Thursday, January 28, 2010

We Don't Get Many Visitors.....

And now can you see why? This is the view up the driveway.......
And then you have to notice the chairs lining the driveway because even if you dared to get so far as the hockey net, you have to wonder if kids sit in the chairs in the down times and pelt you with snow balls.
But they are just the penalty boxes. If you look really closely, you can see they are even lined with small snow banks.
But then again, the grins of victory on the boys faces may just get you out of the car to join in the game. Might. It's mighty cold and the game is mighty competitive.
But this is the view of our house and our normal, every day country winter life with boys.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Attack of the Kissy Woman

When my Aunt is around, well, odd things happen. Fun things. Really too crazy to be anything but reality things. Her whole life is made up of stories like these. I encourage her to write a book, even the journey of writing a book would become something funky hilarious. Take any crowd of average American women and the funny stories they have in a year and then multiply that by three and that is Aunt S in a week. Sometimes a day.

What concerns me is that my mom and sister have started saying things like “things like that only happen to you and Aunt S.”

I'm like her? Well, it means my life isn't boring! And really, I'd be honored to be like my Aunt....
I mean, it gives me stories like this one!

Now, to be honest, Aunt S wasn't with me when this happened. She WAS however, IN the store so she gets credit for this happening to me and S4.

My Mom and Aunt were looking for birthday gifts for S4 and I had already done my find, buy, dash to vehicle, run to store and show up as though I had been strolling slowly thru Super Walmart sipping coffee and stumbled upon Aunt and Mother and S4. So S4 and I were off to get groceries, because we always need groceries.


We were headed for the coffee isle first. I mean, that is the most important item, yes? They also have these hunking huge containers of Swiss Miss hot cocoa. My husband as a fondness for this cocoa and we go through it so fast that I just prefer to buy the 'economy size' one. It lasts us about two weeks or so.

I was headed down the isle way with my cocoa and coffee and I seen a very old couple staring blindingly at the boxes and boxes and more boxes in front of them. I know this feeling. With so many options, you sorta can't take all the items in at Super Walmart.

“Sweetie, do you know where the cocoa is?” the old lady asked me.

Now, there was an entire wall of cocoa in front of them. Literally. Tons and tons and tons of boxes of every kind of cocoa. “Ummmmm, well, ( I didn't want her to feel bad.) There is all this cocoa, um, right here.”

“Oh!” she had a loud cackley voice, “HERE it is!”

I had a feeling I was not excused to move on yet. “Does that help?” I asked.

“Well, we just want regular cocoa. You know, hot cocoa.”

How would you answer that one? I wanted to be respectful and helpful. “Well, there is this regular Swiss Miss variety right here, in envelopes which is nice. Our family drinks this kind. Or it's here in a can. It just depends how much you want to drink.”

“What kind do you get, sweetie?”

“Well, there are a lot of us. We get this...” I held up the can I had in the cart. The super humongous “Great for offices” written on the front canister.

“That's it!” the old woman nearly danced a jig. “That's what we like to get! Where did you find that, dearie?”

There was no way at all the silent man and the loud woman were going to find this. I also found it odd that not a single other person was in this isle with us...

“Why don't you just take mine?” I offered sweetly.

S4 is watching all this in the basket of the cart. He isn't saying much but the woman is so loud and laughs so much you just can't help but kinda stare at her. And that is what he silently was doing.

“Oh, bless your heart! Bless your sweet heart!” she clapped.

The man smiled politely, putting the ginormous can into the cart. I have no idea at all how they will drink all that cocoa. Unless they do drink it as much as my husband does......

Because the old woman and I were now friends, she suddenly needed to chat. Spying S4 she declared to anyone in a six isle radius, “Ohhhhhhhh, I am going to kiss that little boys cheeks!”

S4 made himself as small as possible. His eyes were the size of saucers. His face was as pale as the white snow outside. And that old lady could MOVE. She was at the side of the cart in lightening speed and had his face in her gnarled hands and was bending down to kiss him. I had a sudden flash of fear, what if the little old lady fell IN the cart on S4?

What would you do? S4 was scared beyond speech. The old lady wasn't really going to hurt him. Do I force S4 to let the old bright red lipsticked lady kiss his sweet baby cheek?
I had to think fast because S4 had now moved his feet up the cart to brace himself away from her and his hands were outstretched in defense mode and his face was so scrunched up as if he were about to get a shot.

But thankfully, she noticed this (finally, it was quick but seemed eternity like) and stood up. “oh, he is a shy boy. What a pretty little boy. I had nine brothers. Yup, I sure did. Didn't I?” she looked to her husband.

“Yup, I got the runt.” the man smiled. His eyes were kind and patient, he had been thru this a time or two, I could tell.

