Friday, June 29, 2012

Getting Rid of The Kids


Ok, not really getting 'rid' of them.
Shipping them off for a few days.
You know, like summer camp.
Have you looked at summer camps lately?
I have three elementary age kiddos that could go to sleep away camp.
Most of the camps I found are about $350 per camper.
Looks like I will put that in the budget for next year. That's over a thousand dollars! And that doesn't include the activities that are extra, like crafts and snacks!
So, I looked at a couple of sliding scale camps.
I would still have to come up with around $700, plus extras, and those are quite a distance from home.
There was some hope in doing day camps, but those are also a bit of a distance for us, and most of them are only 2 1/2 to 3 hrs long. So what am I gonna do with the younger ones during that time? Wait in the van? Gah! No!
Then, Gramma called.
She proposed that the children attend a VBS program at a church near her home.
Four days long, all day.
And...drum roll...the children will stay overnights at her house during the program.
My breath caught. Could this be real? Was I hearing things? Had I gone delusional after yesterdays mayhem and drama?
She confirmed that she was looking forward to it, and that it would be such fun to have the four of them over for Kamp Grandma.
Oh. My. Goodness.
Oh my GOODNESS!!!
If you see my MIL, thank her for being a wonderful, intuitive person.

I will have three days and three nights of just two kiddos. The ones that nap regularly each day. Imagine the number of dishes that won't be used during that time. The clothes that won't be on the floor, the wet towels that won't be all over the bathroom. The amount of toilet tissue that will stay on the roll! The ibuprofen that will remain in the bottle.

I know I will be ready to welcome them home when it is time. I know I will miss them, and I will want to hug and kiss them.
But this mom is ready for a little break. Some quiet that doesn't only happen after 10 pm. A bit of reduction in the daily chores.
Thanks, Gramma. You are a blessed woman.

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Thursday, June 28, 2012

A Completely Honest Moment


Not that I am dishonest with you.
This one, though, is raw honesty.
This is the kind of honesty that hasn't already been touched by truth.
It's the emotional kind.
It's the kind of honesty that is the first thing I think before I catch myself and do the right thing instead.

I. Want. To. Scream.

I want to tattle, yell, stomp my feet, cry, scream, throw something, slam a door, tell people they are stupid and that everything is their fault.

I don't want to do Mommyhood today.

I want to sit in a coffee shop and read. All day.


Yeah, yeah. I know. They are my children, my responsiblity.
I love them and I will make the right choices.

I will care for them, I will gently correct them. I will feed them and put them to naps.
I will wipe the dirt from their hands and faces. I will clean up their messes, I will instruct them in their chores.
I will hug them and kiss them and let them know that I love them always and anyways.

But mornings like this one make me want to pull out my hair and run away.

They are difficult and not fun. *sigh*

Anyone want to sit for six surly children today?

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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A Taste of PNW Summer



We are getting a peak of summer around here today.
It's about 70 degrees F here.
And the kids are suited up with the sprinkler on.

 Already looking for shade.
 Ignore the cabinet in the background. We let the kids have a destruction session last night.
Lunch in the back yard! Yessss!


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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

"I do it myself!"



The youngest one at TheZoo has turned two.
I realized this morning that she is my seventh two year old.
I have been through the 'terrible two's' six times already, so I'm guessing I have learned a thing or two about two year olds.

First, foremost, and most fervently, they are not really the 'terrible two's'.
They can be, if parents choose that route. There are things that two year olds begin to try and practice that are truly terrible.
When parents choose to allow toddler to pursue behaviors that are awful because it is just so cute when such a tiny child is saying or doing it, you can bet those practices will continue as the years go on.
Is it really so cute when your two yo. stomps her foot and says 'No!' that you want to let it go on and on? That very first time, it might be hard to hide a smile at the idea that she has begun forming connections in her mind. That she understands the verbalization of rebellion in addition to body language (I.e. squirming and wriggling when being put in a car seat, climbing out of bed, etc.) is amazing, but the behavior exhibited needs to stop.
Two years old is a great time to teach your little one about respect. Will she stomp her foot and say no over and over and over again? Of course! She's got to find out the parameters of  your rules. If it counts at home, does it count at the grocery store? At Grandma's house? At the park? In front of your friends? She needs to find out of your rules are constant or circumstantial.

