A number of years ago I came across an idea somewhere (Family Fun, maybe?) of a fun way to count down the days till Christmas.
We had done the advent chains, where you start with 24 paper chains and you rip one off each day so the kids (the little ones, especially) can see how many days are left till the big day. Some people write a bible verse on each chain, or an idea of an activity to do, some just leave them blank.
We also do advent calendars, as this is something I remember from my childhood. Somehow, my kids seem to get just as much thrill out of something as simple as looking for the daily number and opening the flap as I did when I was little.
But my favorite Christmas countdown, and it seems to be my kids' favorite as well, is our advent stockings.
I'm still planning on throwing a length of Christmas greenery along the hooks to dress it up a bit, but you get the idea.
Pretty simple to do, and the kids get soooo excited to find out what's in each stocking.
I just went out and bought 12 pairs of red and white socks from Wal-Mart, but you could do this for free just by using socks from your unmatched socks basket.
What? Doesn't everybody have a basket full of scores of unmatched socks???
Find some wallspace where you can hang this. I happen to have a long mirror with hooks on it that I use, but you can get some of those 3M hooks that come off the wall when you're done. Those things are all kids of awesome.
Run a string through the holes of 24 clothespins, and mark the clothespins from 24 down to 1, with 24 to the left and 1 all the way at the end on the right.
Then have some fun figuring out what to fill the stockings with. If you haven't figured it out yet, this works just like an old-fashioned advent calendar: on Dec 1st, your kids get to see what's in the stocking hung by the "24" clothespin. Dec 2nd they open the "23" stocking and so on down the line till they've opened the "1" stocking on Christmas Eve.
The beauty of this is that you can go really cheap or really elaborate, whatever floats your boat (and your budget).
A few ideas along the range of free to pricey:
*print out some Christmas activity pages, such as word-searches, crosswords, coloring pages, *cut out strips of red and green construction paper and put those in the stocking for the kids to make a Christmas chain, *cut out a little Christmas tree from green paper and write "Today we find (or decorate) our Christmas tree!", *put a Christmas cookie cutter in the stocking to let them know today's the day they'll get to help make Christmas cookies, *put a little baggie of birdseed in the stocking with a note that instructs them how to make peanut-butter-and-birdseed-pinecone-feeders for the birds, *candy canes, *Christmas pencils, *gum, *Christmassy hair accessories, *jingle bells and some ribbon for the kids to make necklaces with, *surprise them with breakfast out on the way to school one day (perhaps you could write it out on a star cut-out), *cute Christmas socks.
You're only limited by your imagination.
Each day, another sock comes down, so they'll have the visual before them of how many days remain till Christmas.
If you can't trust the kids to not peek (and really, if you can, I don't like you very much), then just fill one at a time before you go on to bed each night.
The kids have been asking me for weeks when we can start the advent stockings.
Maybe I'll need to make advent stockings leading up to the advent stockings.
Would't it be awesome if each day leading up to Christmas, I climbed one higher in the TMB ranking? Keep clicking, people, keep clicking!
And if I added one new follower each day? Don't forget to add yourself if you haven't already. Thanks, people!
Anne, Wife of Fred for 23 years Mom of: Patrick (16) James (16) Rosie (13) Bella(14) Julie (13) Daniel (12) My children around the world: Milly in Taiwan Eun Hae in South Korea Felice in Hong Kong Nadya in Germany Obrin in New York And our critters Blue, Annabelle, Fiona, Sunny, Sophie and Cindy-Lou; Mamfy, Mali and Punkin; Nick; Frog 1 and Horny Toad; Charlie and Dizzy; Minnie and Alice; Elfie, Frex, Crope, Tibbit and Ozzy; Genevieve, Pippin and Finnegan; and a dozen or so chooks.
I'd like to ask God why He allows hunger, poverty, and injustice in the world,but I'd be afraid He'd ask me the same thing ...
Blue is an Australian Shepherd, and our oldest dog. He'll turn 12 in a couple months, but our vet thinks he looks he looks no more than half his age.
Our kids are teens now, but were babies and preschoolers when we got him, so they've grown up with him. When the kids were all little, he used to play with them. I'm not talking about fetch, I'm talking about duck-duck-goose and red-light-green-light. I'm not kidding you, he knew how to play those games and would join in whenever we started one of them.
