Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Mom My Ride

My nephews love the MTV show called Pimp My Ride. This is a spoof that hits way too close to home.

So now let me take you on a tour of my fine vehicle, a 2000 Honda Odyssey. First, we have the front seat. When we left for church on Sunday, I realized that I had nowhere to sit. Most of this junk is stuff I need to return to stores, plus my Bible Study notes, plus a variety of miscellaneous trash.

So I sat in the backseat, which isn't a whole lot better. Here we have a lovely array of children's papers, coupons, receipts, and yes, a toilet seat. David is in the middle of potty training and a portable toilet seat is a necessity. He has poopy issues.

Now we get to actual damage. This is a shot of the wall in the third row. Apparently my little angels have not only been busy drawing on the wall with green crayon, but they've also been so considerate to peel off the fabric in an effort to Mom My Ride for me.

Finally, the brake light. Yup, my husband taped the brake light back together with clear packing tape. (Granted, when his car got damaged he took care of the estimate and repairs the very next day. But my car got some good old-fashioned packing tape. And let's not even bring up the fact that my oven has been broken for two months now!)

What I can't show you in the photos is the fact that the sliding doors don't open from the inside anymore. They broke awhile back so whenever the kids need to get out of their vehicular prison, I have to get out of the car, walk around to the passenger side, and open the door for them.

So what about your car? Post pictures of it and send me a link so we can all commiserate!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

My Little Guy

My little David, who is now 3 years and some change, is my daily source of entertainment. He's at such a wonderful stage of development and has a sense of humor to boot, so we get along just fine. He's learned his alphabet and is convinced that every D he sees is for David. We'll be driving by a Home Depot and he'll shout from the backseat, "That's Home Depot. They have a D for David!" He's also very proud of the fact that he is 3 years old. If we ever use the word "three" in any conversation, he'll quickly say, "Three, like I'm three!"

Today Caelyn was looking on the calendar and said, "This year my birthday's going to be on a Tuesday!" To which David quickly replied, "And my birthday's going to be on a Threesday cuz I'm three!"

The above photo shows David trying to be like his Daddy. We were having chocolate-dipped strawberries and David got a little messy, so we gave him a chocolate goatee. It's a good look, don't you think?

Saturday, March 24, 2007

2007 Book List

I'm been trying to keep track of what I have read lately, mostly because my brain is forgetful and sometimes I pick up a book and get 15 pages into it before I realize, hey, I've read this before. I've got an ongoing list over on the right, and I probably won't comment much about what I'm reading. But my latest read with truly amazing. "Proof" is a historical fiction novel about the great revivals in America during 1857-58. Bill Bright and Jack Cavanaugh developed an entire series, and "Proof" is the first in the series.

The plot is a courtroom drama where a father is trying to sue a church for corrupting his daughter because she converted to Christianity. At one point the prosecutor tries to subpeona the Holy Spirit in order to disprove his existence. It's a fascinating plot, but the reason I really loved this book is because it encouraged me to pray earnestly for change. I haven't been affected by a fiction book like this since I read "This Present Darkness" in 1990.

Proof by Bill Bright and Jack Cavanaugh (highly recommended)
Ramona and her Mother by Beverly Cleary
Shopgirl by Steve Martin (NOT recommended)
Ginger Pye by Eleanor Estes
The Last Holiday Concert by Andrew Clements
The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall (highly recommended)
Strawberry Girl by Lois Lensky
Strider by Beverly Cleary (recommended)
Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary (recommended)
All She Ever Wanted by Lynn Austin (recommended)
The Novelist by Angela Hunt

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

An Egg-straordinary Answer to Prayer

Sometimes God really cracks me up.

Our Sunday school class has an annual Easter outreach at some public housing projects. We always do an egg hunt and last year we noticed that the bigger kids got greedy and the little kids didn't get many eggs. So this year we thought that we should give everyone an egg container so each kid could only collect 12 eggs.

The problem: We didn't have this idea until two weeks before the egg hunt. On Sunday I asked my friends at church if they have any egg containers. Nobody did, and we didn't think we could scramble up 60 egg containers in two weeks. So we decided to scratch that idea and just buy smaller bags.

Then my friend Michelle was driving home after church. Her husband was taking a different route than usual to avoid traffic. Michelle spotted something on the side of the road and shouted for her husband to stop the car. What was there, in clear plastic bags, just waiting for her to find? More than 300 cardboard egg containers. That's my kind of God. Immediate response, abundant giving, and all neatly stacked up in clear plastic bags. You just can't make this stuff up.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Wise Words

The kids and I were talking about television at dinner -- they wanted to watch America's Funniest Home Videos and I vetoed. Out of the blue Kendra said, "When you're watching television, it's like your mind is taking a nap." Amen! It's no wonder that Kendra's name means wisdom.