Secondly, independence is important to a two year old. Yes, it's important at all ages, but it's especially important at two, when little ones are discovering that they CAN do things independently.
It's the grown-ups job to guide them in responsible independence.
When it's time to get dressed, and your little man wants to "Do it myself!" you can let him.  Sometimes that means that getting dressed for the day begins much earlier than it has in the past, to allow time for fumbling with buttons, learning how to pull on a sock, and shoving feet in shoes.
Did you know that allowing your 2 yo to practice independence with personal care will be helpful when they are old enough to have chores assigned.  You will have already fostered trust in your child to work independently. (Please be sure to teach the child how to do the chore from beginning to end. Be clear in what you expect, don't set them to the chore assuming that they have seen you do it several times and should know how to do it. It's terribly frustrating for a child to be disciplined over something that they were never informed of in the first place.)

Third, language blossoms at the age of two. If you say to your child "Oh, isn't dat wittle bitty wabbit just so cutey wooty?" Then your child will very likely speak like that. If you say "Oh $#%*! What the #$%& happened in here?" Then your child will very likely speak like that.  If you speak respectfully, then your child will very likely speak like that.

Did you know that if you spell your child's name out loud when you write it down, and encourage him to, he will repeat the letters? He won't understand that he is practicing symbols that make up words for reading, but you are engaging in reading readiness. You don't have to go out and buy workbooks and sign up them up for the most prestigious preschool to prepare them for life. You can start with simple things. Communication is important at every stage in life. It makes sense to teach effective communication early.

The second year is hard on parents. Children have so much energy, and now they can run! They talk to you all the time, they test their skills in opening and dumping out containers all over the house. They practice defiance, and they know how to get out of bed and take off their diaper.

We have the privilege of teaching them how to behave respectfully, and what it's like to be respected.
I promise that the second year will wear you out as much as those first six months did, but just as it was in the beginning, it is worth every tired, exasperating moment.

I'm looking forward to sharing seven kids' worth of threes!

Happy Parenting!
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Monday, June 25, 2012

Learning to Run

So, I started running. Sort of.
I decided to use the Couch-to-5k training guide.
I discovered that I have forgotten how to run. I have also discovered that I am not the right shape for running.
Do you remember Weebles? You know, "they weeble and the wobble but they don't fall down!".
I am *not* at weeble. I definitely fall down.
Running. Is. Hard.
Did you know that a person can get so far away from having any stamina at all that walking is difficult?
   Yep, that's me.So, the Couch-to-5k is a 9 week training program that says I should be able to run a 5k in about thirty minutes after 9 weeks.
No. Nope. Not a chance.
   The first week was a jog 60 seconds/walk 90 seconds combo. This was to be done for a duration of 20 minutes with a 5 minute walking warm up and cool down.
    I was only able to run ONE of the 60 second jog sets. I thought I was going to have a heart attack.
My chest was desperately trying to heave in order to receive oxygen, but it was spazzing instead.
So, I walked the rest of that week. And the second week. And the third week. And so on and so forth.
I did not walk during the week we had out of state guests.
Stupid. I can now walk about one mile without dying.
This is rough. I had grand ideas about running a 5k in the middle of July with See Jane Run. I even asked friends to join me and had one take me up on it.
I hope the running is going better for her.
In all likelihood, I made a donation to See Jane Run, and I won't be there.
I will keep walking, though.
And when I can still breath after 30 minutes of brisk walking without a stitch in my side, I'll take up the jog/walk again.
I will not give up. I will not give in. I will survive!
I *will* run a 5k!
Maybe now I need to let my friend know...