Through the years, he's dabbled in sheep herding, agility and obedience training, and has done well at everything he's put his paw to. Though it's been years since he's gone to herding classes or competitions, he saved the day about a year ago when the goats got out of the barn and niether the vet nor I could convince them to get back in. Had it not been for Blue's herding prowess, we would have had to reschedule the appointment, wasting both the vet's time and mine.
He is the. Smartest. Dog. Ever.
If he's staring at you when you're eating, all you have to say is "Don't be rude, Blue" and he slinks off looking ashamed of himself. Though I don't get around to walking them much, when I do he is a perfect gentleman on the leash. I could probably take him tomorrow to a vet's office or a playground or a circus and he would give me a wonderful off-leash heel with a sit at my stops. He's that good.
Though he's really too big, he still tries to be a lapdog now and then. I'll never say no.
He's my Handsome Man.
Click here if you think Blue is a handsome doggie.
Back in my high school and college days (and thankfully never again after that), I waitressed at a number of diners and restaurants to earn some cash.
When I began, I knew nothing. I did not know how to start the morning coffee pots in the ancient and enormous 4-pot machine. I did not know how to quickly and accurately make change without the aid of a register or calculator. I was not able to carry more than two plates at a time; certainly not the six plates I would learn to carry later (all without a tray).
And I did not know how to carry a cup of coffee without spilling half of it before I arrived at the table.
I would walk very gingerly, biting my lip, staring intently at the cup; but it seemed the more I stared, the more I concentrated, the more I spilled.
One day, when things were slow, one of the more seasoned waitresses saw me walking along in this way, staring at the coffee, willing it not to spill. Coffee delievered, I returned to the break table and took a seat next to AnnaMarie. She was the same one who had taught me how to make change by counting backwards and I thought she was a goddess.
"What was that?" she said.
"What was what?"
"Why were you walkin' like that? You looked like you were walkin' on egg shells."
"I didn't want to spill the coffee."
"Yeah, well, you walk like that yer gonna spill half of it before you ever get to the table."
"But I'm walking as carefully as I can, what else am I supposed to do?"
"Don't look at it at all."
"If I don't look at it, how'm I s'pposed to know if it's spilling?"
"It won't. Just look where yer headin' and the coffee will stay in the cup without any help from you. Trust me."
And so I tried it. And it was really hard. Not to not spill the coffee, but to not look. Everytime I decided to sneak a peek at the cup to see how I was doing, that coffee would commence sloshing around in the cup, invariably spilling out into its saucer. But the times I didn't look? I arrived at the table with a pristine saucer.
Thankfully I haven't waitressed in years. I never did grow to like it, job-wise. However, I cannot say I didn't learn from it.
I learned to prioritize. When one table needed their check, another needed their dinners brought out, another needed to be cleared and set, another needed to give their order and yet another just needed a simple refill, I learned the hard way I couldn't do it all, at least not all at the same time. This lesson was applied again and again in motherhood.
I learned simple math. Not that I didn't learn it the first time in school, I just never learned how to apply it to real-life situations until I waitressed.
I learned a few other things, as well, like karma. If you can smile and be pleasant even when you're bone tired, things (read tips) will tend to work in your favor.
But probably the biggest lesson learned was to not watch the coffee. And while I mean this literally, the bigger lesson was the metaphoric one. Isn't it always?
I've learned that sometimes, most times, the more attention you give your problems, the bigger they become. Turns out the best way to handle many of life's little curve balls is just to not fret over them. They have a way of working themselves out.
Now, if your sink is spewing forth brown liquid of unknown origin, or your car is telling you she's thirsty for some oil, perhaps you need to face those problems head-on.
But if your kid is playing around instead of studying for her science test, guess what? She will do poorly on the test, feel bad about it, and the next time she will remember to study. That's not to say you can't give her reminders and ensure she has the time and space in her schedule to study, but beyond that, it's her problem, not yours. Give that problem more attention than it needs and instead of a resouceful, independent, self-motivator, you will have a child (and someday-adult) who expects all her problems to be solved for her.
If the kids are bickering over whose turn it is? Resist the urge to step in and solve the dilemma for them. Chances are, you will overinvolve yourself, giving the problem more attention than it needs, and that coffee will be spilled, I guarantee it. Let it work itself out. The kids will learn to negotiate. If it escalates to bloodshed, you will be the first to know and you can step in and save the day.