“Well”, I smiled beginning to slowly inch my cart away, “He has three brothers.”

“Oh, he does! I had brothers. Didn't I have brothers? How many brothers did I have?” she looked to her husband for an answer.


“Yup, nine brothers. I was the only girl. My husband had to steal me away.”

Suddenly, the woman got all animated. “Ohhhhhhh, let me kiss those cute little baby boy cheeks!” she cried, and went to kiss S4 again.

This time I could tell she was going to get hurt. There was no way S4 was letting her even near him. “well, we have to run.” I began to walk away.

“But what about that cocoa?”

I wasn't sure if she remembered she had some. “Oh, I'll get some more, don't worry.”

I quickly headed to the back of the store.

S4 was silent. And then he simply said, 'that lady wanted to kiss me. Girls should NOT kiss boys.”

I needed to get home pretty fast to be there when the boys got home so I was in a hurry, we weren't in the store long at all. But we seen that couple no less than four times and every time, across all the isles (and I was peeking before we headed down them) she would call out “Oh, I am going to kiss you little boy!”

S4 has refused to even think of going to the Super Walmart again.

Monday, January 25, 2010

All I Want for Christmas is.....a Zebra?

A zebra.
That is all that S3 wanted for Christmas this year. And he was very specific about it. A zebra that is soft with little beads in it when you squish it, to be exact. His words, not mine.
Do you have any idea how hard it is to find a zebra?

My thought was perhaps it would be in the form of a beanie baby or that zebra on Madagascar. Nope, those are completely impossible to find. I stopped looking on my own and instead asked in every store I came upon. No one had one. I got desperate and begged friends to look, one of my friends husband has a job that lands him at the mall EVERY day, he couldn't find one anywhere.
I knew where there was one. At the zoo gift shop. The zoo that was closed for the season.
But on Christmas Eve eve, my dear friend KE called and said “hey, did you still need that zebra for S3?”

“Yes,” I hissed into the phone, running for the laundry room where no one but myself ever enters, “Did you find one?” I dared to ask.
“Yah, my Nana has one. It's used, but barely. Would you like it?”

It was all I could do to keep from jumping up and down. “Yes, yes, yes!” I cried excitedly in hushed tones.

“I'll meet you at school and you can get it there,” she offered.

Oh, this is the sweetest friend ever and her Grandma must certainly have a direct line to Santa! We met, made the exchange (well, not really an exchange, she handed me the zebra beanie baby and it was all I could do not to cry), and I went home to wrap it up. It was so little wrapped I literally stuffed it into the toe of S3's stocking so it would be the last present he opened.

And I had a gift for him, a gift I was sure he was going to love, but he wanted that zebra. He told everyone who asked, he wanted a zebra. It was the first time I have ever prayed to God to find a particular gift....and when KE called with it it seemed almost unbelievable, God answered the prayer of a desperate mother for a zebra???? Why do I ever limit God?

So, Christmas gifts were opened and the joy on S3's face was more than I could put into words. Here are a few photos.... And then God, just to be humorous, I am sure, added this to the story.....

Christmas night we were hanging out at my parents playing cards when my oldest brother says, “So, uh, hey, did you ever find a zebra for S3?”

“Oh, yes!” I gushed and shared the story with him.

“Wife tell you what Jr got for Christmas from his aunt?”

“No.” I answered haltingly. What did he get? And why did my brother have a smirk on his face.
This is why.

I wouldn't trade that little zebra for anything, it was just what S3 wanted. He has carried it to bed with him every night since he has gotten it. But to see this huge zebra, it was like God saying “Don't doubt me, ever.” Got the point there, God.

Friday, January 22, 2010

S1's Ten Wishes

Early this morning, I was chatting with Hubby as he ate his breakfast and I was still sipping coffee (but I mixed it with cocoa this morning so it was super sweet and yummy). I happened to look down and see S1's Homework page he was working on last night. He had misspelled 'wish' it seemed so he had to use it ten times. Here is what he wrote.......

1. I wish I could fly so I could fly to Montana.
2. I wish I could have a Dodge, so I could drive away.
3. I wish it were hunting season every day, so I could hunt all I want.
4. I wish I had a 30-06 so I could hunt deer easier than a 20 gauge.
5. I wish I had a 22 so I could shoot squirrels a long way away.
6. I wish I had a Wii so I could have a Cabela's 2010 hunting game.
7. I wish I had a dog of my own so I could train it.
8. I wish I had ten more wishes so I could wish for more.
9. I wish I had a monster truck so I could crash cars.
10. I wish I owned just about everything in Cebala's so I could hunt more prepared.