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Friday, June 22, 2012

From a Mom Who Sometimes Drowns


What? You aren't delighted by your children 24/7?
You don't revel in their childishness at every moment?
You need a break sometimes?
What kind of parent are you?
I have had mothers tell me that I shouldn't *want* to be apart from my family. That I shouldn't *need* to be away from my children. That I should choose joy in my daily duties, and fulfillment in the life I have.
Let me be clear. I do choose joy, and I choose to be fulfilled.
There are, however, days, weeks, or months that are horror filled.
These times leave me ragged and exhausted. I need a break. From my children. The ones that I love and wouldn't trade for anything.
Sometimes I need a quiet couple of hours after they go to bed.
Sometimes I need a day of being alone, or with other adults.
Sometimes I long for a weekend of refreshment.

Yes, there are days when Mr. TheZoo comes home from working a long, difficult, tiring day, and I tell him that "you need to please go take care of the discipline now, because if I continue, it won't be discipline, it will be punishment borne from my fatigue." He understands, and helps.
He realized that we both have difficult jobs, that we are both grateful for the jobs we have, and that we both need breaks from our jobs.

Please, don't even let the idea of a family vacation escape your brain. Family vacation, for mom, equals all the things she does at home, but on the move in some new environment. Often, it's a dirtier environment, and it includes keeping the children from falling in rivers, or fires, or off of cliffs, or from getting lost in crowds.

How does this resemble relaxing? How does this constitute a break?

It DOESN'T!!!

Yeah, I just yelled there.

Please, if you have a minute, and you know moms with little ones, please offer to help out a bit.
I don't mean for an hour, or even two hours.

If she lives in a place like I do, it takes that long just to get to someplace. Offer for the afternoon.
Really.

Here's my ideal rest afternoon.

I want to peruse darling little shops that I can not enter with my children.  I have a creative mind, and seeing things other people have done sparks ideas.  I can't take a passel of littles into those tiny cramped shops with all the darling breakables and valuable antiques.

I want to hangout in a bookstore or library. Not run in, grab the book I need, and run out. I want to peruse. I want to look at the book covers and read the backs. I want to flip through books and sample bits and pieces before choosing what to leave with.

I want to sit in a coffee shop and read, and/or visit with a friend. Uninterrupted.

I'm not entirely certain that I still know how to carry on a conversation without stopping midsentence to take care of some minor emergency. I'd like to find out, though.

When you see a mom of small ones raising their hand up in the international distress signal for drowning, please be available to toss out the life preserver.

It doesn't have to be for a full weekend, just one afternoon!

And, hey, you've raised your kiddos, right? You know how to do this!

Thanks.

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Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Squeaky Shoe Debate

"They are so cute!"
"Where can I find those boots!"
"Oh, I want those!"
These are the  things people say about my littlest ones zebra striped boots.
They are fun, cute boots.
Then. Then she walks around in them. And. They squeak.
Okay, I had a strong dislike for squeaky shoes until I bought a pair.
I have piles and piles of children, so I like that I can hear where the youngest one is and whether she is taking off.
It seems that the moms that liked squeaky shoes before didn't like them now.
Someone once said to me "I guess you'll think twice about her shoe selection next time."
Hrmmmm. That wasn't even subtle!
"I wouldn't have my child wear those anyplace but home!", another mom said.
Seriously? At home? I know where my little ones are at home. I don't want to hear that at home! When we are out, and there's a lot of ambient noise, and my children have an opportunity for escape...that's when I want the squeaky shoes.
So. My youngest will keep wearing the squeaky shoes. Besides, the squeaker only works in one shoe. That makes it only half as annoying, right?
Anyone else want super cute squeaky shoes? I got my boots at HHH Mama Boutique. You can click the link to their website, and you can also find them on facebook.
I'm looking at their cute sandals right now. Watch the facebook page for sales, they have them often.
By the way, I didn't get compensated to promote HHH Mama Boutique, I just really like their stuff!



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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Why Do We Even Ask?


Do you really want my advice?
Truly?
Are you actually seeking out nuggets of wisdom? Do you really want tools to make a wise choice?
Or do you just want to argue and justify the decision you have already made?