What did the classroom-party-committee-Mom mean by that remark, how come your bff didn't return your call, why did your husband put those electric tweezers in your stocking last Christmas? You can turn those questions over and over in your mind, stress about them and overanalyze them till you've found meaning where there was none.
You could walk on through life, focusing on the big picture instead of all the minute details that surround you. That stuff will work itself out with no help from you.
Like AnnaMarie said,
Just look where yer headin' and the coffee will stay in the cup without any help from you. Trust me.
That being said, there is a little detail that I do need some help with. My ranking on TMB. Just a click of this brown button is a vote. You can vote every day. Thanks, hon!
And thanks for following! I'm up to 30 from the 17 I had when I started asking folks to add themselves. Have you added yourself yet?
The dishes are washed, the leftovers put away, and all (well, most) of the relations have been seen home.
Now check yourself. Got guilt?
Do you feel guilty for not having set up a home-decorating-magazine-cover-worthy table?
That's where I come in. I'm here to make you feel better about yourself for not hand-carving Jack-B-Little pumpkins into likenesses of your guests as place markers.
Were I truly on the ball, I would have done this in the days leading up to Turkey Day so I could have saved you all some decorating angst.
But on the ball I am not, so you'll have to take my words to heart and use them to help guide you for next year. Or maybe for the next holiday in which you find yourself having palpitations over table envy.
Elegantly set tables are a thing of beauty. And if I was having dinner over someone else's house? I would be all oohing and ahhing. But if they're eating at my house?
It's paper, baby. But not just any paper. For the holidays I get fancy and buy the nice stuff. Chinet. Oval-shaped. Of course, that's just for dinner. For dessert I use my everyday paper -- store-brand or Dixie, whichever is on special. No need to even get festive with orange plates. All your guests know it's fall and that the leaves turn orange. They don't need to be reminded of this fact of nature by the color of plates on your table.
And napkins? Again, why go with linen when you can put paper on the table. I do like to dress things up a bit. When my sister was getting napkins out last night, I reminded her, get the nice ones, they're in the back. The Vanity Fair.
Just my little way of letting my guests know how important to me they are.
Folks can get all kinds of fancy letting their guests know where to sit at the table.
But in my mind, the simpler, the better. Just one more use for Post-Its.
There are more helpful hints, but I'd better pace myself. I'm lazy that way. Besides, I think I might still have a little tryptophan in my system. Think I'll go take a nap.
Anne: I'm thankful for.... James baking the bread Rosie making the corn casserole Julie baking the apple pie Patrick making the mashed potatoes Daniel cooking the green bean casserole Bella making the sweet potatoes Fred making the gravy My sister making the munchies All the good eats All the good lovin All my chillens All my family.
And I'm also thankful for all of my readers. And for their voting talents. You all can click this brown button like nobody's business and I love you for it. Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Have an awesome day.
OK, here is another walk down memory lane. This is what we were doing on or about this date in Kazakhstan three years ago.....
This was a very special visit, actually, as it was the day we re-visited the Preschool Orphanage. The highlight of the visit was when we went outside to revisit the playground where Bella and I spent so much time years ago. There was only one caregiver with her group of kids out at the time, and who do you think it was but Mama Lena! She was Bella's caregiver when we were here in '03, and she remembered her! There were hugs all around, and she asked if I remembered our walks into the surrounding hills. How could I ever forget? Her charges today are younger than when she was Bella's groupa's Mama, they are maybe 3 or 4 yrs old. So little!
As we were talking, a tot waddled up, bundled from head to toe, and stood toe-to-toe with Bella, staring up into her face. Bella stared down at the child, not knowing what to say, and simply patted her on the head. She then wobbled over to me and put her arms up to be picked up. Fred muttered, "Watch it!", but I picked her up anyway and stared into her blue eyes while the tears slid out of mine. After a bit, I put her down, and she walked over to each person in our circle, arms outstretched, to be picked up. Even Bella and Julia took their turns. For all his gruff exterior, even Fred couldn't help smiling into her little face as he held her.
By the time we left I was a wreck; crying over the memory of my little Bella running around in the dirt of the play yard so many summers ago, crying over the love Mama Lena had then and still has today for the little ones under her watch, crying for the children so desperate for the love of a family, or the fleeting embrace and gaze of strangers. Fred worries needlessly about me asking him to do this again, but the truth is, my poor heart can't take it!
