Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Wanna see...

the cutest baby in the world? Click here.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

North Idaho Fair

There have been years when we have gone to the fair 3 or 4 days of the 5 day event. Before we had kids, Arrty and I would walk every inch of the fairgrounds and eat every meal there for days. Then for a few years we took the boys to motocross on Wednesday and went to the rodeo with the whole family on Friday. This year, like last, we went only on Wednesday mostly because I won free tickets from Dave at Huckleberries. I don't know if we would have gone if not for those tickets. (Thanks again, Dave.)

It was hot Wednesday, so the kids and I didn't get there until around 3:00. We walked through all the barns and saw the animals. Of course Julianna loved them all, especially if they were "babies." The boys even held some little rubber boa snakes in the Fish and Game building. Around 4:30 we headed over to the grandstand to watch the motocross heats. It was in the shade, so it was bearable. Arrty met us there shortly after. Between 5:30 and 6:00 we decided to eat before the actual motocross races started. Arrty and the boys got ribs, which is a yearly tradition and has been for my dear husband since he was a teenager in 4-H. He's very sweet to share his ribs with the boys these days. I even ate one even though I don't usually like meat with bones. I headed over to the food court to get fish and chips, my yearly fair meal. But there were no fish and chips! That booth has chicken this year. So I got nachos. I know. That makes no sense since I wanted fish, but that's what happened. We also all ate Hawaiian Shaved Ice which is a glorified snow cone but soooo much better. I had blackberry and strawberry. Mmmmm. After we all washed the rib grease off our fingers, we walked back over and found seats for the motocross.

You know, if you've ever gone to a county fair, that it's a great place to people watch. My dad taught me to people watch a long, long time ago and I enjoy that as much as whatever event I'm attending. This year was a little different though. These four teenagers sat down in front of us, two boys and two girls. I noticed one girl right away because when she brushed her hair to the side she had a four leaf clover tattoo on the back of her neck. I have no body art, but find others' body art fascinating. A four leaf clover is a cool tattoo if you ask this Irish girl. Then I noticed that the other girl had tattoos, too. Her right arm was covered from the elbow to the wrist and her left arm had some writing that wrapped around right above her wrist. Now body art (and piercings, which they also had) is not the least bit surprising these days, but what surprised me was how young these girls looked. They were maybe 17. I didn't notice any tattoos on the boys. One looked about the same age as the girls and the other looked younger, like maybe 14 or so. He was sitting next to the girl with arm tattoos and I thought, "Oh, that's nice. She brought her little brother to the fair with her." Soon after I could tell that the girls were going to get snacks or drinks and asked the boys if they wanted anything. They didn't. Then tattoo-arms leaned over and kissed her "brother" right on the lips! Not in a brotherly way! What?!?!? He's a kid! She's way older than him! And pierced and tattooed so young! First of all, he was way too young to be kissing on girls like that. Secondly, he was way to young to be on a date. Thirdly, she looked way to "worldly" for him with his baseball cap and baby face. I was disturbed. Highly disturbed. I was so distracted by this "couple" that I hardly saw any motocross racing. After I got over my shock and the almost irresistible urge to move down to sit between them, I got down to figuring it out. So here's what I determined.

1. He must be older than he looks. Maybe he's 16 and just looks like he should still be with his mama at the fair.
2. She must be younger than she looks. Maybe she just turned 17 and looks older because of her mature haircut and body art.
3. Their tattoos are temporary. I came to this conclusion when I saw the one covering the inner arm of the boy. There are booths at the fair that sell temporary tattoos and these were all black and white and pretty simple. Yes, temporary. Phew.*
4. They are nice kids. Other than that original kiss and a little hand holding, there was no other public displays of affection. And they did seem nice to each other and their other friends who came and went over the few hours I studied them.
5. They go to church. Her tattoo said "Psalms 23."** And his said "familia." (Not that only church goers find family important enough to get a tattoo expressing that. Just my thinking at the time.)
6. I was maybe a little sensitive about the whole thing since the boy involved looked just a little older than Josh. Just a little. And here he was with a girl. By himself. Kissing. Yikes. Just Yikes.