I'm a mom with a lot of kids. So, naturally, people ask me for advice. Mostly about discipline issues.
A few of these people actually want advice.
They want to gather information from a variety of sources and make an informed choice. They don't say "I agree/disagree" and launch into a sermon about why the choice they have already made is superior to mine.

Seriously. If we find that we have a need to justify our choices, then we need to rethink them. If it needs to be justified, most likely, it is unwise.

I justify my rationale that I deserve to have a piece of chocolate. Really? What do I deserve?
Most likely, I deserve discipline, punishment and death. What have I actually done to deserve anything good?

If you say to me "How do you handle 'such and such' a situation? I've been having a hard time with my child in this area.", and I reply "We choose to respond 'this way' because of 'this reason'. It works 'because of this', and takes time and discipline on the part of the parent.", why on earth would you say "Oh, I don't want to do it that way 'because such and such' and we don't want 'whatever it might be'."
You are effectively telling me that you have just wasted my time and breath. That all you wanted to do was justify why you are making an unwise choice on behalf of your child.

Yes, this is a rant. I am not justifying the rant. It needs to be said.

Any time I give child rearing advice that ends with "...and takes time and discipline on the part of the parent.", the parent that I am speaking with tunes out. I can recall approximately three parents that thanked me, and went on to make their own informed choice. The rest say something like "Oh, but *we*..." As though time and discipline are things that these parents have no need to develop or practice.

So, if you don't want to hear sound biblical principle, patience, and discipline, then don't ask. And please don't argue.

Thanks.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

No More Teachers! No More Books!


HA!
HAhahaha!
And, HA!
*I* am the teacher, and *I* have the books!!!!
Today is officially the first day of summer break here at TheZoo.
This is the first day that we would have had any classes at the parent partnership program, so it's truly the first day off.
I haven't assigned much work for the summer, but you would think I added more on top of what they have been doing all school year.
I want them to finish their math curriculum (they still have two units to finish), and I want them to read over the summer, providing me with a book report on each selection.

Do you have a favorite summer reading program? I know there are several out there. One of the kiddos just likes having new books, so the ones that offer a book as the prize look great for her. Another one thinks that having a book as a prize for reading a bunch of books is not even cool.

Call me crazy, but I want a book a week. There is no reason they can't read at least nine books over the summer.
Those moments when they come in from playing outside to tell me that it's just too hot to be out there, I will give them a cold beverage and direct them to a spot of shade under a tree, and hand them their books.
Please! Someone force *ME* to sit and read every single day!

Their summer break is about playing and reading.
Mine is about fine tuning what we are going to do next school year.
What classes will they take at the PPP, and what curriculum will I use to teach at home, and how many days a week will we leave the house, and making sure that everyone is getting a some physical exercise.

Seriously, every week over the summer I am looking for a better price on something, collecting school supplies here and there, going through things from previous years to ascertain what we can reuse and what we need to get rid of.

I'm glad the kids at TheZoo get some kind of break over the summer, and I'm glad to take a break from everyday curriculum.

In fact, I may join some of the kiddos in reading under the tree.

Now to find those age appropriate reading lists...

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Monday, June 18, 2012

Tiny House Bathrooms


We do have two. Thank you Jesus! With all of the children, I can't imagine having one. I know it can be done, I just can't imagine it. And I don't want to.
I'm quite certain that had we only an outhouse, we'd still dig a second one.
And then I'd lable one for girls and one for boys.
Oh, yes, I would.
The older boy is being trained as an apprentice bathroom scrubber. It seems his internship will last ages, and I see little hope of his graduation to journeyman.
I want my little boys to sit, you know. But someone told them they could stand.
I am hunting that person down.
Whoever that person is, I want them to have to smell my bathroom.
They even know that cutesy little poem "If you sprinkle when you tinkle, be a sweetie and wipe the seatie." They know it, but they just laugh.
So, once a week, armed with borax and a toothbrush and some rags, Older Boy goes off to the gulag and scrubs a toilet.
"How long does this have to be my chore?!?!?" He wails.
"Until there is no longer a nasty buildup!" I say.
"Ohhhhh..." He groans.
I realize this isn't an issue only in a tiny house.
What makes THIS a tiny house issue, is that when the door to that bathroom is open, the smell wafts into the hall. It hides there, at the entrance to the hall way and builds it's self up to something quite substantial, then it smacks you in the olfactory and uses your movement to waft into the front rooms.
This is so wrong. So terribly wrong.
Next lesson, sweaty socks...