Hard to believe that was three years ago!!! And hard to believe I'm back in the 20s again. Ick. Please vote everyday by clicking the brown botton? Thanks.
My blog's not all that big. I don't get a whole lot of spam. But sometimes, the spam I get really makes me chuckle. Like this one:
As unfavourable weather of your conveyance container
I'm never sure where to store my conveyance container. My pantry? Attic? The trunk of my car? Where do you all keep yours?
to alternate you in the havoc to give up more belly sebaceous,
I have been working so hard to give up more belly sebaceous, but nothing seems to work. Tips?
you should be auspicious to assimilate vegetables. You all things considered already validate vegetables are a famed documentation of tangy vitamin and mineral.
No matter what I do, my vegetables refuse to be assimilated. They just will not stand for it. Not that I blame them.
Instituting on what you endure in rations they are also valuable in forbear you reach your power shrinkage goal.
It's that damn belly sebaceous that keeps me from reaching my power shrinkage goal.
The whole world disarray arrondissement allowances of multifarious living inner look to to offended by irritated is the wipe quarter, or what is from again balancing "belly fat" [url=http://phenterminepounds.com]order phentermine[/url].
See what I'm sayin'? Belly fat. Wipe quarter aside, it all comes back to the belly fat. @#%*@ belly fat!
The uninvolved scuttlebutt is that contrasting classification of vegetables from been epithet which are utter salutary in reach your primacy vim goal.
I am coming to the conclusion that I will never reach my primary vim goal. And THAT... is the scuttlebut.
In order to assimilate my primary vim goal of incline in the Blog of Top Mommys, it is imperative to click the wipe quarter brown button on a daily basis. Sebaceous belly fat aside, I think you will find that clicking the button lends a famed documentation of tangy vitamin and mineral.
Anne, Wife of Fred for 23 years Mom of: Patrick (16) James (16) Rosie (13) Bella(14) Julie (13) Daniel (12) My children around the world: Milly in Taiwan Eun Hae in South Korea Felice in Hong Kong Nadya in Germany Obrin in New York And our critters Annabelle, Fiona, Sunny, Sophie, Cindy-Lou and Blue; Mamfy, Mali and Punkin; Nick; Frog 1 and Horny Toad; Charlie and Dizzy; Minnie and Alice; Elfie, Frex, Crope, Tibbit and Ozzy; Genevieve, Pippin and Finnegan; and a dozen or so chooks.
I'd like to ask God why He allows hunger, poverty, and injustice in the world,but I'd be afraid He'd ask me the same thing ...
We are Obrin's host family with the Fresh Air Fund, and he stays with us for a time each summer. He's only been with us two years now, but he is definitely part of the family. First year he stayed a week, this past summer he stayed about two, and next year we'd like him to stay longer.
He's from New York City and he's nine years old. He loves to swim, play video games with his summer brothers, pick tomatoes from our garden, and pet the ponies. This past summer he climbed a tree for the first time. I had tried to get him to take on that challenge the first summer but he wasn't quite up for it. This year? He was ready. And he went almost high enough to make me feel uncomfortable. Once he did that, there was no stopping the climbing and he moved on to tackling our fences.
His Mom tells me that as soon as school is out, he starts pestering her with, "How many more days till I can see my summer family?"
Obrin. He's our summer Son.
Woohoo, you brought me back up into the teens!! Up from 20 to 18. Now, how many more days till I'm back up as high as 12 (my highest to date) or maybe into the top 10? Thanks for voting, everyone. Just a click of the brown button. You can do it once a day....
And I see I picked up some more followers. Thank you, people! Come join the party, everyone!
Couple weeks back my thoughts on the movie Breaking Dawn could be found in an article in SheKnows.com. In the article, the question was asked: is this movie appropriate for teenaged girls?
I answered yes. Thought being, there seems to be no shortage of sexual stuff our girls are exposed to. Most of the time? Not so appropriate. Whether it's on TV, music, movies, you name it, it's too casual, too exploitive, too gratuitous, too shallow, I could go on and on and on.
In the Twilight series, however, I was pleasantly surprised. Here was finally a young couple that was head-over heels in love, devoted to each other, and yet, what's this -- virtuous? Though young and impetuous, they made the decision to remain virgins till married. Not that I'm neccessarily saying that is a must, depending on the circumstances, but I figure setting the bar high is always a good thing.
