Thursday, January 29, 2009

Word to the Mother

I received a chastising phone call this morning. I guess my mom hadn't looked at my blog for a while (jeez, c'mon! You don't check in daily for reports?) and one of my posts gave her pause for consternation. Remember this one? Well, I have to make a slight correction, people!

She made (or her step-mother made) dresses out of chicken seed bags NOT potato sacks! It appears they were poor, you see, but not THAT poor! I guess there are levels of poverty that we are dealing with here. I had no idea! She told me that the seed bags would have different patterens on them and when Grandpa would go get feed, he would bring home a different pattern for Mom. She said she has a picture of herself in second grade in a seed cloth dress with ric-a-rac on it. I so very will be posting that picture when I get my hands on it!!

Makes you want to smack your kid when they ask for an Aeropostale hoodie, doesn't it!

Do you know what's great about having a ten (almost eleven!) year old daughter? Oh, I know...there are a lot of things great about it. But right now, I am thinking specifically about this little scenario. I was making a chicken pot pie yesterday afternoon (Oh, yes, it was good!) when Clare came in and announced that she was going to make chocolate chip cookies. You should know that I had everything on hand to make cookies...except for the stinking CHOCOLATE CHIPS, but that matter was solved by a quick dash to the neighbor's house. Thank you, Melissa! Now, I have made plenty of batches of cookies with the kids, but have never completely handed over the rubber spatula and hand mixer. I hesitated....... but look at this kid! Who could resist?

Anyway, with absolutely no help from me, she made an awesome dough. The dough is the best part, and my favorite. She doubled the recipe and added some butterscotch chips, coconut and pecans. My kind of cooking; no recipe. She's my girl! After devouring half the dough, we set about baking. Once I had my pot pie in the oven, and she had her first batch in the oven, she skeedaddled outside and left me to bake the batches...but I can't complain. She did come in and help out a bit more.
By the way, have you seen Clare cute haircut? I love it!

Yep, they were yummy.

What did I do while snowed in? (Iced in, but whatever)

Oh, this was only the beginning. Have you changed the bedding for eight people lately? Me neither. Not all at once, anyway...

What do your kids do with their wet clothes when they come in from the snow? Mine do this. Oh, least I got to eat fresh, hot cookies while cleaning up this mess, right?!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Let it

We are having a sleet/ice storm here in Tulsa. Due to the hazardous road conditions, (I totally stole that phrase from the weather guy on the news) school and all activities have been cancelled. They have already called off school for tomorrow.


If you think I'm not using these bonus "no school" days for free child labor, you've got another thing coming!!

Strip those bed sheets! De-clutter that game room! Give your little sis a bath! Fold these towels! Tidy that coat closet! Yes, the possibilities are limitless! Six little minions doing my bidding. Seven if you count Mike, who is also stuck here at home. He has graciously helped make muffins, loaded and unloaded the dishwasher and has agreed to be my personal love slave. (Did I say that out loud?)

I really do love having them home, and not just to help me get my chores done more quickly. Mike has promised a fire pretty soon, and Mary had better prepare herself for Mancala defeat. Scrabble seems likely, and maybe Monopoly. I love reading by the fire with all the kids laying around with books. Clare is reading A Wrinkle in Time and I can't wait to talk about it with her. I'm trying to get Mary to read The Diary of Anne Frank, but she's pretty hooked on books about dogs. Stephen is reading I am the Cheese and Dominic is into the Narnia series. Maggie is ready to choose a new book, so I'm not sure what hers will be, but I'm betting on another from the Little House series. Anna will look at Pinkalicious over and over and over and dream tonight of pink cupcakes with pink frosting and sprinkles.

Life is good.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Guest Photographer

I was uploading some pictures to my computer the other day, when I happened upon some pictures that Maggie had taken with my camera. You know, I don't think we have enough pictures of the she decided to take a few more. And by "a few", I mean about 25. Some of them made me cringe. Like this one....