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Friday, June 15, 2012

TGI...*yawn*



No fantastic, insightful, incredibly funny blog post today.
I was at the hospital with my girlfriend and her little girl until 3 am, then drove the hour home, fixed hubby's coffee, told him what was going on. 
Hit the sheets at 4:30
Got back out of bed at 7:00.
Kids are getting donuts for breakfast, and I am getting a nap this afternoon.
And please pray that Emma Rose gets a diagnosis and can begin treatment for whatever it is that's making her sick.

Thanks.
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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Scary Honesty

You want to know the truth?
Most mornings, when my alarm prompts me to open my eyes and face a new day, I don't remember to thank Jesus for allowing me to wake up yet again, breathing. I don't smile and bounce out of bed with a sunny disposition, itching to wake the children and get started with our day.
I usually lay there and grouch about having to wake up. I inch my way to the edge of the mattress, almost flopping off onto the floor with a blue attitude about having to do whatever has to be done.
I generally hope that I have been correct in assuming that I will have at least an hour before the noise and activity dominate our small living space.
Please get me right. I'm not even hinting that I will I weren't a mom, or that I hadn't chosen to spend my days with them.
I'm, unfortunately, just completely ungrateful.
It's so easy to take breath for granted.
Who ever said that your next breath was guaranteed?
No one.
Who ever said life would be a bowl of cherries? What's so great about cherries anyway? They have pits!
What do I do with each breath? With each moment that is given me?
Do I add bless? Do I encourage? Do I love?
How often do I say with one breath, "kindness, mercy, and grace!" yet say with the next, "mine, go away, and no!"
Do I choose to fight for righteousness, or do I fight for self righteousness?
Do I choose to be indignant for those who cannot fight for themselves, or do I lose my dignity fighting for things that don't last?
Here's to reminding myself, on yet another day, that I may not get the next breath, so I need to choose wisely with this one.


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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Monster Inside


We all have at least one. Okay, so maybe not fully grown. Little  baby monsters. Some people have several great big monsters inside.
My monster? I have a few. The one that pops up the most and seems to grow more quickly than the others is anger.
Anger pops up in my head without any trouble at all. I don't need to think about it, or wish it, it just appears. Then it shoots out roots and grows bigger in  nanosecond.
If I don't recognize it right away, it branches out.
I've learned some interesting things about this anger monster. It can morph into something else.
If I try to suppress it, but not get rid of it, it begins to fester. I know that's a horrible word, replete with disgusting images and descriptions. But, that what happens to the anger.
When I try to bury it, it doesn't die, it just festers for a while until it becomes bitterness.
Anger is easier to recognize than bitterness. You know how "anger raises it's ugly head". Well bitterness creeps around under the surface. It reaches out icy fingers and laces them around my mind and heart. It begins to leave a residue on everything I say.
When bitterness has grown in me, I become comfortable with it. It covers me, and protects me from other people's anger monsters.
When I allow bitterness to become mature, other monsters make their way inside. Jealousy, Depression (not the medical kind, the selfish kind..I'll post about that another day), Stinginess.
When anger pops up, and I see it right away, I stop and pluck it out.
I don't want it there. I know what happens when it stays and grows. I know what happens when I don't stop, but just repress it.
I need to take time and pull that monster anger weed, getting the root out.
I need to replace it with truth.  I need to allow the truth to grow and foster other plants that wither when anger is present. Love, patience, kindness.
The anger monster doesn't just pop up once in a while. Sometimes it pops up every few minutes. Sometimes it's more than one. There are several.
Often it isn't easy to get rid of all of the monsters. I need help. I can't keep up by myself. It is impossible to get to all of them before they become something bigger or worse.
Thank you, Jesus. Because whoever is in Christ is a new creation. The old is gone, and the new has come.
I have to put myself in Christ's care each day. And sometimes again and again throughout the day. His promises don't change, I do.
I choose each moment whether to follow Christ or to follow myself. When I notice, or more graciously, when the Holy Spirit reminds me, that I have chose myself yet again, I am given another chance to made made new.
I don't have to have the monster inside. I can have Christ instead.