Well, I saw the movie with my girls last night, and I stand by what I said. Edward and Bella were portrayed as two young people very much in love, each with the highest degree of respect for the other, protective and tender. Of course, tender for a vampire with superhuman strength does not translate to gentle. Furniture was demolished, feather pillows were torn asunder, and Bella was bruised. And though I find it very hard to explain, it was all good. There was destruction and bruising without violence, somehow.
And O.M.G. H.O.T.
I know, I know, gross. I'm way too old. But man.
I mean, it was all very loving and tender and romantic and sweet.
Yeah, that's what I meant to say.
Anyway, before rushing out to see the movie with your precious daughters, know your girls, know their comfort levels as well as your own. Use the movie as a springboard to talk about relationships with them.
And bring a cool cloth.
Excuse me, I'm going to go see what the mister is up to....
Speaking of vampires? This bites. Being #20 in the ranks, that is. Please vote? Just a click of the button. If you do, I promise you immortality. No? How about my undying gratitude. Deal. Thanks!
Fall means burrs. Burrs mean nasty tangles in the manes and tails of my horses. Burrs mean much lost time picking burrs out of the manes and tails of my horses. Burrs mean lots of little scratches all over my hands.
Here's Genevieve in a before shot. Her forelock is a solid mass of burr matts. That's FORELOCK. 'Bangs' for all you non-horsey people out there.
Here's what's left of the pretty little braids the girls made in her mane.
And here is an after shot of Gen's two-year-old colt Pippin, after I spent about 1/2 hour de-burring him.
It was loads of fun.
I like cold weather. I do not like burrs.
Look, if I have to work my fingers to the bone picking the burrs out of Gen's and Pippin's and Finn's manes and tails, the least you could do is work your index finger to the bone by clicking this brown button to vote for me, right? That's what I thought. Thanks so much...
And follow! Don't forget to add yourself as a follower
Here's what we were doing on this day three years ago, when we were still doing the in-country visitation phase of our adoption:
Today we planned on visiting the Preschool Orphanage after our visit with Julia, so Bella could walk down memory lane at her old stomping grounds. On impulse, I asked if Julia would be able to accompany us. The director at Julia's school, gracious and kind as ever, said yes. So after spending some time with Julia, and feeding her the snacks she so looks forward to (today she ate a banana, a yogurt, and two cookies. And her "veetamin"), Julia found a big, bright orange coat to borrow and we headed out to the car. I had our translator tell Julia that one of Papa's favorite colors is orange. She just looked at her hands in her lap and said the coat wasn't hers. I told her that soon she would have a coat that belonged just to her and it was all pink. She looked up, clearly delighted, with a big smile across her face.
Sadly, we were not able to tour the orphanage as we had hoped. When we got there, they had us wait in the hall for a bit, and came out after a few minutes to tell us that many of the children had an illness, so the school was temporarily closed to visitors. They told us we could try to come back again on Monday, though. As we walked back to the car, I asked Luba about the pictures I had seen displayed in the hallway that had peaked my curiosity. There were several enlarged photos, in frames, of young cildren standing in the snow, barefoot, in their underwear. In one of the pictures, the children were pouring buckets of water over their heads. Luba explained very matter of factly that this is a process the children go through to build their immunity. Well, since the school is closed today because of rampant illness, I'm thinking they either need more water, or to stop the practice entirely. Although I'm trying to educate myself on local traditions and cultural practices, this is one practice I think I will NOT be following with my children back home ....
Interesting post note --on the drive back to the hotel, we passed an older man jogging along the bridge through the slush, while a wet snow/rain fell. Naked save the cap on his head and either a pair of short sorts or some underwear. Guess he's building his immunity. Tell ya' what, do me a favor? If when we get home, any of you see Fred or I out and about in the snow and ice in our underwear, slap us hard, OK? Thanks.
Still at 20, keep clicking this brown button, please. Every day. Back into the teens we will climb!
Ooooh, I picked up a new follower. Thanks! Don't forget to add yourself as a follower if you haven't already. Thanks!
Our house is going to play the part of quaint bed and breakfast in PA Dutch country.
Some of our kids will even get cameos.
