Thursday, August 9, 2012

Goal Post

Skater Girl was asked to come up with some goals for the remainder of the year. She sat at the kitchen table writing out her bullet points last night, but abandoned the task to put away laundry. The laundry led her to the pantry for a snack. Then she was distracted by the cat. Finally, it was bedtime. With her tucked into bed, I looked over the list.
The change in handwriting does not indicate a psychotic break on the part of Skater Girl. Her daddy just added his suggestions to the list. Skater Girl drew the line this morning along with an unpleasant notation for her sister to resist adding to the list. She sat muttering while recreating the list of goals sans ninjas and kitten rescue. It seemed like a good idea to point out that the additions were in the Mister's handwriting before things went any further. This list will not be presented to the skate coaches, but they would probably appreciate it.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Tidbits: Burn

It's running been running well over 100 degree temperatures all week. 105, 106, hundred-and-no-way-the-thermometer-is-right... These are the sorts of days when the whole family wants to go watch Skater Girl practice because the rink is last cool place in town. There is no ice time on Sunday afternoons, so everyone had to make other plans today.
  • Skater Girl and several other kiddoes from the rink gathered for a pool party this afternoon. The high points of the day included the hostess's two big, friendly Labradors joining the girls in the water and giant cupcakes. The skaters were every bit as happy in the water as they are on the ice.
  • Middle Child headed off to the lake with Perfect for a day out in the boat after church. They cruised the lake, went tubing, and hung out with Perfect's family. The sun's going down, and they're only just now heading home.
  • Only one daughter took sunscreen with her. *sigh*

Tuesday, July 31, 2012


The Boy left our home in 2009 due to some extremely poor choices. In the years since, there is often a daily struggle to love him. Not to love the him I wanted him to be, but to just love him on an entirely "as is" basis. (A mother's love is unconditional, but that doesn't mean a mother's heart gives up hope for better conditions.) Through a roller coaster of ups and downs, there has remained a carefully nurtured spark of hope that our family would one day be whole and our son would be a man of integrity following Christ. Time after time, the Boy has heaped sand on the embers of our hope. The mister and I respond by unearthing that glowing coal even though we burn our fingers trying to salvage our hope.
The Boy has been living in a temporary housing situation for the past few months less than an hour from home. The whole family made visits and attended meetings in preparation for his transition home in the Spring. The Boy made one plan after another for his imminent future; yet, none of his plans involved coming home as the season changed. Unfortunately, his plans kept falling through. Finally, he reached the point where it was a choice between the still open door of our home or foster care. And he did not choose home. It was an appalling, heartbreaking, shocking day.
Our current Bible study is over 1 Corinthians, and in the way of such things, exactly the right words were given. The week's study focused on Chapter 13 (here from the NASB):
13 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; [b] bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails...
How does love never fail when the one loved rejects those who love him? That question is the heart of the sorrow that the Boy desires to remain apart. The particular bit about love never failing does not refer to our failure to love our son. It translates to not collapsing. We have not collapsed, but have held firm in our love for our challenge child. Christ died on a cross for those who will accept the sacrifice, but He didn't avoid the cross though there are those who will reject His sacrifice. That is the essence of our relationship with our son. We will make sacrifices for him, and we will love him despite rejection because our love refuses to fail.


Middle Child qualified for her driver's permit on July 20th. That date coincided with a visit from the in-laws, so there was a full audience on hand for Middle Child's first attempt at driving. (The Mister's Pop opted out saying he would remain behind at the house, "... in case our student driver takes out the whole family." That may be prudence, or perhaps just just a lack of confidence.) The Mister's Mama and I drove over in the mom-mobile while the Mister, Perfect, and Middle Child piled into what will be the Kids' Car for the short trip to the high school parking lot.

The Mister has been looking forward to this as much as Middle Child has over the past weeks.
I parked away from where my baby girl was proudly climbing behind the wheel. (See it way over to Middle Child's right? There was no need to put the current mom-mobile in harm's way. Maybe it should have just stayed home with the Mister's Pop...) The MIL and I waved as the other vehicle slowly pulled away. Snapping a few photos, we observed the progress across the parking lot punctuated by brake lights and somewhat jerky acceleration. Whatever her initial technical ability, Middle Child was driving! There was an added degree of difficulty with other inexperienced drivers slowly cruising the school parking lot. Fortunately, none of them pushed the speedometer much over about 10 mph; though, 10 looks pretty fast when the first of one's children to drive is behind the wheel.

This particular rite of passage arrives at just the right time. It doesn't feel too soon, but neither does it seem like our girl was held back. The permit will allow over eighteen months of driving experience. This is her final week of the required forty-plus hours of classroom instruction, and the practice drive times are accumulating quickly with one or two a week with the Mister or I and one per week in the drivers' education car. The initial drive times have gone well, and Middle Child is shaping up to be a good driver. She takes instruction well, and she is generally careful without being frightened or overly cautious. In a blink she'll be chauffeuring the family around town.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Skate Mom

We've become acquainted with the parents of two of the littlest skaters from the rink. The Dad is a hockey guy, and the Mom is a real skater. (Real skaters can do jumps and spins. They know the names of the stuff they do, too. Most of our rink's Skate Moms are not real skaters. We generally are content to live vicariously through our children in this instance.) Last week they entered a Family Spotlight event at the Worlds competition that had a certain silliness with Dad playing the role of Darth Skater and Mom as a floral-robed Jedi Master with her two wildly careening and spinning little floral-patterned Paduwan learners. It was a cute piece relating to the reality that hockey and figure skaters do not always play well with one another that ended happily with Darth Skater gliding off hand in hand with the uber-girly figure skating Jedis as a Star Wars theme played. Those little skater girls will forever have the very cool memory of skating with their parents at the World Team Championships.

Since skating is a central part of our own Skater Girl's world, the mister and I are joining her on the ice. We will not be joining her in a competition setting. She will be skating with her friends in their advanced weekly workshop while Mom and Dad will be joining the Adult Intro to Skating class further down the ice surface. Okay, we'll get on the ice half way through the first class. Or maybe the second class. Either way, it's a step toward better understanding what our girl does almost every day.

Our class registration includes open skate passes so we can join the lovies when they go to skate for fun. Best of all, the kids seem genuinely pleased by our plan to join them rather than continuing to watch from our rink side seats. The mister will likely match Middle Child's skill level in a reasonable amount of time, and they will lap me over and over again while Skater Girl does little spins around them in turn. That's acceptable. This mama just wants to leave the sideline seats and join in the fun- even if the fun is really, really slow.  I suspect Darth Skater and Jedi Master Mom will be tickled to learn that they served as an inspiration to finally sign up for that introductory class, too.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Worlds 2012 Solo Events

Skater Girl and Primary Coach Alyssa displaying Monday's medals

Skater Girl competed in three solo events Monday at the ISI World Team Championships. She skated well in a tough group for her footwork, but was disappointed with her fifth place finish. Her second event was her program, and she skated beautifully. The judges rewarded her with a first place finish. (Eeeeee!) The final event in her 10 hour day at the rink was her compulsory. The elements she skated were good enough for a second place medal. (See video.) Her coaches, the mister, and I were all very proud of her effort and performance. It was a long day, but a good one!

