Sunday, August 31, 2008

This Post Will Turn You Into A Non-Prankster.(...and if you cry tears of conviction, that's okay, too.)

Seriously, but seriously.
Pranks aren't nice, kids. I know a lot of people think it's funny to prank and practical joke, but I am not one of them. Making someone feel scared, anxious, worried, angry,etc. while you watch and snicker is inconciderate. Saying something unkind to someone and then adding "Just Kidding!" Isn't nice, either. Even if the person laughs along, it still hurts his or her feelings. But people do it because they need a place to let off some of their unresloved anger, and pranks and meanness seem safe and socially acceptable. People also do it out of immaturity and lack of empathy.
Whoever has been leaving fake comments on my blog, I just want to ask you to please stop. If you want to come out of the woodwork and tell me who you really are, that would be a mature step for you to take, and I would appreciate it. If you can't and just want to skedaddle, I'd settle for that, too. But everytime you pollute my comments, I am tempted to make the comments visible only after my approval, and I don't want to have to do that, because I want to continue to encourage genuine comments. But leaving the fake comments is the same as if you barged into my house and started permanent markering the walls, all the while laughing. It's just as bad. I'm just going to assume that you never thought of it that way before.
P.S. You're Forgiven.

Thanks, Charlie

(For maximum impact, scroll down to my playlist and click on "She will be loved" by Maroon 5. Glance at the previous posts on the way down, and back up again. Then view this post...)
"In the beginning, God created..." *
Today, My peeps created thusly:

"...God created man in His own image..." Genesis 1:27

i'm just trying to create, too

and be relevant
and be who i was created to be...
(what's real is what flows through my veins)
This blog is my canvas
I am proud of it

*These are the first words in the bible

"I already made a 'finity of those..."**

"...Please try some of (it), please have a plate, please do, It's so delectable and so darn good looking."*

"Everything is eatable, even I'm eatable, but that is called cannibalism, my dear children, and is in fact frowned upon in most societies...Yeah."*

"Look kids, I made a 'finity*** of gorgeous golden deliciousness this morning...what are YOU Going to eat?"

( Joking, people. Just a joke. The last picture was actually taken AFTER the kids had eaten their pancakes. Derek and I made short work of the rest.)

*Willy Wonka in "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," the movie
**Napoleon Dynomite in "Napoleon Dynomite," the movie
***"a 'finity" is not a real word.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

It looks like a sandwich to me!

Warning: This is one of those posts that will seem funny to me, because I was there, but might not be funny to the reader. I just wanted to publish a new post to get some new skills established, and this was the most recent event in my life.

Me: "Let's go in the house and eat some food." (it was lunchtime)
Natalie:"Yeah, I'anna eat some food."
Me:"Let's get you a sandwich."
Natalie:"No, I'anna eat some food."
Me:"Well, what kind of food do you want to eat?"
Natalie:(not pointing at anything or looking at anything in particular.)"Um, that one."
Um, what?
(apparently my toddler is also just trying to perfect some skills, even if they are out of context.)

P.S. Attention food police: Though I am quite capable of making my own sandwiches on the wheat bread I only buy, in these pictures the sandwich you see my child holding is both an Uncrustable, from a package, and it's also on (gasp) white bread. Talk amongst yourselves.

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A word about glaring...

I just need to say it because it's on my mind. This is the best way I know to get it off, and I am sharing it with all y'all, whoever happens to read this.