By the way, Kendra is about 2,400 pages into her goal. She's trying to read 3,000 pages during the school's Read Read Read program. She has until April 4, so she might not make her goal, but she's already exceeded mine. Tonight she told me she wants to write "made-up" stories when she grows up. I encouraged her to write some now, so I'm looking forward to seeing what her creative brain does.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Waste-of-Time Saturday

I really, really don't like amusement parks. (I'm tempted to use the word hate, but that might be too strong.) But here's the rub... my husband thoroughly enjoys amusement parks, Sea World in particular. We have season passes, and last year Kevin took the kids at least once a month to visit Shamu and all his marine buddies. More often than not, I stayed home to do laundry or write articles or do anything other than spend my day at Sea World.

Today, however, I went. My kids really wanted me to come along, and Kevin just got back from a business trip so we hadn't had any family time together. Plus it's Spring Break so we're trying to build some family memories, right? So I went, fairly willingly.

The first three hours were tolerable. The kids love the Shamu rollercoaster, which it a kids' sized verson of a traditional coaster. It's not too thrilling, but the kids love it. And I got a kick out of watching Caelyn raise her hands up and make goofy faces for the camera. Of course, we didn't buy any of the astronomically priced Adventure Photos, but they were funny to look at. It was great to see Caelyn having a blast, when a year ago she cried and refused to get on that same ride.

Then we went to the waterskiing show, which was pretty entertaining. Those people are quite talented and I enjoyed watching them do their skiing tricks. And watching Jessica, who's the "star" skiier in the show, motivated me to hit the gym. You should see the abs on this girl -- they're amazing.

The park was getting crowded, so I went early to secure seats for the Julie Scardina show. Julie Scardina is the animal expert who brings all the fun animals onto The Tonight Show. She had a host of kangaroos, lemurs, alligators, and other creepy-crawly things. I love animals, but it was the exact same thing as last year. And that's where things went downhill for me.

For the next two hours we battled enormous crowds to watch mediocre shows, and I've watched those shows a dozen times already over the last few years. OK, the Viva show was different because the dolphin totally rebelled and wouldn't perform, so they actually had to cancel the show 10 minutes in. Other than that, it was pure drudgery.

The problem with amusement parks is reflected in the name itself. For you non-Latin students out there, the root "muse" means to think, and the root "a" means not. So amusement means your are spending time NOT thinking. And that's not a concept I embrace.

Actually, I was thinking during my time at Sea World today. I was thinking about all the productive things I could have been doing instead. And I was thinking about how much I am dreading our family trip to Orlando this June. (That story is a whole 'nother blog. I'll come back to that trip, I promise.) And I was thinking that I don't want to raise my children to expect to be entertained. Tomorrow's going to be a non-TV, non-amusement, non-non-thinking kind of day.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Not That I'm Obsessed or Anything

Only four months and 11 days left until I can read the final installment of Harry Potter. Yes, I'm a huge fan of Harry. Someday I'll spend some time articulating why I think JK Rowling is brilliant and why Christians should not avoid or condemn the Harry books. (I said books, not movies. I can't stand the movies.) But for now, I'll tick off the seconds until I get to read the final 800+ pages of this wonderful series.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Works-for-me Wednesday

Tonight was one of those rare evenings when the kids had finished dinner early, gotten on their PJs, and we still had a good hour before bedtime. I was washing dishes and noticed how grimy the floor looked. So I grabbed a dry-erase marker and began writing letters on my kitchen floor.

I called the girls downstairs, handed each of them a Lysol-covered sponge and a rag, and told them the rules of the game. When I said "Go," each of them had to find the letters in their name, in order. They had to clean off the letter (thus cleaning that tile), dry the tile, and then move on to the next letter.

It took less than 90 seconds and my floor looked remarkably better. Even more surprising, they had so much fun that David started to cry because he felt left out. So Kendra wrote the ABCs on 26 tiles that hadn't been cleaned yet and we cheered David on as he sought out letters and wiped them clean.

By the way, credit for this idea should go to Trish Kuffner and her wonderful The Preschooler's Busy Book.

Monday, March 05, 2007

And I Thought My Wedding Video Was Bad...

Reason #993 why Michael Jackson is a negative influence on American Society.

Some of my friends know this tidbit about me. When I see people performing and I'm embarrassed for them, I start to tear up. I've cried at church, cried watching Young Life skits, cried watching the Gong Show. If I were actually at this wedding, I would have been bawling with embarrassment tears.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

I've been licked by a zebra.

And here's the photographic proof. On Saturday the in-laws treated our family to a few hilarious hours at the Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch. It's a drive-thru "safari" where you can roll down the windows and feed the animals. I asked Kevin to get a picture of me with a zebra in the background, but my jokester father-in-law held up a food pellet right by my head. Kevin captured my expression just as the zebra huffed and licked me in it's quest for the pellet. I named this one Hally Tosis for his rather offensive breath.

We also were highly entertained by the ostriches, which were rather aggressive and actually pecked at our windows begging for food. This is Buckbeak. Again, I retain the right to name any animal that breathes on me.