There's one little problem. What was initially going to be a virtual 0-budget film is now getting a little more serious, with the involvement of some bigger names. Mary and her crew are now in a position where they need to raise some money to fly some of the "names" from LA and the UK out to my place. And I guess they need to put them up and feed them, too. You know these Hollywood types. So entitled. Always wanting a bed to sleep in and food to eat. Guess they'd thumb their respective noses at my couch and sleeping bags. They'd probably push their dishes of macaroni and cheese and hot dogs away, too. Sheesh.
Anyway, if I embedded this clip properly, you should be able to click to play the video, so Mary can do better job of 'splaining things to you than I can.
And here's the original clip of Spirit Seeker:
If you're not all clicked out clicking links for Mary, The Descendants, and Spirit Seeker, can you click this brown button to vote for me on TMB? My blog must be possessed with demonic spirits b/c I'm all the way down to #20, gross. I'm going to start spinning my head around and puking pea soup.
Anne, Wife of Fred for 23 years Mom of: Patrick (16) James (16) Rosie (13) Bella(14) Julie (13) Daniel (12) My children around the world: Milly in Taiwan Eun Hae in South Korea Felice in Hong Kong Nadya in Germany Obrin in New York And our critters Annabelle, Fiona, Sunny, Sophie, Cindy-Lou and Blue; Mamfy, Mali, Milky and Punkin; Nick; Frog 1 and Horny Toad; Charlie and Dizzy; Minnie and Alice; Elfie, Frex, Crope, Tibbit and Ozzy; Genevieve, Pippin and Finnegan; and a dozen or so chooks.
I'd like to ask God why He allows hunger, poverty, and injustice in the world,but I'd be afraid He'd ask me the same thing ...
Yes, Nadja (or Nadya), my sweet German daughter.
She was our most recent exchange student, staying with us for the 2007/2008 school year. She and my girls bonded immediately. They looked to her for her sense of fashion and they loved doing the whole bathing beauties thing together at the pool or the beach. I can't say my sons were complaining about that much, either.
She was the first of our students to attend the district school instead of the charter school where my kids attend, but I definitely think it was the better option for her. I don't know if her education was all that it could have been, but she made a ton of friends and got involved in some sports through the school.
She is fluent in German, English, French, and I believe some Spanish, as well.
Nadja was a good student, and possessed a strong moral compass. Along with being a great friend and sister to my girls, she was also an excellent role model. They remain friends to this day, texting and chatting and skyping and all that stuff kids do these days to keep in touch with each other.
She's currently doing very well in college and having a wonderful time living independently in her own apartment.
She came back to visit with us last year, and attended my nephew's christening with my family. Because she is part of our family. I hope, hope, hope she is able to make her way back here again to visit us one day.
She's my German Girl.
Love you, Nadya!
Schrecklich! Ich bin Nr. 18 auf Spitzenmamma-Blogen. Klicken Sie bitte den braunen Knopf, um für mich zu wählen und mich höher zu verschieben. Danke! Translation: Terrible! I am #18 on Top Mommy Blogs. Please click the brown button to move me higher. Thank you!
A car can tell a lot about a person, didja ever notice?
I've got kids. Lots of kids. With kids comes the need for spare essentials in the back of the car.
Essentials such as
crayons coloring books hairbrushes hairbands socks sweatshirts blankets umbrellas word-find puzzle books Mad Libs used napkins nearly empty french fry cartons balloon animals from the last festival soccer-ball-shaped erasers from the last soccer tournament plastic rings from the last trip to the family fun place where $30 worth of tokens yielded 25 cents worth of plastic crap that was forgotten about before arriving back at home.
And here we have, from left to right:
Except, wait. One of them appears to be missing. Is that some cosmic indication that one of my kids is really missing?
I'm back. All kids present and accounted for. Nice one, cosmos. You almost had me there. Like my family in real life, they are getting a bit ragged. My kids need a bit of nagging here and there to take showers, clip their nails, wear deodorant. My sticker family needs a little help, too, to keep firmly plastered to the back of my car at all times. Like my real kids, they don't listen very well.
Next sticker is my philosophy on life, in general: Wag More, Bark Less.
I know several people that I hope will tailgate me just so they can get a good, close look at this message.
Followed by that sticker is the next: Life is Good.
This sticker has taken a beating and is very difficult to see at this point. In real life, this idea is hard to see sometimes, but that doesn't make it any less true.
Thank you, Beulah, for pointing that out. You are very wise, indeed.