So if you wondered what our ten year old think abouts all day long...this is it!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

They Thought They Pulled a Fast One on Me

Wednesday night we were headed to church when I realized I had no gas. As in none. I have found that the older I get, the more I am like my Father in this respect. He can run out of gas anywhere. I try to keep it always above half a tank otherwise I just plain old fashioned forget to get more. But it has been cold and I don't like to get out in the cold.

I know, I am a wimp.

Anyhow, we had enough to get to the super expensive gas station near our house. It is super expensive because it is the ONLY one. They make you pay for forgetting to get gas in town.
Oh, I have to back up here. My dear friend, AD, made a CD for us with 21 classic rock songs. We have just refound it. I wasn't going to play the it anymore because we had pretty much worn it out but...well, I needed a break from Buck Howdy. I know, I know! No one can top Buck Howdy, but really, I needed a rest.

The boys love this CD the most because it has “we will rock you” and “Fred Bear”. These are boy songs and they cannot get enough of them!

I had to run in to pay for the gas (getting the least amount as possible to last me until I get to town on Friday), and S1, sitting in the front seat, asked if I could keep the radio on. So, I turned the battery over to let the radio play on. I mean, I can be a cool mom.

When I began to pump the twenty dollars worth of gas into the suburban, I heard with crystal clarity the beginning notes of “We will rock you”. It only got louder. I am not sure how loud it will go before breaking a speaker, but I am sure they were close. To add this, they all began to clap and stomp their feet (or wave their feet, depending on their height).

The whole suburban was literally rocking back and forth.

An older middle aged man, dressed in a suit, with a fancy spancy new car, pulled in beside me. He used his debit card to begin pumping gas. He looked warily at me. I smiled friendily. He turned his back coldly. He sat in his fancy vehicle, I am sure he was thinking I was a terrible mother...or terrible something. He didn't know if there were children in there now that I think of it.

Because 'we will rock you' is a relatively quick song and I was getting very little gas, we ended at the same time. I put the pump back and went to get back in to drive away. The radio was turned way down as I had had it, perhaps even lower, with the ending guitar notes.

“Hey, Moma,” S1 greeted me.

“Hey...” I said hesitantly. Oh, why even bring it up? They think they pulled a fast on their moma, and I guess there is no harm in letting this one slide.

PS Just in case you didn't get what “elkins” are, I redid and explained in the end of the last post.

Saturday, January 16, 2010's What's for Dinner

Husband and I were laying in bed last night listening to the TV program that S1 was up watching. All the boys had fallen asleep already but being a Friday night we had let S1 stay awake. He was flipping between watching the Red Wings and a hunting show. They were calling in elk on the hunting show and I had groaned in protest.

“I can sleep to nature sounds, but not when they are calling in elk. Ug!” I muttered.

“At least you know that is an elk call,” husband answered brightly.

Which got me to giggling because when I am really tired I giggle easily. So maybe this post will only be hilarious to me......but I will continue on anyhow.

We began then repeating snippets of conversations throughout the night that had cracked us up. At the dinner table S2 declared “Daddy, we took four testes today.”

“Testes?” Hubby asked sarcastically, to get S2 to realize his mispronunciation. “Were any of those tests on English?”

S1 nearly spit the food he was chewing out of his mouth he found that so funny.

“No.....” S2 answered hesitantly, not catching the joke, “Wait...we were talking in English so I guess the testes were in English.”

Moving on.......

Husband was playing S1 in the awful wonderful addicting table hockey game (again) and for whatever reason (we never do know why he does these things) S4 was running through the house at top speed yelling out “cab fare! Cab fare!”

No, I don't know why.

Once were had all agreed that is what he was yelling out, Husband asked the neighbor boy, IM, if he had ever ridden in cab.

“Um, no, I don't think so. Well, wait, maybe, but I don't know but I think so,” was his definite reply.

“Really?” S1 asked incredulously, “You have NEVER ridden in cab?” To his credit, he never looked up from attempting to beat his Daddy at the game so he didn't see husband and I waiting to see what he would follow this up with. “I've ridden in a cab tons of time!”

“You have?” IM asked, shocked. “Where?”

“A truck!!! You have NEVER ridden in a cab of a truck???”

Yes, S1 thought who got to sit in the cab with Daddy was 'fair' and didn't realize there was any other 'cab'.

Moving on again......

Making dinner, S4 asked me what was for dinner. I get asked this about 30 times a day, 20 times from four to six or whenever dinner is on the table (and even then I get asked what is on the table for dinner as they are sitting there staring at it). I get really tired of repeating myself so when S4 asked I just said “All kinds of food.” And we were. Roast, potatoes, squash, green beans, rolls.....

He looked only momentarily confused. Then he asked brightly, “Can we have hot dogs with that elkins?”

“With what?” I asked.

“Elkins, what we eat for dinner. Can we have hot dogs with that elkins?” in "all kinds". Crack me up, took me a bit to catch it but he thought when I said "all kinds of food" I had said "elkins".