Saturday, July 21, 2012


Skater Girl participated in an exhibition at the rink yesterday. She skated her "Incantation" program in preparation for Worlds competition this coming week in Dallas. She's come a long way from her first class a little over a year-and-a-half ago.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


The mister drove a Mustang just this color in high school. That tidbit made a sale a pretty sure bet for the car salesman once he overheard it. He has a thing for Mustangs, but they're not really family vehicles. The lovies and I have been plotting, planning, and dreaming about surprising the mister with his wished-for Mustang in time for his 40th birthday. We are a smidge early, but he seems okay with the timing.
What might be a little less brilliant is the addition of this fun-to-drive woo-woo car to the driveway (and our insurance) just in time for Middle Child to start driving. In fact, her first driver's education class fell on Monday. The additional hours of required driving practice outside of the class fall to her daddy because her mama is not emotionally equipped for teaching young people to operate motor vehicles while retaining any level of sanity. The mister is going to make those driving session much cooler than if Middle Child had to learn in a mom-mobile. He's looking forward to sharing the rite of passage with our girl, and he's entirely welcome to it.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Where It Went

Somehow days and weeks escape despite the intent to post a little update, story, picture, anecdote... yeah. So. There's all sorts of stuff that was intended for remembrance which will never be known because someone failed to post to the blog that has replaced those messy and time-consuming scrapbooks...

Gentle Reader didn't really miss that much, though.

Unless you wanted a play-by-play of the hours spent applying one sparkly little crystal at a time to Skater Girl's competition dresses? (A picture is worth a thousand words- and you'll be better off. Really.) It's pretty, though. And so shiny. Anywho. Placing each little stone... Oh. Hey. It's just like those scrapbooks...

Thursday, June 7, 2012


Ow. Skater Girl had five teeth extracted yesterday because there's not room in her mouth for all of them to fit. Eighteen hours later, our girl was back in the chair with her mouth wide open. Those newly spacious gums have been joined by brackets and wires on the remaining teeth. The application of full braces hard on the heels of the extractions were not originally scheduled quite so close together. The appointments were supposed to be a couple of weeks apart, but the orthodontist's computer somehow had the day of the braces installation listed as, "Available," though that was untrue since the date fell in the midst of the doctor's vacation. (Oops.) With skating competitions in June and July, the decision was made to cram the treatment into a whopping day-and-a-half.
This is good for skating, even though it means Wednesday afternoon through Sunday off the ice. (The dentist said so yesterday.) Even with explanations of dry socket (yuck), Skater Girl was already attempting to bargain herself back into the rink tomorrow. Her theory is that it would surely be okay to skate as long as she doesn't jump or spin. Eesh. Fortunately, her new skates came in yesterday (8 weeks to manufacture the boots!), and she will have her first fitting tonight. That may satisfy her jones for all things skating-related at least for today, and the promise of next week's accelerated training schedule with a competition on the 17th should cover the following week.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Web MD

Middle Child has a complaint. She's been directed by Dr. Mom to take ibuprofen, ice, and rest. Dr. Mom also suggested a consult with the orthopedic doctor and physical therapist. Despite all that disregarded advice, Middle Child used the internet to self-diagnose herself with shin splints. She shared the diagnosis with her mother last night explaining that shin splints could lead to stress fractures. She also proceeded to list the appropriate treatments for those with shin splints: ice, rest, NSAIDs, evaluation by a physician, and possibly physical therapy. Really?!

Monday, May 21, 2012


Mmmkay. Middle Child was perhaps unaware that her romance with Perfect was a blog topic. As she climbed into the mom-mobile after school today, she stated, "K. and I spent most of the period in Spanish today reading your blog." Uh-oh. Knowing I was busted, but choosing to avoid acknowledgment for a few more minutes, I asked her what they thought. They thought it was funny that Middle Child's mom googled, "pasty", with unfortunate results. She also observed that it was interesting to see how a parent's perspective is different from one's own  point-of-view. Then she let her poor mother off the hook by commenting on the selection of Perfect's pseudonym with a grin.

Monday, April 30, 2012


The Boy has made his initial school transfer to our area. We're still waiting for word about which credits will be accepted for transfer. In his self-paced program, he was a senior in standing needing only one and a half credits to graduate. Our local district has a different set of requirements (no technology course required, but two years Foreign Language required and three years preferred) for graduation. In the meantime, he has taken almost every possible Social Studies, Math, and Science course available at any level which will make it difficult to concoct a full day's schedule of classes if he needs to continue through next year to complete his credits.
The benefit of delaying his graduation until 2013 is to have the full graduation with the same class he entered kindergarten with in 2000. That means ordering formal announcements and senior photos, walking across the stage to receive his diploma with peers, and all the general pomp and circumstance surrounding the milestone. There is definitely an up side to delay in this instance. On the other hand, he's already earned some college credit. Rejoining the high school population after working at his own pace and gaining experience with college level courses has limited appeal. With a desire to get a job, the high school diploma and flexibility of a college schedule could make The Boy more attractive to potential employers as well. Either way, he is looking forward to finding the rhythms of a new routine.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

For the Girl Who Wants Nothing

Ah, in response to queries regarding Perfect's observance of Middle Child's birthday, here's the story: Perfect tried to determine what Middle Child desired for her birthday gift. She was less than forthcoming. He sought our help, but the mister and I were also at a loss because she professes to want for nothing. This is not a sorry state, but it does hamper the gift-giver. The mister and I were fortunate to have an iPod with more storage for music and apps than her previous model tucked away for her. Since Perfect was aware of our surprise, the mister and I gave in to conjecture that he might choose an accessory or iTunes to go along it.
Her birthday arrived, and her first act was to be downstairs a little after six in the morning with the front door wide open. When the inevitable questions regarding this odd behavior were put to her, Middle Child revealed a vase holding a dozen perfect pink roses. Perfect had nudged her via text minutes before suggesting she check out the front porch. (Smart to leave his special delivery and be gone before messaging her since she's possessed of bed head and would be horrified to find him standing at the front door when she's yet to change out of her pajamas.) Nestled amongst the flowers, she discovered a handmade birthday card. There's a relative certainty that her birthday could hardly have started off better.
Fast forward through one of the few school days when she had nothing yucky to report, and Perfect was back again to join the family for a Chinese food (her favorite) dinner to be followed by a terrible serenade of a cookie cake afire. He arrived with yet another gift accompanied by the second uniquely created card for our girl's big day. A talented artist, he drew her a rose and framed it for presentation. The guy's got style.

Friday, April 27, 2012


Note to Self: It's a bad idea to enter, "pasty examples," as a Google search. Next time, just go with, "pasty recipes."

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


                       I love these faces.