...aaawww! How cute! Sleepy puppy....IN YOUR BED!!!??? Honestly! The dog is a shedding machine and he's been in your bed? Not just on it, but tucked in comfy and cozy between the sheets. And he almost fell asleep, he was THAT comfy. And what an artsy touch with the puppy poster above his head in the same position. She must have spent hours positioning and posing the dog.

I like this one, though....

"Say, now. That's a good lookin' fellow!"

"WAIT! Where'd he go? He was just here! Oh, well...I guess I'll lick the mirror some more..."

And don't you love how Maggie's reflection in the mirror makes her look like some kind of creepy porceline doll? The dog drool all over the mirror lent nicely to that effect, I think. This next picture makes me laugh. This is Jonesy speaking. He says "I love you". He really does! In a Scooby Doo kind of way, he totally says "I love you". Ask anyone who has been here. He'll do anything for a puppy treat.

Maggie took lots of doggie pictures that day. I think she had a good time doing it. I am thankful that she also found one more willing subject, because let me tell you, she took a cute picture of...


No Photoshop or special lens or expensive camera. Just a big sister catching the essence of her little sister. Pretty sweet.

Monday, January 19, 2009


My kids love to draw. They always have. I have washed marker off of wall paper, cleaned pencil off of windowsills and pen from walls. I have bathed little bodies decked in some pretty amazing body art. Let's not even talk about paint. Now that they are older, they draw upon more appropriate surfaces. I try not to complain when they go through an entire package of paper in a week and leave pictures all over the house. At least they are busy, productive, creative and happy. I tend to get a little annoyed, though, when they use napkins, lunch sacks and paper plates to draw on. I'm usually thinking, "C'mon! You're using up the good stuff!"

I came into the kitchen today and saw about 10 paper plates drawn upon. I was getting ready to gripe a little bit, until I saw the pictures. They were all along these lines:

I really like it when my kids teach me a thing or two. Next year, I will remember to talk more with them about Dr. King, his actions and his moving speech rather than simply wonder if the garbage would be picked up on MLK Day. I'm glad they were thinking about the reason for their awesome three day weekend. They're good kids.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Almost Twelve

What happens to girls? I mean, you tell them every single-dingle day how much you love them and how beautiful they are. Inside and out kind of beautiful. Yet, they turn almost twelve, and suddenly the girl who poses for the camera like THIS:

...starts doing THIS when the camera comes out:

...and THIS:

And if you're really lucky, she might do something like THIS:

I remember hiding from the camera at that age, too. Now I like to look at our old family pictures from when I was young. And yes, I am usually making a face or trying to look inconspicuous. It is too bad we become insecure and unhappy with the way we look. I am trying very hard right now to do something about the reasons why I STILL hide from the camera. Maybe someday soon I will feel good about smiling for the camera again and will set a good example for my girls. But for now, I guess we have more of the same to look forward to in pictures. But, HA HA! I get to see the real deal every day. And I will tell her how much I love her and how beautiful she is. The inside and out kind. Take THAT, almost twelve year old!

Monday, January 12, 2009


Maggie decided to get a hair trim and to go back to having bangs. Pretty cute, huh?

Uh, yes, we had spaghetti for supper. Why do you ask?

Friday, January 9, 2009

Random Thoughts

You know how in cartoons and comic strips, when the writer wants to show someone down on their luck and they will show him (it's always a "him") dressed in a barrel? A rain barrel with leg holes and usually little suspenders to hold it up. Did anyone ever actually have to wear a barrel? Who's idea was that? Seems less comfortable than a burlap sack, which my mom used to threaten me with when I would complain about my clothes as a teenager. She claims she wore clothes made from potato sacks. Those sacks must have been more sturdy than the Lay's bag I have in my pantry. One day, Anna decided to dress herself and put on a pair of Mary's outgrown cotton capri pants. They were pink and had flowers on them, so that was good enough for her. The waist was elastic, so even though they were a little bit too loose, the length was just right. She paired the pants with a cute top that has a turtle embroidered on it. The turtle has a flower tucked behind its ear (I know! What ear!) and therefore match the pants. She went stylin' to the neighbor's house to trampoline bounce for a while. You know as well as I do that her pants fell down every other jump, right? At least she wasn't wearing a barrel or a potato sack. But still....