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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Front Yard


I don't know why we call our yards that. Yard. It's a measurement of length or distance. Why did we name the area surrounding our houses The Yard? In most other countries, it's called The Garden. Doesn't that make more sense?
Regardless if it's a lawn, yard, or garden (c'mon...you just said "yard 'n' garden" just like Cisco, didn'tcha?)...we did stuff to ours yesterday.

First, a couple of weeks ago, our friends came over with their edger tool and helped us to cut the sod off of an area in front of the house.
I have always wanted to put a cottage garden there, ever since we moved in, so that's what I'm getting to do now!
Mr. TheZoo went and got a load of topsoil which we shoveled off the truck and spread around.
Then, we cleaned up the driveway. We have one of those lovely drive way areas where the builder poured a cement slab directly in front of the garage, but left the side of the house and the area next to the slab uncovered.
There was large gravel there when we moved in, 11 years ago, but it has since been dispersed. 
Mr. TheZoo went off again and came back with a load of gravel. It isn't big gravel, it's 5/8th's gravel, mixed with water so it will set something like cement.
Well, one yard of that didn't go too far, but I'm thrilled with what we have down so far.
And I'm ecstatic about the price of the stuff. I don't know why, but I had the idea that a load of gravel would run in the $100's of dollars. Apparently it's just something I made up in my own mind, because I don't specifically remember researching it at all. Maybe I heard it from someone that had several yards delivered.
Anyway, we shoveled the gravel onto the drive, raked it around to some general smoothness and built up the side of the concrete slab.
And then! I planted the peony, columbine, and english lavender that my girlfriend brought over. Good thing, too, because that poor columbine was looking scraggly and sad. We tried to keep it fresh and alive while we waited for the topsoil, but it was bare root and got lots of direct hot afternoon sun. Well, a lot for around these parts.
We'll see how it does.
Then, I put some sweet peas, iceland poppies, and wild flower seeds down.
Now that those projects are underway, I am excited to finish up the driveway and start a couple of other front lawn projects.
I have plans for a dahlia patch, and to transfer some rhodies from the backyard that are behind a shed. And to start a pretty burgundy honey suckle from the large plant in the back.
After all of that, I want to perk up the flower bed that is under my bedroom winder, and build raised beds for vegetables next year.
And I want to fill in all the uneven spots in the back. And I want to put railroad ties and playground bark around the swingset. And I want to finish the back fence between our house and the neighbors.
And I want to build out the front porch to a larger, screened in deck.
And...oh, poor Mr. TheZoo.
He must be absolutely exhausted after listening to my lists.
And this one is just for outside!