Last night, the Waits came to dinner. Despite a coffee with Laura during one of Skater Girl's Saturday workshops and a trip to the rink for the Waits offspring to skate, there was much to catch up on and discuss. Even with the evaporation of hours, it seems like we scarcely touched the tip of the conversational iceberg. Not unlike a doctor's appointment, there were many questions regarding their ministry in Puerto Lempira that went unasked as well as tidbits about their family, daily life, and mutual friends and acquaintances. (That can all be fodder for e-mail and blog surfing in the future.) The dangers of too little time, and the best sort of visit that leaves one wishing for more at the close.

One of those intriguing topics with Laura was her questioning why people sometimes feel the need to trot out justifications for purchases, possessions, behaviors, etc. with her. (Ah, my humble friend...) She isn't the sort of puffed-up person to recognize how the comparable lack of material things in the family's life challenges those who know them. It's not that they do not wish for, enjoy, or acquire stuff, but they did sell everything to head off to the relative wilds in service to others. Shedding the creature comforts and excesses inherent in an area that has been relatively unscathed by the recent economic downturn is going to bring about some justification. Justification not born of any real or imagined judgment on Laura's part necessarily, but out of questions that one might ask oneself when faced with the cost in time, money, and energy to maintain the suburban dream while seeking Christ.

This opinion is formed of experience in giving consideration to life and priorities between their home and our own. Having known the family in their American Dream achieving days and experiencing some of the trepidation felt by Laura regarding the transition to their big adventure, there is much to admire in the changes they chose to embrace on discovering God's call. Comparison of the relative cost of a child's sponsorship providing education and basic necessities to the far more frivolous expenses of a pretty dress for Middle Child or the scheduled time devoted to the rink with the fluid daily work of Reach Out Honduras helps to put our use of resources in a perspective that can be lost in the bounty of Plenty. By living with Enough (or less), the Waits gift our family (and apparently others) with the opportunity personal examination in a light that can bring about purposeful giving, personal appreciation of what one possesses, and temperance of excess.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Good News

Good News:
1. I'm not pregnant. (I know you were sweatin' that one.)
2. Tornadoes failed to carry off our house, and the termites have yet to take it down.

Speaking of good news, Sunday was Easter. We dressed up, went to church, and then crept around the side of the local nursery to take pictures with the daughters muttering about, "... getting busted," for being there when the business was closed. We were in the parking lot- hardly breaking and entering. We were not arrested, or even interviewed, for trespassing though there were two patrol cars in the very next parking lot. (Living dangerously!) Still, in keeping with the times, we should definitely post the pictures of our illicit visit online.
Easter Dress... and to the back left... stacks of mulch.

I see the woman she is becoming so clearly in this image.

This is what the mister and Perfect did while the assorted females were dress shopping.

Okay, so the last one wasn't part of our wild (*cough*) photo shoot at the nursery. It also has nothing to do with Redemption, Easter, or Jesus. Oh, wait... the ladies were shopping for Easter dresses. So, there you go.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Deja Vu

The final week of March, 2000 was memorable. My feisty Mammy passed away on that last Sunday on the mister's and my sixth wedding anniversary. The very next day, we discovered a termite infestation in Old House. On the heels of the termite news, we loaded up our littlies and hit the road headed to West Texas for Mammy's memorial ahead of strong storms causing tornadoes to touch down around the metro area. That particularly disastrous week ended with an allergic reaction that landed me in the E.R. Seriously.
Then again, that E.R. visit resulted in a batch of labs based on symptoms that seemed unrelated to the allergic reaction, but might have been a result of the stress of the preceding days. The results led to our family doctor opting to make a phone call on Saturday, April 1st that was no joke rather than waiting for Moday to let his nurse report the findings. All of the tumult ended with the (Surprise!) news that we were expecting Skater Girl.
This week we have Middle Child's BFF#1 staying with us after a death in her family over the weekend had her parents leaving the state for the service. Yesterday, I noticed a weird thing on the wall next to the fridge. Today, I whacked at the thing with the mister looking on in case I needed to run screaming. Sure enough, the whacking revealed (Crud. Crud. Crud.) termites hiding in the wall of New House. I scheduled the termite guy to come visit Thursday since I'll be stuck home for my infusion anyway. (The same infusion that I have an allergic reaction to every time. Awesome.) We're currently monitoring tornadoes touching down in the metro area.
Who knows... the way things are going, I'm developing a certain level of concern that I could make medical history winning myself and my doctor a place in the medical journals by turning up pregnant despite a hysterectomy.

