Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Take Me Home, Country Roads

The CD player in our car is broken. I have no idea what happened to it, but we can’t even get the CDs out of it. Bummer.

As a result, I have two in-the-car listening choices: the radio, which isn’t always a popular choice with the passengers, or cassette tapes. Our last car had no CD player (we’re movin’ up in the world, slowly but surely, so maybe the next car will have satellite radio...) and the cassettes were "car tapes" and therefore just got thrown in when we switched cars. We haven’t really listened to them in the last five years. In fact, I’m not even sure what’s on most of them, since a lot of them are tapes we made, but failed to label.

It’s funny how music takes you back. For example, I don’t think I could hear Air Supply or Marty Robbins (not that I’ve ever actually heard Marty Robbins in any other context, come to think of it) without mentally reliving the two-day-long drives between our house in Oklahoma and my grandma’s house in LA. Yes, my parents were crazy.  And hearing "The Boxer" by Simon and Garfunkel always reminds me of being in Leicester Square with my best friends from high school.

My current favorite tape in the car, when I can get away with making my own music choices, is the tape I made while on Study Abroad in London. Those songs were as much a part of that experience as the actual learning that took place. U2’s “The Sweetest Thing” is first and foremost, but then there’s “This Kiss”, “Summer in the City”, and “I Say a Little Prayer for You” from the soundtrack to the film “My Best Friend’s Wedding.” Ah, those were the days. If I just closed my eyes (which I shouldn’t do, because I’m driving), I’d be back in the Centre, having a crazy good time with some of the best people I’ll ever know. And That Video will be on every. single. time I walk into the dining room.

I hope one day, when my kids are older, they’ll hear Levon Helm singing “I Got Me a Woman” and they’ll be instantly transported to their childhood, dancing with their daddy in the kitchen while mom looks on and laughs.

Where does music take you?

P.S. I will never be able to hear “Country Roads” without remembering a trip to Germany with my high school speech & debate team where we were panicked by what at first sounded like a riot in the streets, but what turned out to be a group of Germans, who may or may not have been sober, singing their heart out to John Denver’s greatest hits.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Random Thoughts Thursday

I learned this week that Las Vegas is not a great place for children with a penchant for reading billboards. Case in point: Lexi pointed out the Blue Man Group, after which Ellie pointed at a sign advertising the Chippendales and shouted, “Look! It’s the Naked Man Group!”

I know there’s a box of Cadbury Cream Eggs around here somewhere. I just can’t find where I hid it.

There is nothing like sitting on an airplane that’s rocking back and forth and dipping up and down in alarming ways and realizing that you can only hold on to two of your three children.

It’s pretty amazing how two places can be as different and Oregon and Southern Utah and still both be so beautiful in their own way.

Why can’t we all just get along?

I’m so glad my kids aren’t picky eaters.

Why is it that no matter how nice other people’s beds are, nothing ever compares to my own bed and pillow?

I’m trying to figure out when I became the black sheep in my family.

Where, oh where are my Cream Eggs?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Random Thoughts Thursday

I'm going to take a leaf out of Pam's book and say that skinny jeans do not belong on persons of the male persuasion.  No exceptions.  In fact, in my opinion, skinny jeans in general just need to go the way of the Hammer Pants.

I'm supposed to be getting ready for our big, super-exciting girls' trip to Utah.  We leave tomorrow.  And here I am, blogging.

But I have accomplished some things today, so I don't actually feel too guilty.

It would be really nice if the two 4-year-olds running around here would stop trashing my house, though.  Every time I pick something up, they've gotten something else out to replace it.

And they think I'm going to get out the Playdoh for them?  Ha!

Yesterday I taught 9 girls how to read a pattern.  Then I taught 3 girls how to lay and cut out said pattern.  After the remaining 6 do it, I get to teach them all how to sew it together.  This will be really interesting.

But when we all wear our homemade pajama pants to camp, we will be the awesomest troop there!

The Google searches that lead people to my blog sometimes kind of creep me out.

I would like to know how the entire staff of a restaurant can think that a sign reading "Cornbeef 'n Cabage and Shepards Pie" is okay.

Did I mention that something I submitted made it onto the "Blog" of "Unneccesary" Quotation Marks?  Because it did.  I feel so special.

I'm so glad Spring Break is happening after a week like this one.

Now I really have to get some things done.  Because, tomorrow, I'm leavin' on a jet plane! (although I do actually know when I'll be back again, but still...)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Preach the Word, Sister

Turns out Ellie gets a lot more out of church than we realized.

In the car after church on Sunday, she announced that as soon as we got home she was going over to Mavis’s house. Mavis, which is not her real name but sounds good on my blog, is our next-door neighbor. She and her sister LaVern moved in right after we did, so Ellie’s known them all her life. We fondly refer to them as our cat-lady neighbors, not because they’re crazy like cat ladies (because they’re not) but simply because they do have a lot of cats.