Bless him for not telling me that 'elkins' must have sounded gross to him.

Just a FEW of the snippets of conversations we have had around the house........

Jr is on the Move

For those of you who follow the blog regularly, you realize that there are two days a week I watch my little nephew, Jr. He is eight months old now and has recently learned to crawl. Fast.
I used to think our home was kid safe. I mean, it's always filled with kids, right? I have long ago gotten rid of any pretty thing I had out. Either it was broken for me or it is tucked away to be rediscovered later in life. I have a beautiful tea set from the Netherlands, the true old country of my family, and it's on the highest shelf in the house and even there I worry over it.

I have vacuumed, I have swept, I have scrubbed....and still that little stinker finds things. He finds dirt in the cracks of the wood floor. The boys have caught themselves some tadpoles (I know, weird winter, we have tadpoles and what will I do when they turn into frogs? Well....S3 says our house is the best house for frogs. I don't know if that's a compliment or not.) and Jr found one that was dead....gross. I caught him finding it immediately. But still, the thought. The fact that I had just cleaned there....

So I keep cleaning. And it's not like he can get into the sink or the fridge or anything like that but I have even scrubbed those spots too.

I have to admit, it is really nice having a clean house. Exhausting, but so nice.

All this cleaning and scrubbing and …. well, my house hasn't been this clean in, well, years.

And do you think any one has stopped over? No. Not one single person. No one.
So this is what will happen. I will be burning something on the stove, the smoke alarms will be going off, the dog will be barking shrilly, I will be makeup less dressed in some get up I pray no one will ever see me in, screaming at the kids who are screaming the house stinks while the phone is ringing and the laundry will be piled so high I can't see out the window to see that someone has stopped over. You know, normal life. That is always when someone stops over.

And my brother is reading this rethinking having Jr stay with me so much......

Thursday, January 14, 2010

S4 turns 4

Last year, S4's birthday was rough on him. He wasn't sure where his birthday had gone and why I took his birthday banner down after his birthday and it was just rough.

We have had high hopes for this birthday.

There have been very many discussions on his this birthday. Turning four seems to have been a major deal for him. He was pretty sure he had to be married when he turned four (and just who did he think he would marry, I wonder?) and Husband, being ever so sweet, told him that he in fact did need to be married and moved out.

I did not appreciate that.

But we had the count down for his birthday and he was very happy to have his birthday arrive. He kissed us good night as a three year old and told us he couldn't wait to be four. So it was rather shocking when he awoke in the morning and burst into tears.

He didn't want to be four. He wanted to stay three.

He was easily appeased by the Cookie Crisp cereal my Mom had gotten for him the day before.

His Moma? Not so easily. I have struggled with this birthday because three is by far my most favorite age for our boys. I have loved every one of them at this age and with S4, I finally had the time to savor it. No one was pushing him for my attention. He had looked at me wearing my sunglasses the day before and grinned wildly with his contagious laugh and said “look at me, I a cool rock star!” Yes, mister, in your flower etched buggy eyed brown sunglasses of your moma's you are a cool rock me, your biggest fan.

Four means preschool and not in 'nursery Sunday school' and 'growing up'. He's the last one....I wanted it to last longer. I had cried at various times leading up to this day, this birthday of his.

But he was soon happy and by the time night had come and his party was on it's way with his Lightening McQueen and Mater cake and he spent a good long time playing with his new Mack truck and Lightening McQueen and new stunt Mater or making a masterpiece he was painting, the time he has spent crying was forgotten.

Just like I have a few more months with him home with me all the time. So I won't think about that dreadful near future school day and just enjoy the last few months I have before I am an “empty nester” for a few hours with all my boys off to school.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Moma is on the Prayer List.....

Isn't it great to know that your kids spill their guts in Sunday school?

Yah, I am too. To know they feel they can bring anything to the table to ask their teachers and friends to pray to God with them to an answer for prayer.

For instance, when S1 goes to Sunday school and when asked if he has a prayer requests he says “Please pray for my Moma. She doesn't realize that it's sparrow season all year long so when I ask to go out and hunt she says “no, it's not season for anything” and then I can't go. But it IS hunting season for sparrows and I don't want to talk back to her so please pray for her.”
Yup, he did that to me.

And both teachers stopped me at two separate times to let me know, and then they talked with me about it together. Yah, I just love their concern.

Husband got laughing hard about it all. “Now that is thinking! He puts you on the prayer request list and BAM, prayer answered by God.”

Monday, January 11, 2010

Sunday Afternoon Dinners

Dinner conversations are always something I could write about as a general rule but Sunday dinners just seem even more so. I thought I would share ours with you today.