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Monday, June 11, 2012

The PTA



I went to a PTA meeting last week.
I was provided with a a copy of the agenda and the budget with current financial standings.
It was pretty much an accident that I attended at all.
Another mom and I were sitting near the room that the PTA was meeting in. It was the last meeting of the year, and many of the PTA members weren't present. It was imperative that there be a minimum of a particular number of people in attendance to be able to call it an official meeting, so we were recruited to sit in and sign the register.
After listening for about 20 minutes and following along on the budget printout, I began feeling pretty impressed with what the PTA does.
We are at a Parent Partnership Program that offers full or part time registration. The school also has a full Montessori program, a high school jump start program with a local community college, and a couple of other programs.
There is a lot going on at this school, and the PTA plays a big part in keeping it all together. They handle the budgeting and fundraising for all of the classrooms. They know what they are talking about, and handle questions like pros. The income and outgo from so many different places, and how they work. Any question asked about any of the fundraisers was answered thoroughly and with confidence.
I found myself more and more impressed. I was feeling pretty good about the PTA at our school. I began to feel that I wanted to be involved with an organization that was doing something good and right.
The other mom slid the agenda my way.
Next on the list was 'elect new officers'.
We snuck out the back door.
Yes. Really.
I've seen those PTA moms at work. They are busy.
Seriously, at this season in my life, if I am given a project to complete, I am going to forget about it until the day it is due.
I will write it down in at least two different places, I will put it on the calendar on my phone, I'll put it on the computer...and I will still forget.
Yeah, I'm pretty flaky right now. I know it, so I avoid situations that will bring it to public attention.
I keep hoping that when the youngest one is potty trained and able to get in and out of her own car seat, that some of those dysfunctional brain cells will wake up and remember how to perform.
Maybe then I can join the PTA/

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Friday, June 8, 2012

Our Song


Most couples have a song.
That one melody that brings a smile.
When the notes are recognized, the couple seeks one another out with their eyes, they might gaze at one another lovingly.
Some couples share a waltz step or two. Perhaps they are prompted to hold hands, or to say "I Love You".
The song is usually something nice. Something about love, being together, hope, destiny.
Mr. TheZoo and I have a song.
We didn't choose the song. The song chose us.
One evening, before we were married, we were out on a date. Things were going well, and we decided to extend the evening by catching a late movie. So, (of course, because it makes perfect sense) we drove from city to city looking at theatre marquis to find a movie that would play soon and that we actually wanted to see.
We stopped at one theatre to discuss our options between movies, and suddenly, both of us abandoned the conversation and began singing along with the radio.
When we realized that we both had jumped into the tune at the same moment, that neither of us was upset at the interruption, we laughed. A lot. In fact, we didn't hear the rest of the song.
But we know the song. We sing it often.
Our children know the song.
The song was recorded before music videos were popular, so there isn't a fantastic YouTube link. (There IS one, it just isn't fantastic. It's really...weird!)
Our song...is Funky Town.
Yes, it really is.
What is your song?
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Thursday, June 7, 2012

SMH! Your Rights Are Slipping Away!

Wait, what?!?!?
Mom ARRESTED for leaving her 13 yo in charge of siblings?
Because the 4 yo wandered into a neighbor's yard?
Arrested? For real?
We obviously don't have the family's history to determine whether there was on going problem with an immature older sibling, or a negligent mother.
I must say, however, that my blood runs cold after reading this article.
Seriously. Arrested.
This isn't even about how old a child should be to be left alone. And it's only almost about determining the maturity of the child left to care for the others
It's definitely about American citizens losing rights.
C'mon, neighbor, walk the child back home.
If my neighbors can call police and have me arrested whenever one of my children wanders into someone's yard, I might have been arrested several times already.
Once, while I was nursing a baby and laying said child down for a nap, my 3 yo not only ran down the street, but let himself into a neighbor's house.
I'm not saying that isn't scary. It is seriously scary, and the child was made aware that such behavior is not acceptable.
However, the neighbor was kind enough to entertain my child until I found him.
Thank you, neighbor for being neighborly.
Parents, please vote.
Parents, please be aware of your rights, and the ones that are slipping away.
Parents, please be involved in your children's education.
Parents, please be aware of your child's safety.
Parents, please pray over your children.
Parents, don't allow your right to raise your children to be taken away.


