again this morning.

So I'm blaming my momentary loss of brain function and rational thinking on the absence of the drugs that keep me sane.

Because I just might have jumped off of this huge ledge and adopted a dog today.

Whatchu talkin' 'bout, Willus?

Yep.  I feel the same way.  Only I'm finding out that I'm kinda okay with the idea.  Strangely enough.  Actually a little excited.

This is how it all went down....

Our big ole outside dog has been gone for awhile now.  And our family was missing Ozzie something fierce.  Especially Mr. Animal Planet, Keaton.  Like snot and tears in the dentist office waiting room.  And in the store.  And in the car. And during dinner. And.And.And.

And somehow I decided (with a lot of his help, mind you) that having a new dog might ease our sadness a bit and help us get over the hump. 

So we headed over to the Humane Society to check out the local doggies.  Keaton has watched enough Animal Planet to be brainwashed very wisely know that there are millions of dogs that need good homes in shelters all over the U.S. (it is possible that I've heard this speech a time or two), so buying one was out of the question. 

We met several dogs.

There was this rowdy playful puppy that looked just like Sawyer.  Red hair and everything.  But he looked like he would eat my shoes in 3.4 seconds.  So we moved on.

There were 243,583,323 (give or take a few) big ole outside dogs.  No thank you.  Been there. Done that.  Had the teeshirt, but the rowdy pups we've had before ate it.

There was a precious little dog named Nikki that had just had hip surgery.  And she was as sweet as she could be, but we don't have the $1200 that Miss Nikki needs for the hip specialist that they were requiring her to see. Wowzers.

And then there was Lunabelle.  Well, actually there was Luna.  But we've renamed her.  Because I need more girly sounding business up in here.  (And props to Lunabelle's Auntie Tiff for naming her!)

A sweet looking mutt.  That's it.  Just a mutt.

But the most precious looking mutt I've ever seen.

According to the lady working at the shelter:  Lunabelle's family had to move; she's potty-trained; she never barks; and is a great inside dog.

And then I asked the lady what the catch was.  Because surely there was a catch.

Um. No.

Except that when we were at the shelter for our introduction, she peed 3 times and pooped once in the room.  Not exactly a great first impression.

Maybe it was just nerves.  Because everyone gets a little nervous when they are on an interview, right?

I signed the papers for a foster night with Lunabelle, and we brought her home for a test drive. 

And so far.....she's on go.

She hasn't peed on my new floors.  Score.
She hasn't barked once.  Score.
She already knows how to sit and shake.  Score.
She has lovely table manners.  Score.
She hasn't licked me in my face.  Score.
She stays off my new furniture. Score.
And she likes to watch television.  Score. 

I think we're going to get along just fine.

Welcome to the family, Lunabelle! 
(Unless you eat my shoes...and then you're outie!)


What's In a Name? Inigo Montoya Wants To Know.

Sawyer came to me today and told me that from now on he would not be answering to "Sawyer."

And that I was to only call him "Inigo Montoya" from now on.  Not just "Inigo," mind you, but "Inigo Montoya."  The whole thing.  Every time I needed him.

Okie Doke. 

Someone has been watching one too many run-throughs of The Princess Bride.

As I chuckled and pinky promised that I would do my best to remember, I got to thinking about my babies and why in the world I named them what I named them. 

When the husband and I first found out that we were pregnant with our first baby, we started making the baby name list before we even made it to our first doctor's appointment.  We felt like grownups as we paid for our first baby name book at WalMart and laid in bed at night reading through every page multiple times.

We picked out Addison for our girl's name.  And then two people we knew had baby Addisons.  Grrr.  But we couldn't find another name that we liked as well, so we prayed it would be a boy.

And he was.  As soon as the doc confirmed that he was all boy, we realized that we had to find a name.  I picked out LOTS that I liked.  Like 40.  But the husband nixed them all.  Again.  Grrr.

And then we found it.

KEATON.  And we'd spell it like the last name Keaton.  And it would be different.  And it flowed with our last name.  And it meshed with the middle name, ELI, that we had already decided on.  Eli is Kirk's father's name, as well as a Biblical name.  So we were killing two birds with one stone. 

And so he became KEATON ELI. 

Then we found out we were pregnant again.  Again with the perusing of the baby name books and watching the credits roll on movies and tv shows, hoping that names would pop out at us.

We had already cancelled out Addison as a possibility for our potential daughter, so we decided on Emma Kate.  I was coming into the stage of loving the old fashioned names for girls, and Emma Kate sounded lovely in my head.

We hadn't picked a boys' name when we found out that we were having another son.  Hmmmmm.  I was upset.  Surely I was supposed to have a daughter so that she could be Emma Kate.  It only seemed right.