Thursday, January 1, 2009


As we planned our at home New Years Eve Extravaganza (well, we were excited about it) yesterday, I grabbed a pen and some paper and we talked New Year's Resolutions. I love the new year; such a great opportunity for fresh starts and twelve step program type mea culpas. I resolve every single year to be a better letter writer, birthday card sender and over-all communicator with friends and family that live far and away. As they can all attest, I fail at this resolution each and every year. Yet, here I am; New Years Day and I have my fresh, new calendar all ready for those birthdays, anniversaries and other well wishing occasions to be entered and observed. This year I'm really going to do it! Wait! Do I hear laughter? Hmmm?

Anyway, I talked resolutions with my kids, and they were very forthcoming, even in the knowledge that I intended to make a blog post about them. I think they feel safe in the blogosphere. They know that next to no one is reading, and like to keep mommy amused.

Me: So, Stephen. What is your resolution for 2009?
Stephen: To quit smoking.
Me: Ahem. Not funny. What is it really?
Stephen: To quit smoking! It is something I can actually stick to.
Me: Ahem.
Stephen: Okay, okay. I'm going to eat better. I'm not going to get as much junk food at school.

Me: Okay, Mary Catherine. What about you?
Mary: I don't really get it. I mean is it like Lent or something?
Me: sigh Mmmm hmmmm. You get to decide how you can change your life for the better; make a fresh start! Break a bad habit or take up a new hobby...
Mary: Okay. I'm going to stop playing with the dog in a bad way that makes him rip my shirt sleeves and I'm going to stop hitting people when I'm mad.
Me: So, you want to learn to control your emotions and your anger?
Mary: Yep!

Me: Your turn, Clare. How are you going to change your life this year?
Clare: I'm going to be nicer to everyone.
Me: You are sweet. That sounds or friends or what?
Clare: Just everyone!
Me: Okay! I know you can do that.

Me: You're up, Mags.
Maggie: I'm going to stop talking back and stop having to get in the last word.
Me: That's hard. I like that resolution.
Maggie: Yep. And I also want to gain some weight. My pants keep falling off.
Me: I must have made that resolution last year!!! Just pants never slip off.
Maggie: Mine do all the time. I need to put on a little weight.
Me: Or...I could get you some pants that fit. Like a slim size?
Maggie: YEAH!!!!

Me: What do you think, Dominic? What is your New Year's Resolution?
Dom: I'm going to control my language.
Me: uhhh...
Dom: I'm going to stop saying crap and dump and stuff like that. It doesn't sound nice.
Me: Yeh, you like to be funny, but it's hard to stop saying those words once you start.
Dom: ummm hmmm
Me: I'm glad you're going to stop saying crap. It really gets on my nerves.
Maggie: Mine too!
Me: It's not your turn, Maggie.
Dom: Yeh, I'm going to stop that tomorrow.

Me: Okay, Anna. What is my little girl going to do next year?
Anna: I'm gonna be four!
Me: Yay!! So you're going to turn into a four year old; and what else do you want to do in the next year?
Anna: I want to be a soldier doll in The Nutcracker like Ashley!!!
Me: Wow! That's a big dream for a little girl. I like that. Good for you.
Anna: Yep. I'm little but I'm big, too. And I'm gonna dance in pointe shoes and walk like a soldier, too. Are you going to watch me?
Me: Absolutely, yes.

And then Clare decided that Jonesy the Dog needed to make a resolution. She said he resolves to not poop in Daddy's garden and to eat no more raccoon poop. Go for it, Jonesy!!! I have faith in you!

Mike keeps his resolutions to himself, but I know him pretty well. I'm pretty sure I know what he resolves. I know he always sticks to them, too. He is very strong and firm in character.

When I announced my goals, to be a better communicator and birthday card sender, Maggie looked at the paper and said "Don't you want to write something about exercising and losing weight?". Ever concerned about my daughters body image perceptions, I assured her that, yes, we ALL should try to eat healthy foods and exercise. Then I went in the other room and made mean faces at her.

Happy New Year!!!