Today our pastor handed out five dollar bills to every member's family and asked us to come up with a way to use it wisely to further the kingdom in the next year and next January we will report back to the church what we did with it. S1 thought we should buy a box of bullets and shoot some deer and share them with people who need venison. While I give him credit for thinking of it so quickly, I would like to toss that question out there to you friends in blogosphere and see what we come up with.

Back to dinner. It was chili on top of corn chips, a recipe we learned from the Farmers Wife ( The boys were raving over it and how wonderful it is and how it is now their favorite meal except for the little voice at the end of the table. It came from the face of the wrinkled nose. S4. “I don't love this food.”

“Tough,” his Daddy sympathetically told him.

To keep the tears from flowing from S4's eyes and break the silence of S2 and S3 who had just had to sit on the couch and hold hands until they decided they could, in fact, get along at the dinner table and not fight over a dinner spoon (another story I won't bore you with), I asked S4 what he had done in Junior Church that day.

“We got frogs,” he reported joyfully. I had seen the plastic frogs.

“Why?” I asked.

“We were good. Yup, we really good. Not Willie and George (not their real names), they are mean, but we singed some songs, we ate cookies and we had play dough and the froggie went right under the play dough and we played that goose goose duck game.” His voice got sad, he can change his emotions like a light switch when he wants to. “'Cept when S3 played goose goose duck he hit me and I fell and he was mean and I cried so the girl held me and I told her another cookie in my tummy would make me feel better so she gave me another cookie.”

Yah, junior church workers, I have fallen for that one too.

All this talking was keeping him from eating but made him thirsty so he began to drink his milk. However, the moment of silence caused him to remember the song that they had sung and he began to hum “I will make you fishers of men.” But you can't drink milk and hum at the same time easily so he really struggled and when S3 realized he was singing the song he began to sing it too so S4 had to put down his milk and sing along. “I will make you hmmm hmm humm, humm, humm, humm, hmmm hmm hmm. I will make you hmmm humm hmm if you follow me.”

“Did you forget the words?” Husband asked.

“No, we don't sing those words.” they continue to sing the song humming through the “fishers of men” words.

Singing made S4 even thirstier so he went for a drink again only to remember how mean those boys Willie and George and their little brother were. So he had to put his milk down again to inform us how naughty they were and the more he talked the more excited he got and the more excited he got until he was standing on his chair nearly yelling, “Those boys need to see the Smash Brudders! We will smash them! Then they not be naughty! Oh yah, baby, we the smash brudders!”

So we had to calm the whole table down now because all the boys thought this a great idea. And I was secretly wondering if they should keep watching D2, the Mighty Ducks if they were just going to get 'smash brothers' from that instead of hockey.

“But we are suppose to be nice to them.”

“They are NOT NICE, Moma,” S4 informed me, sat down and began to tell us about how all the teachers in Sunday school sang happy birthday to him.

“Oh, that's so nice!” I said happily, glad to change the subject from the naughty boys.

“No,” he hung his head sadly, “its not. It not my birthday so I don't love that when they sing to me. It not my birthday.”

Good gracious, not one of us can win with him today!

And that, folks, is just a snippet of dinner conversations on a Sunday afternoon. I spared you the crying of S3 when S2 said he hadn't given him a dinner spoon, the way they had to let a few more than a few farts and belches to be given the 'eye' by Moma....all that. This was the best of the dinner conversation.

S2 and His Awful No Good Terrible Day

Last week I had a blog-worthy day by 8 am. Not kidding.

The week after Christmas vacation is just rough. The boys have finally realized you can sleep past six thirty, they have stayed up until ten or eleven every night playing some intense game of hockey or marshmallow guns or bop it...they have spent days outside where they have sled and ice skated and played hockey and they have watched every hockey game or super exciting great hunt on TV. They had friends from Texas come play and they caught tadpoles and went swimming (indoor pool, not the swamp they found the tadpoles in but they did have to dump water out their boots) and watched their sixteen year old cousin play some intense high school hockey.

And then they went to school again.

They were bound to be tired.

We dragged through Monday. Almost literally. I think I fell asleep on the couch that night, but the day is such a blur it's hard to remember.

On Tuesday I realized that I had no food in the house to make the boys their lunches. Without bread you can't do much for sandwiches so I had decided to take the boys to school and S4 and I would then head into town. Husband heard there was snow moving in and wanted to get the most wood he could from the woods to heat our chilly farmhouse on the hill.

S2 woke up and banged his funny bone on the dresser. When he came down crying to tell me I had no sympathy for him. “I told you to have your clothes on the chair so they would be ready for you in the morning...its your own fault.”

Yup. I was that mean. I should have been nicer.

S2 ate his cereal with tears in his eyes. H was sure his arm was broken, shattered at the bone. No matter he was using it to eat with.

