Wednesday, December 30, 2009
#1 Run It's Course? As I questioned the educational choices we had made for our children, I came to you seeking feedback. You came through in a big way and our school now looks a lot different because of it.
#2 Things I Enjoy Cleaning You all know how I adore housework. This post outlines my very favorite chores. (Make sure you check the comments to read about your favorite things to clean!)
#3 Mad, Mad, Mad! outlines my fury at the government handouts that began at the beginning of this year. Just a note, here. The CEO of AIG (which the government (I mean, We the People) bought out for $85 Billion) has opted to leave the company (with a multi-million dollar compensation package) rather than abide by the government imposed salary cap. Also, GM is getting a few Billion more to get them out of their "slump." Most of my news comes from NPR (notoriously liberal)--none of this is from Glenn or Rush. Just to validate my info.
#4 Friends was during a particularly hard moment in time. One commenter threw my own quote back at me, "Yes, just one suggestion: give yourself a break! We love you. And, good grief, we all have crap we need to change. It takes a life-time."
#5 Great to be Gross My son's 10th birthday. It was really gross.
#6 Thirty-two Years Ago, Today My mother's cameo appearance in which she describes my birth. We were in the paper.
#7 Thoughts on Shots I dared broach the subject.
#8 Wise Choice in which I philosophize about the importance of healthy friendships and highlight one particularly valuable friend.
#9 Danny Boy My Down Syndrome brother came to our home when he was still a toddler. My parents have adopted him and Zach, another Down's boy. These are a few thoughts about growing up with retarded siblings (and why I still use the word retarded).
#10 To the Busy Bodies where I gripe and complain.
#11 Newsy You get to read about the randomness in my life--and see my huge laundry pile.
Thank you for making 2009 fun to report. It makes me excited for next year.
Actually, I'm already excited for next year 'cause I like saying twenty-ten. Isn't it, like, waaay, more fun?
Happy New Year!!
I made this this morning.
Pretty close, I think. The kids all helped distress it (and will surely continue to do so). It will need paint and a coat of pod-tough polyurethane. But, it seats six children or four adults.
Hurrah for necessity!
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
I didn't get a picture of my boy. Crap. Well, he looked good, too. He makes me cry 'cause he is a ten year old boy who is enjoys ballet--and can take the heat of being the only boy doing it. And 'cause he still gets kinda grossed out by the fact that he has to touch girls in order to lift or turn them. Ewww. He also likes basketball and running.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Okay, take a deep breath because Here. It. Is. The Sanders’ Family Roundup!
We are really proud of the progress Justin has made since he started drug-court two months ago. His meth scabs are healing nicely and he is getting his public profanity under control. His next challenge is to cut back on his lottery obsession. Actually, he is in his first year of Pharmacy school and is a funny dad and super husband.
Emily is working on her new goal to pour her whiskey into a glass, instead of drinking it right out of the jug. She enjoys keeping up on Brad and Angelina, Jen and John, and is continuing her You Tube campaign to STOP THE HATE toward Britany. She also reads classics, blogs, stretches dollars and raises her massive brood.
Our oldest, _____, is nine and is working on his colors and shapes in school right now. He can sing the ABC’s the whole way through and only slurs the LMNOP part–but who doesn’t, right? He reads several grades above grade level. He is learning everything he can about rockets, space, flight, and has started saving for Space Camp.
Next in our “line-up” is ____, age seven. Finally, after weeks of practice, she can go potty on the toilet! Let’s all cheer . . . only three in diapers. She loves to watch Teletubies! _____ is our smarty pants who luh, huh, huves to read. She is wonderful with our baby–rocking her like a practiced adult, not the barely-four-foot tall creature that she is.
Our five year old, _____, had silver caps put on all of her teeth this fall, so she can finally eat something other than bananas and baby oatmeal. _____ likes to watch Judge Judy with her mom and can swear just like the plaintiffs. Boy, is she funny. She loves everything fancy and loves to dress-up. She says the nicest things and likes to surprise her mom by cleaning without being asked.
____ is three and can climb the ladder and get on the roof all by herself. WOW, isn’t she something? Sometimes she jumps off, but usually lands in the manure pile. She is getting handy with knives and helps make breakfast every afternoon. ____ is still our cuddly, sweet girl. She loves people and gets along with everyone. She is not shy and has many of the elderly people in our neighborhood wrapped around her finger.
Our newest arrival is _______. I don’t have it in me to even pretend about our lovely new babe. She is the blessed event of the year. Her June 16th delivery was fast and furious and her personality in these first six months has proved her worthy of it. She is always moving and loves her brother and sisters.