There is a woman who glares at my children.
(allowing space here for your gasps, loud sighing, and groaning too deep for words.)
the story begins thusly:
My children love going to the YMCA. When we arrive, they are excited, and Ethan in particular has trouble containing said excitement. Let's just say that his high energy level came to him, hello, it's not a coincidence that I started running and still like to run long distances. However.
I also try very hard to be socially aware and create social consciouness in my children of the world and people around them.
With this in mind, we review the rules before we ever get out of the car, namely to use his inside voice, no running or yelling, remember that people work here, etc. Guess what? He seems to "get it." He's gotten so much better. But if the Kid's Corner isn't open on time, as sometimes happens, and we are waiting? He waits with me while bouncing, humming, laughing. He makes up little games while we wait. I am very hyper aware of making sure that he doesn't get too loud or too squirrelly, and I am mentally pleading, "Please, please open, Kids Corner! This kid is going to blow!"
(I am basically working up a sweat before I ever start my workout...which, now that I think about it, could be concidered a good warm up. Hey! COOL!)
Most days, it's fine. But once or twice a week, there is another mom who comes to work out, and she brings her two daughters with her. They are practically perfect in every way. They stand still and do not so much as figit or squirm. And I always dread seeing her walk up because...she glares at us. Every time. And it hurts my feelings.
In case you think I'm paranoid, let me tell you that it is just this one lady. All of the other mothers are kind, totally not above smiling or saying "hello" or actually allowing their children to interact with mine, to even maybe giggle with mine while we all wait. But glaring lady, If her child even starts to look like she might want to approach my son, says something like "So and so*," (*Not the child's real name) Come here. Stand right next to me." So that squelches any chance of our kids ever becoming friends. But I think that's her point. And lest she thinks I don't get it, don't worry, I get it.
Now, I know that her unhappiness has nothing to do with me. I know that mornings are often stressful, it might have been difficult getting out the door, and she is probably anxious to get to her exercise class, and that if I were to see her afterwards she might be the most jovial of individuals you ever did see. Or she might just be an unhappy person all together, who feels that she has no control in her own life. I get that. I really do. I just don't like being the target of her subtle aggression. I espescially don't like for my children to be the targets of her subtle aggression.
Maybe before she gets out of her car, someone needs to remind her to be socially aware, too.
In the meantime, I'd just be happy not to be glared at.
"Exercise releases endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don't kill people...They just don't." -Elle Woods

Friday, August 29, 2008

New skills, so proud!

You might want to duck and take cover, darlings, 'cause this mama's sportin' some new skills! I created a signature all by myself! Yes, folks, all by myself! Peace and love to you today, wherever you are, whatever your skills. **"knumbchuck skills, bowhunting skills, computer hacking skills..."Oh, and just for fun I'm throwing in another picture from last Sunday, featuring Derek and Natalie. Sweetness!
P.S. Maybe next week I'll join the Geek Squad...

The blog stylings of the talented Mr. Ethan

Ethan had his first blogging and picture editing lesson just now. Since 2 kids are at school, and little sis' is napping, I thought, why not combine two of my passions? Why not introduce them to each other? "Blogging, here is Ethan. Ethan, here is blogging. Mingle."
It wasn't much of a lesson. I just took a few pictures of us at the computer and asked him to pick the one he wanted to post on the blog. Then I asked him how he wanted to edit it. The result is the picture above.
After Ethan was satisfied with the picture, I asked him what he wanted to say to the blog readers. He said "Um, just tell them that I love them." Then he skipped off.
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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Date Night

There weren't a lot of people out tonight. Maybe it's because it was the end of a short heat wave, and many people would rather stay indoors in those conditions, or in their cool, breezy, beachy coastal towns. Whatever the case, there was no one to bother with taking our picture. So, as usual, Surprise! I took it upon myself. I know you find that shocking.

The goal was to get a shot where you could see the cake, gelato, and coffee on the table, and Derek and me smiling above it. I didn't exactly get the shot I wanted, mainly because it was just me holding the camera up and telling Derek to smile. He was so good to put up with it. Here is a sample of what came out...
As you can see, it tended to be either us, or the dessert, but not both together. But I think that kind of cut off pictures can be really great looking, so I'm working with that. Now I'll show you the individual pictures and break them down thusly:
I think I said something like "get closer, Derek, scoot forward." but I he was too comfortable to shift. Clearly this angle was not quite right. It's kind of artsy, though. To me, anyway.
Too bad this one got cut off right at Derek's eye line. Oh well, I gave it a soft focus and like the effect.
Finally, a shot of our goodies! That cake, that gelato, that coffee...all I can say it "MMmmm, good!" It's the best. It truly is. and pay no attention to the fact that the plate is actually right in front of ME... moving on...

This is very similar to the previous shot, I just edited it a little bit differently. But that cake, that gelato, that bears repeating. If all y'all ever want to visit us, we will take you to this particular place to consume this particular deliciousness. You will not be sorry.