Friday, March 30, 2012


Yesterday I was almost early for breakfast with friends. I say, "almost," because I stopped the car to add a few songs to a play list. (New Car plays my iTunes through the speaker. This is brilliant. Maybe even better than airbags because I use it more. That opinion will probably be reversed if I ever do have occasion to use those air bags. Anywho.) After adding to that playlist, I looked up to discover it had somehow been a half hour. And I was now late.
Since this is not really a new thing, the friends were not shocked. They were very gracious about my tardiness. No one pointed out how incredibly inconsiderate it is to be late. We had a lovely breakfast, and then they headed off to work and physical therapy while I walked down to the Hallmark store to pick up cards for the April birthdays and anniversaries. My "Cope" and "Encouragement" cards were also depleted, so there was a desire to re-stock the Sucks-to-be-You stationery. Armed with the calendar that lives in my phone, it was a relatively quick shopping trip.
With a little time to spare, I made a call to my Dad to see how a doctor's appointment had gone the day before while heading over to the market for produce. The call was short, but the shopping was excellent. Blueberries for $.88. (Be still my heart...) A rainbow of peppers on sale. Oooh, and Pink Lady apples... The pineapple smells yummy. All sorts of good things made it to the check out to be hauled out to the car.
Except that my newly awesome play list didn't kick in... and my phone was nowhere to be found even though I knew I had it since the conversation with my Dad ended after I walked into the market. Back in the store, retracing the path back through the check stand produced nothing. Wandering through the produce trying to remember if I used both hands to inspect the pineapple or pick through the blueberries produced more nothing. Finally, the workers putting out still more fruit and vegetables asked if I needed help. One headed off to see if a phone had been turned in while the other explained to me how to use the GPS tracking feature to find my missing piece of technology. Fortunately, the explanation was short-lived since someone had in fact turned in my phone.
Back at the car, I found a host of messages and missed calls. Not only had I left my phone somewhere in the market, but my reusable coffee cup was still at the Hallmark store. (This is the real reason why I have a reward card there... it's listed under my phone number.) The Hallmark ladies had been trying to call so I could return for my cup of now cold coffee. Backtracking seemed to be the order of the day.
It was likely nothing short of a miracle that I managed to remember the way home, though "Where Is My Mind," (added during that little pre-breakfast stop) was an entirely appropriate song to have playing along the way.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Don't cry over spilled milk. Really? That saying fails to take into account the extensive splatter pattern of a full 8 oz. cup of milk escaping the hand of a child to bounce off the floor. "So-and-so spilled milk, but she's cleaning it up..." is not what a mom wants to hear first thing in the morning- especially prior to the consumption of coffee. This is a fairly regular occurrence, and that regularity makes each subsequent spill seem worse than the last.
Downstairs, the child in question was miserably attempting to sop up milk dripping from cabinets and appliances as well as pooled around her on the tile. In one of those moments guaranteed to garner Mother of the Year, I snapped at her to let me take care of the mess. Milk was everywhere. She stood aside with an expression the mister says would have been appropriate at the scene of someone who had killed off a beloved grandmother by misadventure.
Fifteen minutes later the milk was off of every surface visibly affected, and others were wiped down just-in-case, because milk dries to the consistency of shellac. By that time, we needed to hit the carpool lane. Skater Girl accepted help getting into a raincoat and covering a diorama (due yesterday) in a plastic bag to protect it as a sign of parental remorse. We headed out into the rainy morning, and made it to the drop off just before traffic began to line up. She seemed cheerier after receiving an, "I love you! Have a better day!" just before exiting the car to make a run for the school.
On the drive home, the possibilities for avoiding more incidents like this one without depriving a growing child of her daily dairy intake occupied my thoughts. I wonder if she's too old for a sippy cup? After all, her mama's afflicted by the same tendency to spill. Except that my Super Power typically manifests itself with coffee. (Thankfully, I drink it black which is easier to clean up than that doctored with milk or sweeteners.) As a result, reusable ceramic coffee cups with silicone lids have become all the rage at our house. While I can still spill despite the lids, the mess has been greatly minimized. Yes, sippy cups just might be the answer if such things can be found in patterns not suited to the toddler set.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Next week, there is no evening Skate School while the public schools are on hiatus for Spring Break. The rink has an alternative for the skaters, though. Each skate school student is slated for four complimentary tickets to the hockey game. Our family has never attended a game, but it might be fun to go next week. The family can go at no charge, and we can invite Perfect along for a greatly discounted rate, too. $12 for a night's entertainment for five people is a pretty good bargain. If the kids enjoy the game, Pleasant Suburban Elementary PTA has discounted seats reserved for another game in a couple of weeks, so there's the possibility of a follow-up, too.
The forecast threatens rain for a portion of Spring Break. That would be less disappointing if not for a string of days in the 70's and 80's that raised hopes for continued lovely (if not quite seasonal) weather while school is on a break. (Then again, we still need the rain.) At least there's daytime skate camp for one of the lovies, and that won't be affected by wet weather. There's likely to be more of a challenge to Middle Child's plans since she's largely one to be out walking, running, or skateboarding through the neighborhood with friends or Perfect. Ah, well, maybe the big kids will be up for movies, baking, or other indoor plans in addition to their planned outings to the skating rink and mall.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


This weekend marked a couple of post-op milestones. The recovery period from the knee replacements turned out to be a bit more that the few weeks that were scheduled out in the calendar between July and August. After 7 (and a half) months, the mister and I passed the turn we usually take on our one mile walks. In continuing onward, we committed to two miles. The kids who run and skate many miles daily were not particularly impressed, but it was a big deal to the grown-ups at least. With no ill affects from Saturday's lap, the mister and I knocked out two on Sunday.
Not only did the weekend signal the reinstatement of a reasonable exercise, but another, less important, little goody was added to the list of new Can-Do items. Sunday morning, a pair of high-heeled boots that had been relegated to the give-away pile were back in circulation. Along with the heels, out of the recesses of the closet came a pair of extra-long, dark-washed, makes-me-look-skinny jeans. (Okay, not skinny so much as thinner. It's still a win.) The wardrobe change was as unexpected as the walking distance, but almost as good.
There are still a few more unresolved issues post-operatively speaking. Skater Girl tries to refrain (She's a big fan of, "If you can't say something nice, then don't say anything at all.") from commentary, but her face still says, "Ewwww!" whenever she happens to see my legs bared by shorts or a skirt. I'm also aware of the less-than-stellar appearance of those four-inch seams running up and down each knee. And the accompanying scars above and below from the robotic apparatus being, um, temporarily attached during the course of the procedure. (Ew.) And the ones on the sides from a couple of later minor procedures related to complications. Okay, the kid's right. Those new knees are ugly as sin, but maybe not so much when encased in those might-as-well-be-skinny jeans.


Middle Child is going to run next year, but she's only planning on Cross Country. Generally, the kid loves to run. She's just determined to avoid running in circles around a track over and over again. There's a certain relief in knowing that she's decided to continue on in her sport. That relief is largely due to the reality that she simply does not run outside of scheduled practices and team runs- probably a good thing since there seem to be an excess of creepy guys who honk and yell icky comments at the girls. There's something to be said for staying in a group...
Laura and her sweet family are in for an extended visit. There's much Reach Out Honduras business to be attended to during their stay including the 2nd Annual Golf Tournament planned for April in the Dallas suburbs and raising support for the various aspects of the ministry. Knowing of the family's many commitments there was no expectation of seeing them before next week. Imagine the thrill of opening an early morning e-mail Sunday to find that Laura and the younger children would be attending service at our church. Definitely the best sort of surprise for our family, and even more so for Artist (who was part of last summer's trip to Puerto Lempira) who had no idea she who would be found in the halls of the church.
Spring Break is just around the corner, and it cannot arrive soon enough. Our girls + Perfect are looking forward to meeting Laura's kids at the ice rink for an afternoon open skate. It will also give Laura a chance to meet Perfect. And for Perfect to meet this family with a mission precious to our household. Middle Child approves of the plan because she wants to spend time with our friends, but she also has next week earmarked for quality time with Perfect.
Speaking of family, we're still waiting for the Boy's disposition to be sorted out. There's always red tape in school transfers, but this one has been especially complicated. There's been an awful lot of back and forth with the Powers That Be, but no real progress. The Boy is frustrated, but unusually patient for a sixteen year old. His mama is still hoping for the increasingly unlikely homecoming before his upcoming birthday. We've missed family celebrations with him for 14, 15, 16, and it's looking like 17 is slipping away as the weeks drag on without resolution. If you're the praying sort, please keep our family's latest attempt at being reunited in your prayers.

Monday, February 27, 2012


In the latest, "You look just like that actress..." sighting, the next door neighbor and her husband vote for
Walking Dead's Sarah Wayne Callies. With no idea who they were referring to, we made a quick online search. Skater Girl concurs. I see the resemblance here, but not so much in other images.
Middle Child and I are both zombies today. Last night's movie night (a zombie-free pick: The Vow) was interrupted by a false fire alarm at the theater. Fortunately, our screen was still showing the previews when the alarms went off requiring evacuation. (Somebody else's kid is in big trouble for that little stunt...) Waiting for the all-clear, and then for the movies to be restarted, meant returning home well after bedtime. There I found Middle Child parked on the stairs to waiting to ask for help on her course selections for next year. (Which she had all weekend...) We were up well past midnight. A few hours later, we were the walking dead shambling downstairs and out to the car at a quarter to six.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Truth or Dare

I used to wonder why swimsuits were in stores in February. Today it's 76 degrees outside. I dare say this not only explains the swimsuits, but also the seemingly early clearance on outerwear that was displayed right next to the teeny-weenie bikinis. Middle Child picked out a swimsuit, but I opted for perusing the coat clearance instead. My decision was in part based on it being (Let's just say it again to be completely clear.) February- which is clearly a Winter month in North America. At least, it's supposed to be winter.

