Thursday, December 11, 2014

Random Brain Things

Things are running at full tilt over here, and I feel a bit like I'm on The Dragster (my kids tell me this is the fastest coaster in all of the land), waving to please, please let me off!  I don't wear this busyness as a medal of honor, in fact, I realize it means I am not concentrating on what's important!  But busy we are, at least for a time, and I must persevere.  4 of the kids and I are in our community theater's Christmas show, and it's great fun!  Very rewarding!  But also very exhausting.  The shows are this weekend, so life will slow down after that.  Somewhat.  Then I'll have to pick up the slack of all I've been putting off. . .finishing shopping, baking, wrapping. . .

One of my kids has the flu, and another was sent home this afternoon too.  I'm fervently praying we don't all succumb to it.  I didn't have anyone get the flu shot this year (mostly because this is how it went down the last time I did it), and also because we hardly ever get the flu.  But this one has certainly contracted it now.  The other seems totally fine, and I'm not sure he's really sick.  I'm hoping the kids who are in the show will still be able to perform.  

In other random news, lit up Christmas trees make me happy.  Really and truly.  I smile each and every time I see one.  On the flip side, nothing is sadder than a dark, unlit Christmas tree!  And many people in my house seem to be oblivious to our trees and carry on with life amidst a dark, horrible tree!  It's very disappointing.  

Amidst all this busyness, I struggle as I always do with finding time to contemplate the mysteries and beauty of this season.  But this year I have had some wonderful moments to come to the manger and reflect.  The first is, ironically, during this Christmas show I'm in that is taking up all my time.  I sing in a small group behind the manger scene, and we are to look adoringly at Mary and Joseph and the manger.  And I get chills every time!  I think of the true scene so many years ago and I am simply moved as I worship that child in the manger.

I am also finding it so rewarding to teach my little students about Jesus' birth.  As they help me tell and retell the story, I soak it all in.  They are so young and like little sponges - absorbing all of the good news of Christ's birth.  It is such a joy, and so, so glorious to have this privilege.  

May your Advent be filled with less busyness and more Hope, Peace, Joy and Love!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Overheard, over here:

Me, to my 8 year old:  "I love you, baby!"
8 year old, seriously:  "I think we've established that."

On Thanksgiving morning:  I suggested to the children that they all wear jeans and a decent shirt.  You'd think I had asked some of them to systematically rip out all of their eyelashes.  I basically did not want them to look like bums at our family's Thanksgiving get together, but it was not received as such.  Instead, I was thought to be issuing a cruel and unusual punishment.  Their commentary:

"Why are you being so mean to me?  And on a HOLIDAY!"  moan, groan, flop on the floor in horror.

To my husband, while he and the child were sitting on the couch doing devotions before we departed:
"This is the worst Thanksgiving ever", said the child morosely.
"Why?", said my husband, having no idea the horrific sentence I'd placed upon the poor children.
"Mom's never made me wear jeans before!"


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Bad iphone

The scene:  My kitchen island, 9:30 p.m.  I was sitting at the computer in my jammies, hair in a haphazard ponytail, working on lesson plans and texting back and forth with my colleague.

The sitch:  Whilst texting my friend, I noticed that there is a little camera icon next to the texting bar.  Realizing it must be new since I had done the most recent upgrade, I decided to check it out.

Bad idea.

For you see, my friends, that innocent-looking little camera icon, is actually Up To No Good.  Not knowing this, of course, I touched the icon and within in seconds, a picture was snapped of me and was being texted to my friend.

WITHOUT MY PERMISSION.

I squealed in horror as I saw the hideous picture of me being sent into cyberspace.  "No!" I said, scanning the screen in a desperate and futile effort to stop the text.  I soon realized it had already been received on her end, so I switched to damage control.

I sent off several texts in rapid-fire succession, to the effect of:  "Delete that picture immediately! Don't ever touch the camera icon - it takes a picture WITHOUT YOUR APPROVAL!!  Look at my weird face and double chin!"

After many agonizing minutes, I received a text that said she trashed the picture and was cracking up.  I breathed a sigh of relief, and decided then and there to pass this information on to you, dear reader, as a Public Service Announcement, for your safety and well-being:

Do not ever, ever, hold down the camera icon whilst texting on your iPhone.  Unless you are a movie star and all pictures taken of you look like Audrey Hepburn, you will live to regret it.  Now that I have suggested you not touch the icon, many of you have an overwhelming urge to in fact touch that icon and touch it right now.  If you fall into that category, I suggest you try touching it only in a text thread with your mother.  She will love you no matter what your picture looks like.


Thursday, November 6, 2014

For freeeeee!

How to score a $59 purse from Kohl's for nada:

The short answer is:  be a loyal Kohl's customer.

The slightly longer answer is:

Go to Kohl's with a cheerful heart, embracing your love of shopping (this is optional, but it is oh-so-much more fun to shop happily, don't you agree?)

Peruse the purse section and decide on the perfect one to hold all your daily needs.