But.  It wasn't happening.  So we searched and looked and looked and searched.  And we stumbled on the name SAWYER.  It seemed manly.  And tough.  And it was different.

And it sounded good with my daddy's name which was to be his middle name.  And so he was SAWYER JAMES.

And I don't think we could have picked a better name for that ornery red-headed ragamuffin.

As far as we knew, our family was complete.  I mourned the loss of my Emma Kate and placed the name up on the shelf.  Maybe I could convince one of my future daughter-in-laws that it is a perfectly beautiful name.

And then surprise, surprise, surprise, I turned up pregnant.  Holy Cow!

Even when the doctor told me that it was a boy, I was convinced SHE was a girl.  I just knew that I was going to get my Emma Kate.  I swore to the existence of that little girl until the day she was born. 

Um....HE was a BOY. 

Luckily, we had picked a boys' name (just in case...because Kirk said that was practical...hurmph).  But I tell you, it was HARD.

We had read the baby name book backwards and forwards.  Nuthin'.  We'd been through the lists on the internet.  Nuthin'.  I had almost given up hope of us finding a name that we both agreed upon, and I was drowning my sorrows in a Friends' marathon.

And as I watched the credits roll on one particular episode, I saw it. 

One of Rachel Green's boyfriends on the show was played by a guest starring actor:  Tate Donovan.

Tate!  That's it!  Tate! 

Now...what about that blasted middle name.  We'd used both grandfathers' names, and didn't want to start in on great-grandfathers, because we had no idea which one to choose.  So we went to the next logical choice.  We'd name this baby after his daddy. 

But we decided that Tate Kirk sounded awful....and relatively like the sounds that come with a nasty stomach virus.

But Kirk's middle name is Matthew...and it fit.  It was a Biblical name, too...which worked out grand.

So on delivery day...there was no Emma Kate, as I was thoroughly convinced about, but we had our sweet baby TATE MATTHEW.

I do think, however, that if by some miracle we have another baby....I think his name (or her name, just for fun) will be Inigo Montoyo.

Just seems like a good conversation starter.  And Lord knows I like to talk.

So.....I know that some of you are very private about your children's real names here in blogworld, and that is totally cool.  But I do have a couple of questions.  (And if you don't have children yet....just tell me the names on your list...you know you have one.  EVERY girl has a list!)

1)  Why'd you name your kids what you did?  If you don't want to list specific names, just tell me if they are named after family or an actor or if their names came from the good ole' baby book.

2)  Do you think you would have chosen the same names had your family started tomorrow instead of ______ months/years ago?  I think I would have chosen different names now. 


Bat Poop Day

This whole homeschooling business almost kicked my tail today.

It is possible that I lost my cool over the ancient Sumerian civilization.  And it wasn't pretty.  Even in that old bat-poop-as-mascara kinda way. 

I repeated the word "ziggurat" and its definition 1,674 times.  And drew a diagram on the board.  I explained the thrilling relevant correlation of the Father of the Jews, Abraham, being from that civilization.  And I even dug deep and busted out the play dough (and I.don't.do.playdough) to allow the children the superior educational experience of creating their own languages on "clay tablets."

And they still couldn't tell me ONE thing that they had learned.  Not one thing.

Blank stares.

Fishing for random words like "band-aid" and "Popsicles" when I asked for definitions.


And I think I yelled.  Just a smidge.

And then I stomped around and packed up the play dough in a huff and informed the children that if they weren't going to hang with me and pay attention then I wasn't going to hang with them and do fun stuff. 

And then I made one of them cry.

And then I walked away. And breathed.  And counted to three hundred and fifty two ten. 

I sat back down at the table and calmly went through the lesson again.  I didn't ask review questions.  And I didn't do any extras.  And then I closed my book and dismissed them from the table.

And now they are eating big ole bowls of BlueBox and have moved on to other important business of the day such as what's up next on Animal Planet and who gets the last Fruit Roll Up in the box.

And I'm on the couch processing.

This homeschooling stuff is hard, y'all.  Some days it just downright sucks.

Some days I want nothing more than to load those stinkers up and drop them in the carpool lane at the nearest school.  I want to spend my days cleaning up alone and grocery shopping alone and running errands alone and napping if I want to nap without being interrupted 56 times in an hour.

And then other days I just stare in the faces of my babies and realize that I might quite possibly the most blessed person on the planet. 

But today isn't really one of those days.

Today I'd pretty much rather lick an electrical outlet than hang out with these people.

But I'm trying.

Because I know that I'm supposed to be here.  I really do. 

But today I think I'd rather be in Sumeria.  Even if it meant bat poop.