That preference for coats this time of year was not solely related to what sort of weather ought to be gracing Pleasant Suburb though. One ought to be honest, after all.  That said, just because honesty is a virtue does not make it a desirable trait in clothing. The swimsuits won't lie to me. Worse, they don't lie to anyone else about precisely what shape my body is in at the moment, either. The coats? They're far more likely to hide the truth. And right now, the truth could stand to be hidden for at least a few more weeks.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


The Skate Coaches signed off on the application for Off-Campus Physical Education next year. If the school district approves the application, then Skater Girl can avoid the horrors of dressing out and a gym that reeks of Eau de Feet. The Skate Coaches are heroes, and only partially because my kid may avoid the ick-factor of the middle school locker room. It's a very good thing to see the positive reinforcement and encouragement they shower on Skater Girl. Some days, I just want to cheer for the coaches because they are building up our girl in ways that extend beyond her skating technique.

After a day heavy with skating and skating-related administrative tasks, Middle Child came home and announced that she's thinking of quitting Cross Country. I'm not sure what to make of that because she's the first to admit that much of her identity is tied up in athletics. More importantly, she has spent years running because she loves it. Now, she says she doesn't love running, and, worse, that it's become a source of stress. I'd like her coach to understand that she's not motivating my kid and her version of discipline has sucked the joy out of the workouts that have long fueled Middle Child.

This weekend is our school's home meet, and Middle Child's Other Mother/small-group-leader-at-church-for-the-past-four-years will be volunteering. That's a chance for that Other Mother (OM) to break out the Rah-Rah at least. Plus, this particular OM also happens to be a former co-worker and current friend of the CC/Track Coach. Maybe the OM can shed some nonprejudicial light on whatever is going on with our kid and her coach because all I know is what I'm hearing from the runner girls. (Let's face it, the court of public opinion can be absolutely wrong when assigning motive. And this court is full of teenage girls...) Right now, the hope is simply that our girl chooses to stay with the athletic program for at least the Cross Country season next Fall before deciding to hang up her competition spikes.

Heady Stuff

Happy Birthday to me. I eyed a certain mirror in the boutique portion of our local market for months. It was finally marked down, but I failed to act before someone else bought it. It was a very good surprise to discover that someone else was my mister.
We added a pair of super-sized wall sconces to grace either side of the mirror, and the mister installed all the goodies.

In other news, I spent the better part of the weekend in bed with Bowling Ball Head. Fortunately, my brain failed to successfully claw it's way out of my skull. Unfortunately, the head cold coincided with Girls Night Out to celebrate my 38th birthday. (That's an indicator of the level of Badness: GNO is practically sacrosanct, and one is treated on one's birthday. That's not to be missed.) The near inability to so much as stagger down the stairs made driving, dinner out, and (Dear Heavens...) movie theater sound seem less than appealing.Thankfully, the Girls are all available to make this Sunday special instead.

Monday, February 20, 2012


That, "freeform crochet," thing may or may not be working out as intended. The teeny ball on the bottom right is all that remains of the initial skein of yarn. The belt/blanket is still alarmingly short... like 2.5 inches long. The width is another story entirely. Measuring a glorious 78", it's far too long to ever be a belt (and too ugly if one is honest) for anyone less svelte than a Sumo wrestler, and the chosen yarn is just too itchy for a scarf. (This may be why most people use a pattern.) Still. I think the mister and I will just have to head out in search of more yarn. Way more yarn.
Right now, only a half dozen skeins are in my possession. (I didn't want to buy more than I might use. Oops.) That's only going to add a foot and half to the belt scarf/blanket based on my calculations.
Twenty-one inches of length is paltry compared to the ambitious width already bestowed. The mister has tactfully suggested that perhaps the width might ultimately serve as the length. Maybe so. Except then the width is too small. Either way, we're headed out to hunt down more yarn. Surely with the variegated stuff one need not be overly concerned about dye lots. At least, that's what I'm hoping.

Thursday, February 16, 2012


My mother-in-law and I both celebrate February birthdays. This morning she called to wish me a happy one. I thanked her for the cute new shoes I picked out courtesy of birthday funds she supplied. (A pair of loafers just right for wearing with jeans.) My birthday shoes made her laugh. Well, not mine specifically, so much as birthday shoes in general. Apparently, she, too, could have been the recipient of a pair of birthday shoes.
My sister-in-law and her preschool-age son were out shopping when the little guy saw the perfect birthday gift for his Gram. His mama snapped a photo of the goody in question:
Holy Hallelujah. I guess J. is a little young to understand that Southern ladies of a certain age do not typically wear stripper shoes. Those babies would certainly have qualified as a pop of color, though. I've been giggling all day at the thought of my mother-in-law teetering down the aisle at church on a Sunday morning in her blingy could've-been birthday shoes.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


In an effort to avoid the potential abandonment of belt/blanket because it stubbornly remains a belt verging on an extremely skinny scarf, the investment in a half dozen or so skeins of the Cherry Chip yarn have served to strengthen my commitment. (Not to mention the need to procure packages with a matched dye lot before they become unattainable.) Wastefulness is actually a pet peeve, so the time already put into the rows of stitches and the first skeins of yarn need to go toward a purpose.

Full utilization of resources is a must. "Waste not, want not." These are words that my Mammy and her mother, my Great-Grandma Zelma, carried forward post-Depression and post-War to the extent that it's quite possibly imprinted on our genetic material. We generally seek to be good stewards when this tendency is used for good, in its evil form we risk starring on Hoarders. That means that the half dozen skeins of Cherry Chip must become something. That something might as well be belt/blanket. Hopefully, the project will be completed before the brown, cream, and dark red variegated yarn is out of sync with our home decor.

Besides, in the spirit of utilization, crocheting is as good a project as any for multitasking during the time spent watching endless repetitions of this:
In case Gentle Reader has an inquisitive mind, Skater Girl fudges her first jump, and the second jump combination is a Loop, Loop, Loop series. She's currently enamored of Loop jumps, and stacking them one on top of the other in combination is her Happy Place. That's Skate Coach #3 explaining about the goofy arms in the jumps at the end.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


This morning, I read this interview with a former Hallmark writer. Though the practice is perhaps old-fashioned, I am still likely to mail greeting cards for special occasions if not sending a gift. While e-mail and facebook messages are fine for remembrances, there's something about taking the time to pick out, sign, address, and mail or deliver a card... Someone else may have dreamed up the words, but it took a really, really long time to read every card on the rack before either settling for the one mailed or, rarely, experiencing the thrill of finding one that says exactly what I would've said myself.