Then S2 couldn't find socks. He had a headache. His tummy felt a little funny.

Because I have dealt with him saying such things before, because I knew he was over tired and already planning his seven pm bedtime to catch up on that sleep, I told him to get in the suburban with his brothers.

As we viewed the huge water tower that looks like a grain silo in town, S2 began to cry silently. When we made it to the flag, he was crying loudly. By the time we made it to the fire barn, he was nearly hyper ventilating. All I could get from him was “MY ARM...sob sob...IS..sob sob...BROKEN!”

I parked. All his brothers stared at him as if he had lost his mind. I knew it was time for hard parenting. “Listen, you can sit in the suburban and be late to school or you can quit crying and walk in that door and have a great day.”

S2 cannot not ever ever be late.

He went into school, wiping the tears away.

I dropped S3 off in the kindergarten class and chatted with his teacher, the wonderful KE, and when I headed off I seen S2 headed straight for me. His shoulders were back, his back was straight and his steps were all but running in my direction. But it was his face, his red face with the tears filling his green eyes but not spilling out that really got me. He fell into my open arms and sobbed.

“What happened?” worry was gripping me.

“ broke!” he finally spit out.

I could not laugh. I could not.

“Well....I can get you a new one when I go to town today.”

“But it broke and how will I get home and it broke and I don't know what to do and it broke!”
A teachers aid over heard and told him she knew there was a brand new back pack in the office so she would hurry to get it with him. He would rather stay with me, he told her.

Even if I had been mean that morning.

We went to tell S1 goodbye. Every child in the hall stared at us, well, at S2 and his beet red face and the falling tears. I knew he wanted the ground to swallow him up. I knew he needed about 24 hours of sleep.

The teachers aid found a great looking ROOTS back pack. He took it sadly, it was not red.
When we walked to his room, the panic came on him again. “I feel sick,” he gasped.
“you are fine.”

“My arm hurts.”

“It'll be fine.”

“My stomach hurts.”

“You will be fine.”

“I think I am going to throw up.”

“Go in the bathroom and puke then.”

Steely nerves you need to be a mom.

I knew I had him at that. I knew he wasn't sick. So it was a complete surprise when he began to gag right there, next to his class room door.

His teacher, LC, whom we love, came running out of the room. “Are you okay?” she asked, concern etched into her face.

“My back pack broke,” he squeaked.

“Did he wake up like this?” she asked him.

“No, it started when he hit his funny bone.” I replied, not even catching the humor.

“That. Is. Not. Funny.” she pursed her lips and looked forward. I had to turn my back to not giggle in front of S2. It was wonderful to finally giggle, even silently.

So, to make this long blog end much more quickly, I took him home. He was completely calm when he got out of the school. He laid in his bed until noon. When he got up he grinned brilliantly at me and said “Wow, looks like I laid in bed so long I won't need to go to school. I could help you pick out my new back pack in town.”

Instead, he ate lunch and went back to school.

And the rest of the week went just well, especially since I found him an all red back pack to take to school the very next day.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

A Promised Afternoon with S4

After a busy Thursday with much to do, I promised S4 I would play with him all the next day. I would play with him and Jr until GM came to pick him up.

S4 did not let me forget.

I'm not sure how he could have. Every time Jr (8 months) fussed a bit I would say “can you play with him a minute?” and soon they would be laughing together. I had a cake to bake and cupcakes to make and dinner to put together and laundry to hide from guests. And I pulled it off, by ignoring my boys are barking orders.

When the end of the day had come Thursday S4 had asked me what time he should wake up. He wanted to make sure he didn't miss any moment with me. “I have to get up at four,” I told him.
“I'll get up at three so we can cuddle,” he informed me and then he trotted on up to bed.

As it turned out, I did get up at four and he kept sleeping. Certain the six inches of fresh snow outside would at the very least delay school, I did a few odds and ends but then went back to sleep too. And was awoken by S1 saying “should we get ready for school?” twenty minutes before we had to be on the road. We woke up S4 after the suburban was warmed up and everyone else had been loaded in.

When we walked into the house S4 curled up on the couch to watch Bear do the cha cha cha and I began the tedious job of cleaning the dishes from the great get together the night before, thinking of all the laundry I had to fold and all that. Suddenly, S4 was in front of me saying “So, you ready to play blocks.” Almost knowing I would say 'just let me finish taking care of these dishes' he added the “YOU PROMISED, REMEMBER?”

And I did.