And You. You are our friends because we know you will get this joke. We are grateful for our Savior Jesus Christ, for our incredibly blessed lives . We are happy and healthy and looking forward to seeing you at the next AA meeting.
Monday, December 21, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
I have always been a poor speller. (I'm pretty sure I talked about this before.) It plagues my soul comparable only to the way my terrible house-keeping skills do. The spell checker isn't even that helpful. It will often tag words that are not spelled wrong. I try to look up words before I send them out into the great throng of people-smarter-than-me, but now and then, a mistake gets through.
In a recent post, I wrote about the ridiculous things my children demand. But, instead of ridiculous (laughable, preposterous), I wrote ridicules (derision, mockery). TOTALLY DIFFERENT WORD! If I had just written it once, it could have been written off as a typo, but I wrote it twice. Twice and not one of you thought it would be prudent to save me from myself.
Next time you notice a gross error such as this, please send me a private email and tell me. I don't care if you are gentle or rude, funny or pithy, just get the information from your head to mine.
Thank you, forever.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
it scares me. I have read the story many times, seen it on stage, watched Mickey Mouse and The Muppets interpret it. I've seen the freakily animated version and the Bill Murray version. I know that tears will spring into my eyes every time crippled Tiny Tim, full of goodness and typifying the light that Christ affords us, asks God to bless us, everyone. I know that the visiting ghosts will guide Scrooge into repentance and understanding. I know that many lives (except that of the prize turkey in the poulterer's shop window) will never again know the sadness of their lives previous to the fateful Christmas Eve night. All of this I know!
Yet, at the beginning, whether I am reading or watching or listening, I have a persistently uneasy feeling swimming around in my insides. I know that those scary ghosts are Going To come and Jacob Marley is Going To untie his head wrap, letting his jaw fall slack. The thought of all the freakyness happening in the relative safety of one's own bed is, well, unnerving.
I keep tuning in because the good in the outweighs the bad, but, I'm holding my pillow awfully tight until Scrooge wakes up on Christmas morning.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Moments later, my husband and I sprang from our warm bed because we heard water . . . a lot of water . . . and it was pouring out of the ceiling. Of course, the first thought is burst pipe! After a moment of sleuthing, we discovered our son taking a shower with the curtain outside of the tub walls. His shower was draining on the bathroom floor and, thereby, through the basement ceiling.
I came upstairs to find all five of my children awake (at least an hour before they usually wake up). They were on the couch staring at the Christmas tree. I remember doing that. Christmas is full of magic, when you are six. I squished in with them and we talked quietly, enjoying the lights, the companionship and the warmth under our shared blanket.
Then one child asked for egg nog. There is about 3/4 cup left in the carton. If I let her have some, the other six of us wouldn't get any. That would be terribly unfair. I told her "no" which invited a tremendous tantrum. This effectively ended quiet time.
After showering and starting breakfast, I logged on to read the headline: I Cheated and it Saved My Marriage. Wow. What a broken, fallen world.
After a little prayer of gratitude for my good and faithful husband, I cleaned up the water spilled by the child trying to water the tree, put yet another diaper on the baby--she keeps taking them off so it went on backwards this time--and made it before she did her duty. I raced around squelching a few childhood storms. The laundry is going, my bed is made, now a blog post is written.
It's 8:30 and I'm ready for a nap.
Friday, December 11, 2009
There is a list. It's kind of like asking for a favorite Christmas carol or scripture passage or child--the answer changes depending on my mood, my station in life and whether my pants are too tight.
In no particular order:
- Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. I especially love the golden thread that the woman uses to tie everyone together. It is a lovely analogy of a gift women have. We are, generally speaking, good at knitting hearts together with love.
- The Books of Genesis and Mosiah.
- Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. It is chock-full of wisdom and goodness.
- The Lord of the Rings trilogy by JRR Tolkien. Just a dang good story with every essential element: devotion, honor, horror, battles, suspense, bravery, fear, good, evil, greed, selflessness, humor, pain, hope . . .
- Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery. She makes me happy.
- Little Britches by Ralph Moody. He shows how much joy can be found in life--even if you are poor and have to work hard.
- The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom. You won't believe her faith and courage. Have you read this book? YOU MUST.
- Something by Jane Austen and something by Mark Twain.
Obviously, there are others that are greatly loved, but, today, right now, this is my top list. I think.
If you weren't (fill in your first name), what book would you be?
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Saturday, December 5, 2009
I want to know why EVERY woman I saw there was dressed to the nines, had the
most stylish handbags, had no hair out of place, and had faultless make-up---- including the ones with perfectly stylish babies and strollers.
I'm aware that I fell off the fashion train some time ago, but SHEESH! Where are
these women coming from? What do they do all day?