That said, we mailed no Valentine's cards at all this year. I chose one to send the Boy, but it was a little too precious. (I don't know what I was thinking. He's old enough to drive, so the cartoon elephants were clearly for a much younger audience.) The girls each received a small gift, and the mister and I made goo-goo eyes at each other over breakfast this morning. We're well-suited after marking eighteen Valentine's Day's together, and the expressions of love are made daily in a hundred little ways that are not necessarily pink, red, or heart-shaped. Skater Girl has her last classroom card exchange today, and she also created hand-made cards to give each of the Skate Coaches. Valentine's Day is generally just a nudge to show appreciation for the people we care for rather than the setting for any sort of grand display. Well, except for Middle Child.

She has been working away on Perfect's Valentine. She's on her third or fourth attempt at making him a friendship bracelet from embroidery floss in his favorite colors. This is a major undertaking because his wrists are as big around as her upper arms. (She was wily and tried one of his bracelets on... only to discover it went all the way up her arm.) She finally finished the bracelet late yesterday, and that will be delivered to Perfect tonight nestled amongst some of his favorite treats. She has no earthly idea what he has planned, but I'm sure whatever he's dreamed up will be, as usual, perfect.

Thursday, February 9, 2012


Dr. Seuss's Oh, the Places You'll Go!, refers to Waiting Places. (One does tend to wind up there from time to time.) Despite a range of dates, we're stalled in one such Waiting Place for answers as to when The Boy might be home.  The insurance company required a switch to their in-house pharmacy for I.V. medication infusions this year, and January saw a four day wait for the administration. February's wait is at a week and counting... That Waiting Place leads to the waiting room outside my doctor's office this morning to determine whether or not a cold has blossomed into an ear infection. Waiting on a friend's medical scan, is now waiting on an appointment with a Specialist because the scan revealed more questions rather than answers. These are the gloomier sorts of Waiting Places.
Thankfully, there are other sorts. Like waiting for the coffee to brew. The wait for Shelley-in-Poland and Laura-in-Honduras and I to catch up in person while they're on their furloughs to Pleasant Suburb. The wait for the belt/blanket to develop into a string, then a belt, and now onward to who-knows-what. The wait while Skater Girl practices her stroking, spins, and jumps toward her first big skating test and resuming competition. The wait for Middle Child to come home and launch into her play-by-play of an evening at Perfect's house. Or her day at school. Or why she loves purple. My turn for the next move in Words With Friends. The in-between days waiting for Wednesdays and Saturdays when the mister and I have our dates. Opening each morning's Bible study e-mail from the church to see what little gem is waiting inside. These are the best sorts of waits. These are the anticipatory Waiting Places full of promise and potential.
That's the thing. In these Waiting Places, there is no one simple thing. There is more likely to be a whole host of just about everything. So. I'll gather my things, and sit down to wait. Eventually, it will all shake out. If not, at least we'll know what becomes of the belt/blanket with the addition of a few more rows.

Saturday, February 4, 2012


  • The belt/blanket is coming along. I'd post a photo, but, really, it's still just a fat string developing into a scarf.
  • Skater Girl and I are headed to the rink tomorrow before church to observe a testing session. After mastering the Basic Skills, a skater may choose to enter the USFS test structure. The tests at this point require months of  practice and coaching before registering for sessions where a panel of judges determine whether one passes or fails. With Skater Girl's first Moves in the Field test expected in May, it will likely be a plus to see how the sessions run without the pressure of performing.
  • The Boy was premature in his conviction that his homecoming would occur this week. The Powers That Be suggest a time frame rather than a specific date. Either way, the family reunion should happen sometime in the next six weeks.
  • Middle Child had her second pair of ear piercings done today. (I had my second set of earrings added at the same age, so it would have been hypocritical to have her wait longer just to be really sure.) She was a little nervous about the potential for pain. Perfect went along to offer additional encouragement, and they both seemed pretty pleased with the results.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Gifted and Talented

Every other year the paperwork is submitted for Skater Girl's GT testing. Every other year the committee informs us that she's just not Gifted and Talented material. One of my BFFs (who works for the school district and has two children in the program) and every single one of Skater Girl's teachers seem convinced that the kid is a fit for the program; therefore, we persist in filling out the paperwork to avoid robbing our daughter of an opportunity.

There's a fatalistic attitude toward the testing in our household based on the repeated rejections. Still, we fill out the pages and pages of redundant information required to request that Skater Girl be considered. (The mister and I theorize that filling out the application is a means of weeding out applicants based on whether or not their parents possess a vocabulary sufficient to restate the same things over and over again in different words.) The program claims to serve the quirky, creative student who enjoys exploration. Thus far, the Powers That Be have not seen that in Skater Girl.

Still, yet another of her teachers took the time to contact us asking that we submit the referral forms. He says this year could be different because the middle school program is offered in individual subjects. Whatever the outcome, there is one clear benefit in the process. Having to cite specific examples of the applicant's supposed genius means recognizing the strengths of the child. The examples taken from Skater Girl's interests in music, creative writing, and skating paired with her teacher's classroom observations, high grades, and test scores combine to present a bright, capable young lady developing a variety of talents and abilities. Whatever the findings of the GT Identification Committee, Skater Girl's application reveals that she is both gifted and talented.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Picture Post: Perfect

There were more silly pictures than not. That said, the darling duo looked pretty snazzy. That's not really what caught my eye, though. I love their silliness, and their sweetness. They are both rone to occasional nervousness that strikes when one or both of them find a situation where he/she is suddenly uncertain of what to do. One such moment arrived when, in the midst of the picture-taking, Middle Child and Perfect exchanged flowers. The corsage was on an elastic band that fit around our girl's wrist. (Thank God. One can imagine how easily pinning a corsage on a strapless dress might go awry.) Unfortunately, Perfect's boutenierre came with no such thing. The mister stepped in to help the kids figure out how to pin the rose on Perfect's shirt rather than on his person. Middle Child and Perfect had no trouble imagining the results had she forged ahead to Do It Herself.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Picture Post: Tested

Middle Child and Perfect submitted to a half hour of wandering around the Village Friday night in search of locations for their Winter Formal photos. We unanimously agreed that pictures would be taken a half hour earlier the following evening to capture more daylight. They were silly, and it was fun to just watch them goofing around.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Picture Post: Sample

Just one little picture tonight, but more to follow with the silliness of the test shots and the sweetness of the darling duo heading off for their big night out.
Middle Child and Perfect at the Village

Friday, January 27, 2012


Unexpected * July 13, 2008
  Sometimes things crop up unexpectedly. This sunflower blooming in a field of brick and stone caught my eye years ago as the mister and I explored an area being built to replicate a European village. The first shops were open and few homes inhabited, but much remained unfinished. In the years since the photo was taken, the Village has become a popular site for photographers shooting portrait sessions.