So, with a grinning Jr in tow, we built wooden block roads. When Jr continued to break those, we built wooden block towers to knock down. We got a bouncy ball and rolled it back and forth,

which brought huge giggles from Jr. We literally crawled on the floor next to Jr to watch everywhere he went and what things fascinated him...I have much cleaning to do in places I didn't know existed in the house! We watched our tadpoles swimming about. We playing bowling with wooden blocks and bouncy balls. When S4 wanted to watch Spirit with me sitting beside him, I did. Not because I like digging through backets of clean clothes to find socks for my kids, but because I had promised him and this was the MOST important of the day. Jr snuggled up in my arms and fell soundly asleep. It's been a long time since I have had a baby fall asleep in my arms and I found myself wishing GM would be really really late.

She wasn't.

After GM left, I got to work on this and that until Spirit was done and there was S4. “Well,” he said, “it's time to play bouncy balls.” So we did. I have no idea how this was played all I know is that S4 always won and I needed to learn the correct way to throw the bouncy ball every single time. I hope I am not that critical of my boys.

At one thirty in the afternoon S4 cuddled up on the couch to watch a movie while he 'rested his eyes', freeing me of promised obligations. So I wrote this. I haven't showered yet today, my kitchen is a disaster, there are wooden blocks scattered all over the floor and it has been one of the best, funnest days in a long time.

I am so happy S4 held me to my promise. I guess he knew what he was teaching me after all.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Winter Days Are For Monopoly

The boys have just rediscovered Monopoly. They also have Sorry and Trouble. Trouble is a game one must play with Daddy, because no one is more competitive at Trouble than Daddy.

They were all playing so nicely together that I just had to snap this picture.

Then I noticed the sweetest thing in the picture. Do you see it?

Just in case the middle wasn't enough of a prize, THREE large marshmellows really do "sweeten the deal".
Hahahaha! Gotta love it!

S3's Reward

At the boys school, they have this special award called Student of the Month. Every month, the teacher chooses one of their students to congratulate. Letters are sent home to the parents asking it to remain a secret that your child has been chosen as Student of the Month. Then, the parents arrive to the school as the classes are brought in so that when the child's name is called they can have their picture taken when they are given a t shirt congratulating them.

It's a huge deal.

The problem is that Husband likes to tease the boys about this. They are good in school, we hear how great they are, but you can only get Student of the Month once the whole school year. S1 has only gotten it once the whole time he has been in school. Once. The shirt does not even begin to fit him anymore. S2 has gotten it every year he has been in school. And today was the very first time S3 got a Student of the Month. The boys wait with baited breath when Student of the Month assembly comes up. And the deal is, when they see us in school, they all get excited. This could be THEIR day, it never occurs to them that it could be their brother. And so we cheer one on and devastate the other two. Yet, even in that, they quickly get over the disappointment in joy for their brother.

I love our boys.

On this particular top special secret day, we overslept.

By a lot.

We rushed out of the house with coffee, headed out all together with four boys, Jr, Husband and me. When we arrived at school in the very nick of time, we realized then that S3 had forgotten his glasses, his back pack, and the lunch he brought was the same one from the day before, not a new anything in that. Gross.

Upon realizing he had forgotten literally everything but himself and his coat, he began to cry. When S3 cries it's just pitiful. He has this creaky voice that always sounds like he is getting over a cold. And when he cries, well, it's this weird whine that just breaks everyone's heart. So here he is, about to have the best school day ever, standing in the middle of his classroom, having arrived late to realize he is not prepared for school and unable to see a thing in his class because he forgot his glasses to boot.


His teacher, our dear K.E., pulls me aside to ask “what issues do I need to know about with S3?”
You know, that's just not the way to begin the celebration of the day.

Husband was certain he had grabbed these things for S3 before we left, but after searching the suburban we realized he hadn't so we quickly drove home, searched the very messy house because we hadn't been home in two full days to find the back pack under Jr's swing. Then we raced back to school to get there in time for the surprise.

We weren't late. Amazing.

It's so fun to watch all the kids file in. They instantly search the crowd to see if their parents are in the crowd. If they are, well, they can't stop beaming.

S2 was in one of the first groups to come in. His whole entire face lit up and he waved shyly to us. I couldn't stand have him be so disappointed so I told Hubby to call him over and let him know that S3 had gotten student of the month and not him. He took it in stride.

S3 was one of the last bunches of kids to come in. He didn't see us (being nearly blind without his glasses), we had to call him over, and then I told him the reason we were there was so that we could give him his glasses. I put his glasses on his face and then told him the teacher had told us that we could find him there. He sat with his class, looking a bit lost and wondering why he was there at all.

When his teacher stood up to introduce her student of the month, she began to describe a student who always smiles and is helpful and kind to everyone...and the whole kindergarten class pointed at S3. They just knew it was him. She called his name and he went up to collect his special t-shirt, beaming. I don't think a boy could smile much bigger than that! It warmed our hearts, it literally brought tears to my eyes. Here is my little guy, a big kindergartner, who is so sweet the whole class knew he should get the special reward.