I identify with this sentiment completely. While I try to be clean and presentable, I don't check my hair or make-up multiple times daily. I have no spare change for the latest anything. It got me to thinking about a story I read years ago. It's about Marjorie Pay Hinkley, one of my Mothering Mentors. One of her daughters wrote:
When we were young, it was very uncommon to have mothers in the
classroom--or anywhere at school. I remember only one day. We were
having a program in the lunchroom. Chairs lined the room, and the children
sat in them as we waited for the mothers to arrive. I noticed with curious
interest as each mother came in and then made her way to sit with her
child. The mother who came through the door just before mine was wearing
spiked heels and a darling dress and had all of this foofy hair. Yes, she
was young and, I thought, beautiful. In fact, she looked like a teenager. As she made her way over to her tap-dancer daughter (of course, I thought), I looked up to see my mother come through the same door. With that instant juxtaposition, I will never forget the flood of security and happiness I felt when I saw her--no foofy hair or spiked heels, not very young or very beautiful, dressed in her typically tidy house-dress. There was a warm, comfortable feeling and the thought clear as neon: "Oh, I'm so glad that my mother looks like a real mother! Whatever would a person do
if her only mother wore darling dresses and had painted fingernails?"
~Pearce, Virginia H. Glimpses Into the Life and Heart of Marjorie Pay Hinkley. Deseret Book Company: Salt Lake City, 1999. pg 49. Emphasis added.
While I will do the best I can, I'd rather people look at me and know that I am a mother, not a celebrity. I'll do all I can to avoid "frumpy," I won't wear sweat pants unless I'm running, and I vow to try to remember to put make-up on both eyelids, but I don't want to look like a teenager. I'm pretty sure I would just come off looking stupid.
PS A comment on Betsy's blog included this quote. It must be included here.
I don't want to drive up to the pearly gates in a shiny sports car, wearing beautifully, tailored clothes, my hair expertly coiffed, and with long, perfectly manicured fingernails.
I want to drive up in a station wagon that has mud on the wheels from taking kids to scout camp.
I want to be there with a smudge of peanut butter on my shirt from making sandwiches for a sick neighbors children.
I want to be there with a little dirt under my fingernails from helping to weed someone's garden.
I want to be there with children's sticky kisses on my cheeks and the tears of a friend on my shoulder.
I want the Lord to know I was really here and that I really lived
— Marjorie Pay Hinckley
Friday, December 4, 2009
I worked out an entire diatribe about how we should pay for the wars we are fighting (Victory Gardens, collecting rubber tires and nylon stockings for the troops, war bonds, etc), but decided it was too much work. That was a topic that required thought and I don't want to think that hard.
Then I thought I would tell you all of the ridiculous demands my children place upon me ("You put the peanut butter on the waffle after the syrup and RUINED it!" and so on). After musing over that for awhile, I decided you've had enough of your own people demanding ridiculous things to ever want to read my junk.
My eight year old daughter made cookies all by herself the other day--from start to finish. I just washed the pans when she was done. I took pictures and everything, but decided that was a too close to the annoying "My Child is an Honor Student" bumper sticker and I didn't want your not-cookie-baking child to come beat up my cookie-baking one.
I wrote out an advent calendar that teaches a mini lesson about Christmas from the scriptures' perspective and thought about sharing. I didn't because (1) it may come off a little too NieNie, (2) I'd have to post twenty-four days straight and my children would never eat or wear clean underwear if I did that, and (3) you don't come to me for spiritual guidance (oh, please let that be true!!).
One day I actually started a post about how gross boys are because my husband and his brothers call each other to talk about their . . . well . . . their solid waste. You never saw that post because I couldn't bear to talk about it. It's just too disgusting.
I wanted to write about how I'm having a hard time getting into the Christmas spirit this year. No, I'm not depressed or pregnant or suffering from any other emotionally swinging malady. I finally concluded that it's because I am shopping online instead of in the cheery stores. I'm missing the displays of huge wrapped boxes, mechanical elves hard at work in Santa's workshop, and puffs of cotton snow. (Yes, I am aware some of you would argue that this isn't the real Christmas spirit. I'd like to argue that there are two different kinds of Christmas spirit. You see? This is why I didn't write about it. Semantics would spoil that post.)
People in my part of these Great United States keep making the "s" sound like "sh." They are pronouncing "nursery" like "nur shree" and "straight" like "shtrate." It makes me nuts. If only I never said "acrost" when I mean "across" and "bage" when I mean "bag," I could be more vocally critical.
So, see? There is the proof in the pudding. I've got nothin' to say, so I'll just keep my mouth shut (or my fingers still).