Finally, Derek's eyes. I actually held the camera up as high as I could for this shot. Up until this picture, Derek kept saying "Why do you want to cut me out of the shot?" Well golly, Derek, I distinctly remember asking you to "scoot closer!" or "move forward." And when you didn't take me seriously your face did not make it into the frame. My arms are only so long. But thank you for finally scooting over. It made for a better picture.

Well friends, in the end, this post is all about Derek and me. Just Derek and me, folks. And I like how we look in purple. We're totally BFF, and can't believe we've been married for almost 10 years. Yowza! And you know what? Best almost 10 years of my life, baby. Best 10 ever. And I love this guy even more than I love this cake, gelato, and coffee.

Peace, I'm out.

The dolphins were HUGE!

I think it was three years ago when I first prayed that I would see a huge whale. I was at the beach, of course, and as I stared at the expanse of Pacific ocean laid out so beautifully before me, I just thought it would be fabulous to see the largest living mammal pop up to the surface and spout before continuing on his merry way to wherever it was he was headed. As I stared at the ocean I saw...the ocean. The ocean alone is terrific to look at, but I continued to pray and ask God for a whale sighting every time we came to the beach.
In a lifetime of beach going, I have found that it is common to see seals. (Well, here, I think they are actually sea lions, but I just call them all "seals.") Usually, you just see their little heads bobbing in and out of the water, and sometimes they playfully roll and dive and put on a great show. (Rabbit trail story time...After one of my miscarriages, I was at the beach , and I swear to you, the water was just teaming with sea lions. They were rolling all around, and it looked exactly like how a baby moves in a mama's tummy...and I took it as a sign that there would indeed be life rolling around in my tummy again... And there was. End of rabbit trail.)
A handful of times, I have seen otters swimming, and I think that they are some of the cutest sea animals in existance. Otters should win an award for their cuteness, and they are espescially cute if you see them live, swimming on their backs across the water's surface. But I had never seen a whale, and so I continued to pray to see one. And I continued to see...nothin'. But I am not opposed to praying that God will put little creatures in front of me. Because why not? I may never see any, but what do I have to lose for asking? (Now, if the critter or creature you are asking to spot out in the wild is actually a large carnivorous land animal, then you may have a lot to lose, namely your life.)
Then one day, when the summer was almost over, My entire family got an incredible show. We didn't see any whales, but we did see...DOLPHINS! and not just one or two! There were LOTS and LOTS of them! And they kept jumping and splashing and playing in the water, far out, and we were able to watch them for about an hour before they passed.
Since that summer, I have sometimes prayed to see whales, sometimes not. But I always spend a lot of time watching the ocean. Just three weeks ago, when I was at the beach with some friends, my friend Amy saw what appeared to be a whale, all the way out on the edge of the horizon, and it was spouting. She pointed to where she saw it, and when I looked, I saw...nothing, again. But then a few minutes later, I saw it's tail flicking up and back into the water. And I felt satisfied that my whale of a prayer had finally been answered.
Last week, when I was so determined to take the kids to beach by myself, my prayer was more like this: God, could you just bring out all the sea creatures you can think of? Just put on a huge Shamu show for us with dolphins, seals, otters, and whatever else you think would delight us? Just go crazy with it!" Well, if you read that day's post you know that as soon as we pulled up to the beach, there was a school of dolphins swimming right in front of us. I did not think that was a coincidence.
Now comes the paragraph where I explain the title of this post. (If you are still reading, you are a superstar for hanging in there. Pat your own back for yourself, since I can't be there to do it for you.) As you recall from yesterday's post, we took a surprise trip to the beach after school. Right away, we saw sea lions, of course. But a few hours after we arrived, we saw dolphins...and they were HUGE...because they were so close to close, in fact, that ocean loving Kristina was spooked enough to jump back onto land, ,even though she was hardly in the surf at all... Derek thinks that they were about 40 feet out from shore, but I think that they were closer. They were close enough that I could clearly see the color of their fins, a dirty brownish grayish color, (when they're far out, sometimes they just look dark.) and get a good idea of their size. I'd approximate it at roughly, oh, say, Ginormous. And you can quote me on that, for free.
So if you are praying that God will show you a huge whale when you go to the beach, and you don't see one, don't give up looking. You just might see sea lions, otters, or dolphins instead...and you still might see a huge whale...three years long as you don't stop looking.