Look at the price tag.  Read $59 and think "That is way too much for a purse.  That does not fit in our budget."

Remember you are at Kohl's, where of course the price tag is never, I repeat never, what you end up paying.

Smile to yourself and and walk with a spring in your step up to the checkout.

Present the purse to the cashier, along with two paper coupons and two email rewards on your phone.

Hear the cashier exclaim what a deal you just scored, and inform you that you still have $5 left on your phone reward.

Exit the store on a money-saving high.


Saturday, October 25, 2014

How Not To Have A Restful Evening

If a peaceful, relaxing evening sounds pleasant, please do not mimic the following:

4:00 Enter home after a busy day of teaching preschoolers
4:15 Wrangle children into doing their lists of chores/homework, whilst making dinner
4:30 Discipline children repeatedly due to their inability to focus/get along/keep hands to themselves
5:15 Serve dinner to family.  Hear compliments from some, shouts of horror from others
5:45 Bid husband farewell as he departs for meeting
6:00 Bring laundry down/sort/start a load
6:45 Prepare to take eldest to a rehearsal, reminding second eldest to please, please, please be responsible with younger children until Daddy gets home
7:00 Leave with eldest, praying the children don't burn the house down
7:30 Arrive at high school, drop off daughter
7:30:10 Dash to Aldi and fly through store, following carefully prepared list of the week's needs
7:36 Receive text that husband is home and feel relieved
8:00  Arrive to pick up daughter from (super-fast!) rehearsal
8:30 Arrive home, go to switch laundry from washer to dryer, only to realize washer is locked
8:30:05 Read flashing error code with a sinking feeling
8:31 Grab laptop and stand in laundry room, googling
8:32 Wonder aloud how people EVER lived without the internet
8:33 Diagnose problem and feel smart
8:34 Watch a youtube video on how to fix clogged drain
8:35 Feel alarmed at how much water is gushing out of the youtube video's pipe thingy
8:50 Finish prepping the room and prepare to take off the clogged drain thingy with husband
8:51 Realize there is no way we can keep the water from going everywhere
8:55 Frantically try to mop up water mess that is all over floor
9:00 Head downstairs to assess basement and discover the flood has indeed gone through the floorboards
9:15 Pitch pieces of insulation and aim fans on both areas
9:30 Continue cleaning up mess
10:00 Finally flop into bed, only to sleep restlessly because the fan I am so dependent on for white noise is in the basement

Next morning:  Discover everything has dried nicely and no damage is done.  Feel thankful the washer just had a clog and nothing that needed a professional fix; go about the business of finishing the laundry


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Location, Location, Location

Awhile ago, I saw a link on Facebook about couples who decided to get married in the same place that they met their spouses.  All sorts of funny stories and pictures were included of people getting married at Target and the like.  It made me think back to where I met my husband.

We had known of each of other for several years in college, but we had never really spoken until a dance the fall of my senior year.  He had already graduated and was at the seminary.  I was not at the dance officially, just crashing in jeans and a sweater (crashing a dance - doesn't that sound just like me?).  We ended up in a common group of friends and realized we grew up relatively near each other and had attended a Lutheran grade school basketball tournament at the same time in junior high.  It was a completely benign conversation, with nothing earth-shattering or of importance in any way. But it must have made an impression on me, because later that night I was waxing eloquent to a good friend about how much I'd love to marry a guy just like him.  I don't recall this conversation, but when my husband and I started dating, she was quick to remind me what I had said.  Several months later, he called out of the blue and we started calling long distance (remember when that cost a lot of money and one had to budget for the fluctuating phone bill?), and as they say, the rest is history.  We were married a year and a half later.

I'm glad we decided to get married in the church I grew up in, but if we had changed our minds, next to the fireplaces in the basement of KCC would have been a memorable choice.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Say again?

I realize I am a boring dresser.  I prefer black and brown and gray over most everything else.  I am exceedingly practical (and frugal!), so I like to buy things in neutrals so they can coordinate with lots of other pieces.  I'm not one for splashy prints, big jewelry or bright colors.

So when I walked downstairs this morning wearing this top,


my ten-year-old son said, "Mom!  You're not going to wear that to school are you?"

"Where should I wear it?", I asked.

Without missing a beat, he said seriously, "The casino!"

Instead of take his advice, I chose to teach preschool instead of gamble.  But if I ever decide to try out a casino, I know what to wear.

And while teaching preschool in lieu of gambling, this occurred:

My husband came down to visit the preschool classrooms (this is such a joy in my life - that my husband and 4/5 of my children are all in the building with me and I see them every now and again).  He ended up walking outside with me and my class briefly.  As he headed back in, one of my students asked why he had come out with us.

"Because he's my . . . ", I said to her, hoping she would say husband.

Instead, she cheerfully said, "Grandpa?"

#oneyearmustreallymakeadifference

I decided to hashtag because I think that hashtags are underused.  We need more exercises in word separation these days.  We need to spend more time sounding out unintelligible run-on words.  You're welcome.