Tomorrow night, Perfect and Middle Child, dressed in their formal finery, will be photographed by their beaming parents in the Village. In preparation, tonight will find us snapping test shots at the site. Perfect and Middle Child may be hoping this effort will yield a shorter session of parental photography before they head off to enjoy their much-anticipated evening.
The Chapel at the Village near sunset

In the midst of planning the final details for this weekend's Winter Formal, a phone call came that was no more expected than the sunflower sprouting from that jumble of stone in the Village. The Boy was calling to say he returns home in two weeks. The unlooked-for news comes as a shock. Having just made it through our third Christmas without him, we are unprepared for his nearly unheralded restoration.

Even while executing this weekend's plans, the family must prepare for the return of our prodigal son... again. The sense of anticipation that characterized his previous homecoming and our family's short-lived reunion is tempered by trepidation over his abrupt secondary departure a year ago. One can only hope that this time will be different, and that he will choose to bloom and grow here among us rather than uprooting himself and leaving us broken.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


I arrived at the school to pick up Skater Girl before dismissal for a doctor's visit, and duly presented my driver's license to prove she was mine. The secretary called down to the classroom. As I stood waiting, it seemed like the secretary was staring. I tried ignoring her. Finally, she said, "You look like an actress..." *sigh* Here we go. I waited for her to decide which actress she was seeing in my apparently common features.

There are several different names that come up after the initial, "You look like someone..." I waited while she continued her examination. Naming off little factoids while seeking to come up with the actress's name, the secretary mentioned that, "...the one I'm thinking of dated the guy who is with Angelina Jolie." Ah, yes. Of course. Only one of the most likely names has been linked to Brad Pitt. I suggested that perhaps she meant, "Juliette Lewis?" She grinned and clapped. I'm never quite sure whether to be concerned or flattered by these comparisons. My usual response is to feel awkward and hope for the subject to change.

Her final question was a new one though. She asked if my husband looked like Brad Pitt. The answer to that was, "To my eyes, absolutely." Thankfully, my kid turned up so I could end the conversation with a hasty exit.

Monday, January 23, 2012


Middle Child and I are planning to try our hands at quilting. My great-grandmas, grandma, and mom have all successfully created heirloom quality quilts. Middle Child has recently discovered a talent for hand stitching in her Technical Theatre class, and this seems like a fun project for us to take on together. My Mom (a.k.a. Grandma) is sending us a care package of supplies to encourage our new hobby.

Today, I ended up with a crochet hook and a skein of yarn because I'm in the mood to make a blanket now. (And it sounds like there's going to be a lot of preparation before quilting produces anything blanket-like.) By the time the kids were out of school, I had a nice start. Middle Child had some questions about my blankie-to-be.

She: "What are you doing?"
Me: "Making a blanket."
She:  "I thought we were making a quilt."
Me: "We are, but we can't start until the Care Package of quilting goodies from Grandma gets here."
She: "Grandma's bringing the quilt stuff Thursday."
Me: "I want a blanket, not patience."
She: "Are you sure that's a blanket?"
Me: "Uhmmm... maybe. Or it might be a belt."

Eyeing the variegated yarn with a raised eyebrow, She asks: "Would you wear that?"
Mirroring her expression, I can only respond, "No. Not even if one of my kids made it."

Friday, January 20, 2012


There is a tendency for a crush on some unattainable adult to be the first experiment in the development of interest in the opposite sex. Personally, I was going to marry John Taylor who played bass guitar for the band Duran Duran when I was in third grade. Way Pre-Perfect, Middle Child was all about teen heartthrob Jesse McCarthy. In a similar vein, one of Skater Girl's best friends intends to one day marry Taylor Lautner of Twilight and Shark Boy and Lava Girl fame. (With the exception of Katie Holmes, this sort of thing rarely works out.)  In solidarity, the girls have formed the Taylor Lautner Club. (This news nearly caused Middle Child and I to suffer convulsions laughing after finally losing the battle to keep a straight face following the revelation of the new club.) The mooning over Mr. Lautner will allow the girls an opportunity to try out their feelings about boys and romance without actually having to deal with a boyfriend- and all that entails. It also means our living room is now the site of repeated screenings of his generally crummy movies and lots of pre-teen swooning.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Picture Project

Despite the bad run with photos over the past week, I'm jumping on board with Green Girl to participate in Jen on the edge's photo challenge. The idea is to post unapologetic photos of oneself. My challenge is to avoid photoshopping the things I see first and like least. It's also proven surprisingly difficult to find pictures of just me. So, without further fuss, here we go:

Holiday Party with the Mister
With Spitfire in Honduras

Taking pictures at the rink

Relaxing Christmas morning

Shooting still more pictures

Hair Stylist is in my job description

I'm scared of heights. This was a major leap of faith.


Snow Day!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Picture Imperfect

With a book in my purse to encourage patience, I gathered the required documentation and headed over to join the line that extended outside the building housing the driver's license office. Three hours and many chapters later, I was taking the worst picture ever. That unflattering photo is going to haunt me for the next twelve years, but at least online renewal is available next time.
I'm on a roll with bad pictures this week. I sent the Mister a picture of Middle Child in a fancy-schmancy party dress seeking approval of an option for the Winter Formal. He was concerned that she did not like it because she was making an awful face. Before taking another shot, I explained to her that Daddies do not enjoy buying pretty dresses for daughters making ugly faces. The next picture was better, but still bad enough that it cannot be displayed without incurring the displeasure of Middle Child.
Though forbidden to show those initial pictures to anyone, I was asked to text a photo of the dress to Perfect's mother. (Perfect will wait until the night of the dance for the big reveal.) This was intended as a guide to help Perfect choose a shirt and tie. The combination of paint and lighting in the room where the picture was taken caused Middle Child's dress to appear orange and gold with a greenish skirt. At least Middle Child was able to clarify that the colors are actually silver and exactly the same shade of blue that Perfect used for the border of the puzzle invitation and the ribbon he tied around the jar that housed it.
Today is not the day for a Picture Post, but there will certainly be one next week after Perfect and Middle Child head off for their much-anticipated night.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Rumor: Local High School #2 has no bathroom doors.
Truth: LHS #2 has no bathroom doors.

Rumor: LHS #2 has no restroom doors because students were practicing extracurricular activities behind the semi-privacy afforded by those doors.
Truth: Isn't the rumor bad enough?

Rumor: LHS #2 has fifteen pregnant freshman girls.
Truth: LHS #2 has thirteen pregnant freshman girls.

The above have been big topics in Pleasant Suburb lately. Perfect attends LHS #2, and he is pretty sure all the other schools make fun of the lack of doors on the restrooms. (He's also pretty sure the other schools have restroom doors. Middle Child confirms that restrooms at LHS #3, where she attends, have doors.) The lack of doors and the rapidly expanding waistlines of all those very young girls are a Hot Topic at lunch tables, dinner tables, and a couple of round table discussions as well.

It's a recipe for trouble: hormones + the invincibility of youth + questionable judgment. The result is thirteen very young mothers-to-be + rampant gossip + the mantra, "My [son or daughter] would never..." The problem is that, clearly, a large number of daughters (and obviously sons) certainly did, and now we're all talking about it.