So I left feeling like the situation was maybe okay. I didn't have to rescue that boy and take him to the "lost child" booth. He would make it home safe and sound and not too kissed up on and be able to wash off that tattoo. Here's hoping.

*Just to reiterate. I have no problem with body art...on adults. If you make a mature decision to ink yourself permanently that's completely okay with me. Just wait until you're old enough to make that important decision. I'm 39 and still haven't made such a decision. But my 40th birthday is coming up...
**Shouldn't it be Psalm 23? No "s." Just asking.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


My daughter has decided that she's a cat. At least for part of the day she meows everything. "Meow meow meow meow meow?" Which translates to, "Can I have some juice." (And yes, I can translate cat.) Last night she even made me be a cat. Have you ever sung Row, Row, Row Your Boat in meows? I have. How about the ABCs? I have.

But here's the thing about Julianna. She is so adorable that no matter what language she speaks or what she asks me to do, I have to oblige. Maybe it's because her little face can make me melt in a second or maybe it's that I'm an older mom this time around and so understand that I only have a short time to meow with her. But either way I let her meow. And I pretend to understand every word. And I even meow back. Am I crazy? Absolutely. But it has nothing to do with meowing. The meowing isn't the least bit crazy to a mommy in love with her kids.

How many of you are now meowing Row, Row, Row Your Boat? I know you are. Admit it.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Blessed Sunday

So, so, so many blessings to count today.

1. My sweet husband has spent two whole days helping me prep and paint my classroom walls. And he does such a good job. Way better than I would have done by myself. And now he is planning to paint the ceiling, too! How great is he?!

2. The boys are back from camp. Phew. We all made it through the week in one piece. They came back with stories to tell and memories made. (And one of them came back wearing "friendship" bracelets given to him by girls. Guess which one.)

3. I spent a whole week with my darling daughter. We played and talked and went to the beach. It was truly a blessing. She is something else, I tell ya.

4. Thursday was my last day of summer school. So that means I have two weeks off to enjoy the sunshine. (Well, except for the few days I have to go to school to get my room ready for the new school year.)

5. My boys are going to have the teacher they wanted next year. The one who goes on field trips. The one who doesn't lecture. The one who they've both had before. The one who happens to be my friend.

6. We are getting a new family member this week. My new nephew's birthday is Friday. I can hardly wait! My sister grows really cute babies. I just wonder if he has any hair? :)

7. We are having lunch at my parent's house today and celebrating my brother-in-law's birthday. He's chosen salmon for his birthday meal. And if you have ever tasted my dad's grilled salmon, you know it'll be like it's all our birthdays!

8. It's Sunday! May you be blessed today, too!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Call

Josh called me yesterday from camp. I had been waiting since Sunday to receive "the call." You know. The one where he says, "Mom, come and get me. I miss you so much I can't stand it. I can't eat or sleep or have any fun because you're not here. Please rescue me." And yesterday evening the call came in. Only it went a little something like this:

Me: Hello.
Josh: Hi, Mom.
Me: Hi, Josh! How are you?
Josh: Great! Sorry I didn't call you sooner. I was going to call you yesterday after breakfast but I forgot. Sorry.
Me: That's okay. Are you having fun?
Josh: Yeah! Lots! I know all the counselors and junior counselors already and there's lots of fun activities. And we don't even need canteen money because they give us snacks and pop everyday at free time. And the food is really good.
Me: How's your brother doing?
Josh: Good. He's out playing basketball right now. He's in a cabin with Nate and Jacob and Grant. He's having fun, too.
Me: So, are you ready for me to come up and get you?
Josh: Ummm, no.
Me: Are you staying warm at night? Did you take enough clothes?
Josh: Oh, yeah. I'm fine.
Me: Okay. So you're sure you don't want me to come get you?
Josh: Yep, I'm sure.

You can't blame me for trying.

After a few more assurances and "I love yous" and "byes" we hung up. I was smiling. Even though half my heart is 3 hours away. My boys are growing and making memories. For 10 and almost 12 years they've been doing that with me. Now it's time for them to do it without me sometimes. But just sometimes...a very limited sometimes. Because little do they know that when they get back on Saturday they will not be allowed out of my sight for at least a month...maybe two.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

What goes around...