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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Snarky Day



Yeah. That's the attitude that keeps pushing it's way to the forefront.
I am aware that I feel this way, and I don't want to.
I sure don't want to act this way!
There are bunches of little children in the house that pick that sort of thing up quickly.
Some of them were born with a natural ability for sarcasm. Go figure.
I don't outlaw sarcasm at home. I limit it, though.
It's important to me that the children learn how to banter and use sarcasm to be funny without being mean.
I had to learn that lesson the hard way, as an adult. When more than one or two people clue you in on a character flaw, it's good indication that you should examine yourself and make some changes.
I did. It hurt, I never did thank those people. I probably said something sarcastic and hurtful.
Sarcasm isn't really the problem, snarky is. Snarky doesn't necessarily mean sarcastic. Many people make snarky remarks without employing clever sarcasm at all. (see, that was kind of snarky).
Sometimes, I just feel like things that people in general say and do, are stupid. The phrase that marches through my brain these days is "What are you, stupid?". It's a struggle to keep from saying it out loud.
It isn't even as though I really believe people are stupid. I don't. It's not them. It's me.
It's that anger that's always rearing it's ugly head.
I'm pretty sure that the desire to scream and yell at people for parking crooked is no indication of righteous anger. It's definitely self righteous. I can be fairly certain that I have parked crookedly a few times myself. And fortunately, for me, no one screamed at me.
I will continue to fight the good fight, keeping the general public from being screamed at. At least by me.
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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Whether We Do, or Weather We Don't


Yep, it's raining again here in our little green corner of the earth.
It always rains through June.
Every year we complain about it, but in the 18 years I've lived out here, it's always the same.
We get a sunshine tease in May, then about three weeks of constant rain, it slows to a mist, then a big down pour during the first week of July. It usually clears up on the 5th of July.
There are two hot sunny Independence Days that I recall. Out of 18.
Where I live, our warmest, sunniest months are mid July through mid September.
We get a bout a month of slightly cooling temps, then a big October freeze.
Well, we still have a couple weeks of school left, and when those are over, I am going to take advantage of the rain factor, and put the older children to helping with a big spring cleaning...since it will still be spring-like here, anyway.
Gosh It'll be grand.
The kids at TheZoo, I'm certain, will be praying without ceasing for some sunshine!

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Monday, June 4, 2012

Why I Have Green Hair

I do. I have green hair.
Just bits and pieces. Peek-a-boo high lights.
If we are being technical here, they are teal.
I have been asked several times if I had colored my hair in celebration of some holiday or another.
Really? Do people do that?
If someone makes some sort of unconventional change in their life, it must be due to a holiday?
"Oh, yes, I really wanted to make a big deal out of Administrative Assistants Day, so I had my nose pierced."
Seriously, folks, why, why, WHY would you ask that?

There is a perfectly good, and legitimate reason for my decision.

I did actually thing it through, because I wanted to be sure that I chose  color I would like seeing in the mirror.

I did not do it for a holiday.
I did not do it for a person.
I did not do it out of rebellion.
I did not do it to shock people.
I did not do it to fit in to a particular group.

I have green hair, because it is fun. It is lighthearted. It is whimsical. It is unexpected.

All things that I hope I am, anyway.

Now, we can all see it.


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Friday, June 1, 2012

Coupons and Kids

I thought you should know.
I'm not a coupon queen.
It seems like I should be, right?
Single income, a Zoo full of kiddos, homeschooling, church going, faith declaring, penny pinching.
Okay, I use coupons. I use them when I find them for things I actually buy anyway.
I tried the whole coupon craze. I grew up on coupons.
I don't remember my mom agonizing over newspaper inserts and trading coupons and seeking out sales to match them with. And I'm not THAT old.
So, I have a general idea of what I usually purchase from the grocery store and how much it will cost. Of course we don't always eat exactly the same things, there are changes, but why would I get extremely excited about coupons for a premium item that I don't use. Ever. Show me some coupons on cabbage, heads of lettuce, and red bell peppers, and I'll be all over it.
I definitely follow coupon junkies on face book, blogs and twitter. I like to find a great deal. We're frugal here, just not crazy.
There are a lot of demands on my time, and spending hours organizing coupons and hoards of money on ink printing them out and making out a strategy like a battle plan to go from store to store with the right rewards cards and catalinas and coupons all the while dragging six children along is not something I am willing to schedule in.
I have my one favorite grocery store in town. Another that I go to when I'm searching for something specific. But, no coupon freaking here.
Unless, of course, you say there are Starbucks coupons.
I'm all over that.



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