It was a moment I will remember for a long time, worth everything that had gone wrong that day!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

S1, Johnny Cash and a Sermon

If you have followed this blog for any length of time, you know we have a fondness for Johnny Cash. The boys and I often listen to one of his greatest hits cds on the way into school in the morning. It's great fun.

One of the songs he sings Johnny Cash is quoting Revelation in “The Man Comes Around”. The boys happen to like that one a lot.

Anyhow, we were in church on Sunday night and our pastor has done this whole series on Revelation and he was wrapping it up. He had the congregation listen to a “bible on tape” recording of Revelation and when those words came up, well, my two oldest boys looked at me like “rock on, it's Johnny Cash!”

Well, church ended and it was late and we were headed home to get ready for bed and the school day to follow after two weeks of Christmas vacation. I was barking orders that began with....”As soon as we walk in the door, I want you boys in the shower.”

“But, Moma,” S1 quipped from the back, “Pastor just told us it says in the Bible that “he who is filthy should be filthy” still so I don't think I need to take a shower.”

He had to anyhow. Nice try, S1.

Monday, January 4, 2010

To Dye or Not to Dye

Happy New Year (late)! All my boys but one are in school today (which makes me very sad) and the laundry is piled into the washer and the dryer and the vacuum filters are rinsed and currently drying so hopefully I can get all the smashed popcorn out of the carpet so I thought I'd zip you all off a blog. Soon life will get it's 'normal' sway to it and I am bursting to share all sorts of new adventures brought to you by my boys in the upcoming year!
For instance this lovely little story.

I have never dyed my hair. Oh sure, I have had high lights put into it to bring out its natural blondness but never anything dramatic. At all.

This year, for whatever reason, the roots growing out of my head were so unusually dark. I had super blonde high lights over the summer and the mix of that with the dark roots drove me crazy. It looked like I HAD dyed my hair and I didn't want that. So I came up with a brilliant plan, I would dye my hair the color of the roots with wash out dye and then by asparagus season I would be lovely normal blonde again.

I decided to go thru with my plan on New Years Day. Nothing like doing the undone to start the new year out right!

Husband helped me pick the color. I talked with AD, who assured me it would be easy to do and fun and I'd love it and since her hair always looks nice I knew I could believe her. Husband rubbed the dye in my hair, and I have to admit it was kinda funny to hear my husband him and haw over the dye, this big burly hubby of mine whose hands could not fit into the tiny gloves. I watched the clock closely, visions of my hair turning purple or falling out of my head dancing through my thoughts. Hubby wanted to make sure that we got our seven dollars worth out of the dye so we waited a full twenty minutes to rinse. The boys kept glancing at us like I had completely lost my mind. My hair began to get a weird purply tint and Hubby told me it looked like I had shoe polish on it. I was more than ready when the time came that I held my head over the tub while hubby rinsed it out for me (which was comical. He finally just put his booted foot into the tub and rinsed it that way. But I couldn't really laugh this time either, I needed him to get the dye out and he did do a fabulous job!)

I seen the dark strand and got a little worried.

Hubby left me to the bathroom alone for me to dry it out and shock us all with a dramatic entrance out of the bathroom to show off my new locks.

Remember how we were going for just the color of my roots? Hubby had held the boxes up to the top of my head (I mean, really, I can't do such a job) and had assured me this was the correct color.

My hair was dark brown with a major red undertones.

I blow dryed it out and was a bit unsure of it. I looked like a totally different person. Completely.

I stepped out of the bathroom dramatically, with a shake of my red locks, and awaited the reaction. I could tell hubby loved it. S1 looked at me and got a concerned look that seemed pained across his face. “Don't you think it makes God mad you changed your hair color like that when he gave you blonde hair for a reason?”
I don't think he likes it.

S2 just looked at me like I had really lost my mind. He didnt say anything at all for awhile. Just yesterday he finally told me it made sense I had dyed my hair red because I am always cold and so the red meant I liked to be hot so it's a good color for me.

S3 hugged me and told me I was beautiful. He has told me I am beautiful numerous times since.

S4 does. Not. Like. it. At. All. He. is. Serious. Very. Serious. He refused to take a picture with me, refused to hug me, just gave me a disgusted look. But it seems to have worn off on him, he doesn't mention it any more and I have finally gotten him to take pictures with me again.

My silly boys. Glad they feel they can tell me how they feel. And the light in my hubby's eyes tells me that he likes it a lot. Lot lots. Which is good, because he was the beautician and if it hadn't turned out, well, it'd have been him I would have been tempted to blame. It's an evil thing to admit. But he did great, as I knew he would, because he wanted it to turn out great just as much as I did. Thanks, Hubby!