When I was a kid and was about to go somewhere overnight with school or church, my dad would offer me $3.00 or a trip to Dairy Queen or both to stay home. I'm pretty sure I never took him up on it. I went on the trip. And I had fun and learned and grew. And rarely thought about mom and dad at home.

So today when the boys were getting ready to head off to camp for a week, I offered them $10.00 or a trip to Outback or both to stay home. (I had to take into account inflation since 1987.) They didn't take me up on my offer. So they got into the church van, waved goodbye, gave me the "I love you" sign, and left me for a week. And I know they will have fun and learn and grow. And rarely think of their mom at home. Even if I am thinking of them every minute.

Friday, August 12, 2011


That's it. Just TGIF.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

10 Things Thursday

10 numbers.

1. 10+--the number of hours I've worked every day this week
2. 12+--the number of children I have cared for each day
3. 3--the number of children I wanted to be caring for each day
4. 4--the number of hours I've spent outside each day on the playground
5. 27--the number of times I've closed my eyes and smiled at the sun
6. 3--the number of neighborhood hooligans I had to chase off our playground today after they set off firecrackers in the covered slide
7. 7--the number of Von Trapp children in The Sound of Music...which would seem really random if I didn't also mention that I am going to summer theater tonight and the show is The Sound of music
8. 6--the number of lists I've made today
9. 15--the number of days until I meet my new nephew
10. 3--the number of days I have left to work this summer

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


The strangest thing happened this morning. I went into Josh and Adam's bedroom to wake up my little boys and two half grown men had taken their place.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Dear Teenage Girls at the Movie Theater Last Night,

You are adorable with your trendy clothes, ponytails, and smooth skin. I'm glad that you enjoyed the movie even if you did figure out that she was his daughter early on. I'm sorry that the movie theater girl had to tell you to put your feet down off the seats in front of you.

But why, for all things holy, did you not wash your hands after you went to the bathroom?!!?? You look like smart girls. I'm sure you have mothers at home who love you. And I'm sure those same mothers taught you to wash your hands after you pee. But you didn't. Really?! You stood in front of the mirror to fix your hair and check your lip gloss. Would it have been so hard to turn on the water and rinse your hands? It kind of grossed me out and when I heard you say that your "next plans" were to go eat, I think I gagged a little.

Girls, please, please, make it a habit to wash your hands after using the bathroom. Because I'm pretty sure the boys you no doubt went looking for last night would be grossed out too if they knew you didn't wash your hands.

Concerned and Disgusted Fellow Movie Goer

Thursday, August 04, 2011

10 Things Thursday

10 things about August.

1. It's here. Why does summer get shorter and shorter every year?
2. It's busy. Our calendar has very few empty boxes.
3. They boys will be going to camp. For a week. Without me.
4. Our last summer theater show is the 11th. It's The Sound of Music. I can hardly wait. And since I'm in charge of the tickets, I'm putting myself next to Katrina because I know she'll sing along and that means I can, too.
5. The county fair starts the 24th. We like to go at least one day although we mostly boycotted last year because they were allowing beer all over the fair grounds instead of limiting it to one area. And it's soooo crowded these days. We'll see what we decide to do this year.
6. We will have a new member of the family. My new nephew who I can't wait to meet will be born in a few short weeks. Well, short for me, not for his mommy. He will raise our family dinner attendance to an even dozen.
7. We just finished Bible Sports Camp at church. I came to the realization while chasing 23 four year olds around and trying to get them to sit still for 5 seconds that I am a willing servant, but not a cheerful servant. I have to work on that.
8. I took the kids to the beach for the first time this year yesterday. They had so much fun and despite the sunburn on my right shoulder, so did I. I hope we can fit in a few more beach days this month. (Apparently spray sunscreen only works where you actually spray it.)
9. There are still a few things left on our "summer to do" list. The ones we hope to get to are garnet digging, a Spokane Indians baseball game, and at least one outdoor concert (for me).
10. The last week of August will be time to get ready for school. Do not remind me that we only have 32 days left of summer.