P.S. This post is about seeing sea creatures from the safety of the shore. I have no desire to ever go scuba diving, and actually interacting with sea creatures IN THEIR OWN HABITAT...I don't even swim in water that may contain fish...and I have no desire to ever go on a safari, NEVER EVER EVER...I would be TERRIFIED! But you go on a scuba dive, or a safari, and come back, and show me your pictures. I will appreciate them. That's enough of the wild for me!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

"Surprise, kids, we're going to the beach...Again!"

This Mom had a secret..

Since today was the kid's early day, and the temperatures were expected to be in the 90's, we decided to drive directly to the beach after school. On the road, when we told them where we were going, there was much rejoicing...among three children...But folks, remember that we actually have four children. And the fourth one responded thusly:

(The look on Natalie's face in the second picture is HILARIOUS!)
Alas, the drama was all for naught. He had a fabulous time...along with everyone else. And I took these glorious pictures to prove it:
Derek, so handsome in his hoody
Sweet Natalie

And if anyone ever wonders if I'm serious when I say that this girl loves the ocean...
Yes, I am!
Until next time... Layta, Skayta...

P.S. I collected about a tablespoon of sea glass today, and it is lovely! I took a picture of the day's stash and then added it to my sum total to date, but I accidentally deleted the picture from the camera, so you'll just have to take my word for it.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Part III (The last in a trilogy of shoe posts)

These are the shoes that the children have worn all summer long. Yes, there is a pair of yellow rainboots in the mix, courtesy of the ecclectic footwear stylings of Ethan.

My personal fave are Natalie's summer sandals. I picked them out for her in May and they still fit, and she still loves them. When Kristina first saw Natalie's sandals, she said "They look like Francesca shoes." (Francesca is a friend of mine, in case you haven't been reading this blog very long.) When Francesca first saw these sandals, she said "Why don't they make those in our size?"
Well, Francesca, I don't know... I'll call the makers of Payless Shoe Source and get right on that for you.
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School shoes

The kids aren't allowed to wear their flip flops to school, (or as Natalie calls them, "hop-hops") so we went to Target to get them some new shoes. Right away, I saw these awesome kicks for Jeremy, and he liked them. Done and done. Snaps to Jeremy for being an easy shoe shopper.

Ethan's not in school, but right away he found and fell in love with these ugly bad boys...

Y'all, these shoes are an example of the kind of thing I never thought I would allow my children to wear...before I had children. But that right there is the great "Before" in life. You see, I never knew I would one day have an enthusiastic four year old son who would fall madly in love with these shoes, and my only reason not to purchase them was that they kind of look funny? They're even cheap. What can I say? Kid now sports these everywhere, even to bed last night. He's never been happier...and I think they're even comfortable.
Kristina is the queen of picky shoe shopping. Not one pair of shoes were to her standards, which can change from day to day...but if you read yesterday's post, you will see that she comes by that somewhat naturally...Dern. Also, her feet are shaped like mine, which is top wide, so they have to be wide enough, but not too long. We left Target without any shoes for Kristina. She went to her first day of school in an old pair of cheap shoes...that broke that day...something else I thought my children would NEVER do...before... but friends, the story does not end there. No, you see, because Derek is in our lives as husband to me and father to the children, and he is terrific. So last night, after the younger 3 went to bed, he took Kristina to find shoes. They went to 9 different stores. Do not adjust your screen, you read that correctly. I'm sure that going to 9 stores to find shoes that fit his daughter comfortably is one of those things that Derek thought He would never do...before...but alas, they came home with two pairs of super cute, comfortable school shoes...and a matching pair for Natalie! That, to me, makes Derek a rock star.

And they're even cute... Mad props to that guy.

Monday, August 25, 2008

"Hello, old friends, hello!"

I have recently (as in "yesterday") rediscovered an old (as in "roughly 5 years") pair of shoes. I haven't worn them much in at least a couple of years, but yesterday I tried them on and was very happy. The effect was part red toes, part long blue jeans, an overall combination I was pleased with.

Old shoes reworn and reloved? Friends, that is the very type of thing that can give this girl an extra pep to her step. But just know that I could try the same shoes on tomorrow and find them just...wrong.

I know, I know.

But it's the nature of the beast.

So for today, here's a loud shout out to shoes, new, old, and delightfully rediscovered.

May all your shoe wishes come true.