Next is a skating sticker, b/c my Bella is a very graceful and talented ice skater. Beulah likes to brag on my kids. She's a very boasty gal.
Then comes our school name because I very stupidly like to let all the crazies know where my kids attend school. I know, I don't understand myself, either. At least I've smudged it out for the blog, so I know where to draw some semblance of a line.
Last sticker is good ol' "Exit 63", which is where I spent my growin' up years, and is the only shore destination for this family.
So then over my gas tank door thingy is a soccer ball to honor Rosie's committment and talent as a soccer goaltender. It is also a reminder of how much it costs in gas dollars to cart a child hither and yon to practices, games, and tournaments. But to paraphrase those commercials, seeing her leap sideways to stop that ball? Priceless.
Heading towards the front of the car is a giant Band Aid. Because poor Beulah has seen her share of scrapes and dings. The trim piece on the driver's door is no more, and the one behind it is soon to follow. You can also see her grill is looking pretty busted up, and one of her eyes is hanging loose in its socket. Poor thing. Poor, pitiful old thing. And you know, I forgot to take my keys out with me when I went to take the pictures, and I was far too lazy to go retrieve them, so I couldn't turn the car on and show you the odometer. Let me just tell you that this old gal and I have seen over 207,000 miles together. And the only thing I've needed to replace other than brakes and tires and oil was the alternator just recently.
Good girl, Beulah, good girl.
This one here? This is Beulah's way of letting you know I loves me some Tastycake. When GMC performed their factory performance testing on the leather and the stitching and the springs, they weren't counting on someone like me getting in and out of the driver's seat time after time for 8 years and 200,000+ miles. No. No they weren't.
And that's all you need to know about me.
As told by Beulah, my car.
I think I see a second career for her after her retirement.
Like every year, we bought our punkins at a local Mom and Pop Pick-Ur-Own farm. Complete with hayride by Pop Lytle himself, and three generations of his kin to help run the place.
And after carving them and setting them out on the stoop for no one to see (we don't get any trick-or-treaters round here), I decided I could offer our pumpkins-turned-neglected-jack-o-lanterns one better than the garbage can.
One better even the compost pile.
I gave them to the chooks!
And they loved them.
The circle of life? It looks a little something like this:
Like Mr. Rogers used to say (paraphrased), Won't - you be - my Followers?
A Little History
Quite frankly, I don't know what I was thinking at the time. We went from 3 kids by birth to "oh, let's adopt a 4th" without a whole lot of deliberation.
While adopting said 4th (in Kazakhstan), we met a young man of 8 yrs by the name of Borya. Thought he was a pretty nice kid and years later found out we could adopt him too. Only thing was, he came as a 2-in-1 package with his younger sister Ylia. What the hay, said we, and rushed headlong into the adoption process. Again. To adopt two kids that were 10 and 13 at the time.
Started a blog to keep track of where my head was in this adoption game. When Borya and Ylia arrived home, we were suddenly the proud parents of six kids, ages 9, 10, 11, 11, 13 and 13.
That was back in 2009, but I still blog. I figure what doesn't make us laugh makes us cry, and I'd rather be laughing.
Also? We live on a farm(ish) with a few dozen critters. You're just as likely to read a post about the farming side of things as you are the parenting side. Thought you might want to know in case you have allergies or something.
As for the structure of this blog, I pretty much post on a daily basis, and I tend to be all over the place in what I write about, so if it's nice, neat and compartmentalized you're looking for, be off with you now, you won't find it here.
I do have some structure, though, I'm not a total bohemian. I roll like this:
Mon: Mirth Monday. A little somethin' to make you chuckle.
Tues: Sometimes Adoption Tuesday, sometimes A Tip For Tuesday, sometimes random thoughts.
Weds: Wordless Wednesday. Usually a photo or some artwork from myself or one of my oh-so-talented children.
Thurs: all random, all the time.
Fri: Farm Friday. Speaks for itself.
Sat, Sun: More random musings.
Feel free to explore and don't be shy -- drop me a line to say hello, and be sure to add yourself as a follower. Feeds my ego in a big way. I'm very insecure.
Cast of Characters
Meet the fambly:
Our Family in 2009
I'm on Top Mommy Blogs!
An award? For ME?
The Lazy Mom Award for Most Popular Lazy Mom Tip of 2011 is.....