At our house, we're talking about how those girls might be feeling. We're talking about the higher risks associated with teen births. We're talking about how one's future becomes complicated by an unplanned pregnancy at any age, and the choices those girls will have to make. We're talking about the joy that can come with motherhood with the stability of marriage and family. It's not The Talk, but a series of conversations that have been stirred up anew as Middle Child develops her perspective.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Picture Post: Solved

Ah. Perfect may actually be, well, perfect. He left Middle Child with a gift tonight after coming over to watch a movie. She opened the gift bag to find a glass jar tied with a ribbon. She was momentarily puzzled by the contents. Until she realized the appropriateness of that feeling.

Thursday, January 12, 2012


In one of those, "Are you kidding?!" moments, Perfect asked Middle Child if she would rather go to the Winter Formal or Broomball. (The youth group's annual late-night broomball session is the same night as the dance.) This was an excellent opportunity for her to exercise a bit of self-restraint and not shriek, "YES! YES! YES! I have just been waiting for you to ask!" She was not only restrained, but avoided any indication that she was dying to get all dolled up to spend a whole night dancing with Perfect. He tried expressing that he would not want her to feel like she, "...had to get all prettied up if she didn't want to," attend the Winter Formal in an effort to get her to indicate a preference for one activity over the other. She responded with the reprehensibly unhelpful willingness to do whichever activity suited him.

She does not even like broomball. Oh, and she has decided that she does not like the shredded mullet dress, either.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Tidbits: Expiration

  • I cleaned out the fridge. "There are starving children in Africa/China..." ran through my head as a wrinkled bell pepper, fuzzy grapes, and a bottle of French Salad Dressing (Best By AUG0811) were revealed hiding out in the nether regions of the fridge. At least there were several items discovered approaching the toss date that have been moved up on the mental priority list for use.
  • A letter from the Department of Public Safety states that my driver's license must be presented at the local DPS for renewal. Pleasant Suburb's DPS is legendary for the inefficiency of its staff and the length of the line to conduct any sort of business. Avoiding that office is one of the reasons my big kids do not drive. I'm not sure that I intend to continue driving if it means going to the DPS.
  • Perfect has not yet asked Middle Child to the Winter Formal. Despite the back-up dress in the closet, there is still time to order the pretty, pretty princess dress online (Now Sale-priced!) if an invitation is issued by Friday. After that, we'll just be waiting to take back the shredded mullet dress within the 30-day window for returns if the dance is not added to Middle Child's calendar.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Tidbits: Round and Round

  • One of the shredded mullet dresses is hanging in the coat closet (with the tags and the receipt good for return within 30 days attached) just in case an invitation to the Winter Formal comes too late for delivery of a poufy dress (plus time for potential alterations) found online. I refuse to order a special occasion dress only to find myself standing in line at the post office to return it if not needed.
  • Perfect will have an opportunity to ask Middle Child to the Winter Formal today. They will be skating in circles around the rink occasionally holding hands. (He has a tendency to drop her hand like a hot potato under parental scrutiny.)
  • Skater Girl will be spinning and working on increasing her jump rotation in the middle of the rink with one coach at 4:15 and practicing foot work with another at 5:00. Finally, at 6:15 she participates in a group class.
  • Two and a half hours is a long time to huddle on metal benches alongside a hunk of ice. The time is well spent by serving double duty as chaperone to one daughter and cheering section for the other.To the embarrassment of the offspring, I've taken to carrying a fleece blanket to wrap around myself in an effort to avoid hypothermia.

Monday, January 9, 2012


Middle Child came home from a church youth retreat this Fall gushing about a boy. She vacillated between yearning, despair, and giddy admiration in the way of teenage girls. He was *sigh* Perfect. He met her parents. She met his parents. Middle Child wandered around smiling. Except when she giggled or sighed at a text message. The families sat together at Sunday service and made small talk afterward. There was a movie date with his parents and ice skating with us.

Perfect's school has a Winter Formal in three weeks, but he has not yet asked her to attend. The process of finding a dress is lengthy enough that we started yesterday just in case. The first two shops yielded one dress that was strangely reminiscent of Princess Leia from Star Wars and two "High-Low" dresses with handkerchief hemlines. Both of the last two were dress equivalents of a mullet (short in front, long in back) that had been through a shredder. None of these were what she really hoped to find. The perfect dress our (apparently reformed) tomboy is hunting will feature a fitted bodice with sparklies all over it and a foofy tulle skirt. Seriously.

Friday, January 6, 2012


The Pantry Cleanse has been crushed. (It was the dogs--- they ran out of food.) BFF relieved the sting of defeat by meeting me at the Market for coffee before careening through the aisles armed with our shopping carts, opinions, and a host of mental price points and nutritional information. Important findings from the shopping expedition include:
  •  "New Zealand Fresh" scented Mr. Clean, "... smells like Europe!" (BFF was in England, Italy, and Germany on two separate trips this year, so she would know such things.)
  • Be sure to soak the corn tortillas before assembling enchiladas. (That's an advanced step. It can only be attempted after one remembers to pick up the tortillas.)
  • It doesn't matter how healthy it is if the kids won't eat it.
  • There's a certain shame in admitting that Skater Girl's morning often starts with Pop Tarts.
In other news, Skater Girl's illustration depicting the Creep Factor in the third person Point of View will be forwarded to a group of 5th Grade teachers. It will offer them the POV of their students. The post will also likely give them a laugh while allowing the opportunity to rethink the way certain lessons are stated.

Thursday, January 5, 2012


Skater Girl's 5th Grade class has been talking about point of view. The class, who have been steeped in Stranger Danger warnings from a very early age, found the whole idea of third person point of view disturbing. I failed to understand why they were concerned even after the teacher's example story of a family eating dinner that included the parents and children for first person and an observer for third person was related. Skater Girl literally drew me a picture as an explanation:
Point of View Illustration By Skater Girl

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


I need to go to the grocer. In the spirit of enabling myself, the decision to attempt one of those pantry cleansings where one makes meals with the items already stocked has been made. The idea is intended to maintain a coupon queen's stockpile, prevent items from exceeding expiration dates, and allow one to shop according to sales. It can also stretch groceries until pay day. Such a brilliant idea can be turned as easily to procrastination as thrift.
To that end, I've taken stock of what's on hand. Staring into the refrigerator and freezer, the obvious answer to, "What's for dinner?" was a glass of wine and a bowl of ice cream. Suspicious that the mister might question the nutritional benefits (and legality as the lovies are all quite underage for alcohol consumption) of this plan, a pork roast was shifted from freezer to fridge to defrost for tomorrow. Pasta, cheese, herbs, and vegetables that can serve as a meatless meal between Skater Girl's lesson, Middle Child's youth group, and the mister's band rehearsal make a busy evening easy. With rice, beans, and assorted staples, it's likely that a grocery trip can be put off for the remainder of the week at least.