However, we don’t normally just go visit them at random, so we knew something was up.

Apparently in Ellie’s class at church they talked about being missionaries. I can only guess that her wonderful teachers probably suggested that friends and neighbors would be the perfect starting place for these little budding missionaries, not even expecting anything beyond the word missionary to make it out the door (and thinking they’d be lucky to even get that.) But Ellie is a funny little duck. The things you’d really like her to remember are gone in a second, and anything you assume she’ll forget will probably be remembered for eternity.

And she was one determined little duck. Not wanting to crush her missionary hopes, but slightly fearful of causing awkwardness in our otherwise comfortable neighborly relationship, we tried to discourage her from running over straightaway. We said we’d discuss at dinner how our family could best be missionaries. We made other, less awkward suggestions.

We thought we'd redirected her fervor, but we were fools.

After dinner the girls went outside to enjoy the rare sunshine. Chris and I holed up with books in an unusually quiet house. We learned later that Ellie marched herself right up to Mavis and LaVern’s door, knocked, and when LaVern opened up, said, “Hi! Do you need any help learning more about the Gospel?”

LaVern said, thank you, no, she was just fine, but would Ellie like to pet the cat?

At some point I will have to go next door myself and explain, but I think no harm was done. Even so-called cat ladies have a sense of humor.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Random Thoughts Thursday

Today I’ve been inspired by this post to give my daughters’ teachers more credit. They go above and beyond the expectations and my children are thriving in school because of them. One day maybe I’ll do a post about our far-from-perfect-but-still-so-wonderful little school.

I haven’t showered yet. It’s after 10:00 on a weekday, and this is rare for me, but if the girls get a day off today then I should, too!

Except that I really don’t get a day off because I have somewhere to be before noon today. Better get crackin’.

I have just finished two rather depressing books in a row. Time for something light and fluffy, I think. Any suggestions?

I can hear the 5th Harry Potter book on tape competing with the 6th Harry Potter DVD commentary, and it’s really confusing.

We made really awesome tie-dye shirts with Lexi's Brownie troop on Monday and I can’t wait to wear mine. My inner hippie is breaking free.

I am so ready to be done with Girl Scout cookies (although a few more boxes of Tagalongs around here wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing.)

Why, oh why do my daughters think it’s hilarious when their father belches at the dinner table? They should stop encouraging him

My brother introduced our family to this little gem, and I think it’s only fair that I share it with more people, because, well, who doesn’t want to see a ridiculously happy Russian man lip-synching complete nonsense?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Maybe Van Gogh's Mother Had Issues, Too

I really should know better by now than to leave Ellie alone in a room with a marker.  Of any color.

I keep finding her random "artwork" in the most random places.

And we keep punishing her with time-outs and cleaning-up of the color.

And she freaking keeps doing it.

She doesn't even seem to be trying to draw anything in particular.

Although R is her favorite letter.

And she did a nice job outlining the door handle.

Sigh.  Maybe she'll find something useful (and monetarily beneficial) to do with these impulses.  One can only hope.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Buying Girl Scout Cookies (But Were Afraid to Ask)

Having spent over 10 hours in the last three weeks standing outside of stores helping some cute little girls sell highly overpriced but extremely tasty cookies, I feel qualified to offer a few words of advice to anyone who may encounter a similar group with similar products.  And, therefore, I will:
  • If you’re not sure what kind of cookies you’d like, ask the girls to recommend some. They’ve put in some time learning about each flavor, and they’ve likely tried them all. They’d love to show off their knowledge. 
  • Please don’t ask the girls in brown vests, “Are you a Brownie or a Girl Scout?” Brownies are Girl Scouts, and they’re proud of it.
  • Talk to the girls, not the parents. Even the littlest ones. They’re the ones selling the cookies. We’re just there to make sure you get the right amount of change.
  • When you ask how much they are this year and the girls tell you, “$4 a box!”, please don’t act shocked and appalled at the price. We know they’re expensive, and we know the economy is bad. But we also know that our troop only gets to keep 65-70 cents per box we sell, and we have big plans for that money. We don’t set the price; please don’t make us feel bad.
  • Challenge the girls. Be creative. Ask them to do the math for you, or what they're hoping to do with the money they earn. Ask them to share with you their favorite part of being a Girl Scout, or how long they've been a Girl Scout. They’re not just earning money for their troop, they’re also gaining valuable people skills.
  • If you don’t like cookies, or can’t eat them, consider donating a box. Most troops have a “Gift of Caring” box at the booth (that, unfortunately, goes largely unnoticed), or at least have plans for what to do with donated cookies. Ours are going to SnowCap, a local organization that benefits local people with food, clothing, and other necessities. We will make sure they get there.
  • It’s okay if you don’t want to buy the cookies. We’re disappointed, but we’ll get over it pretty quickly. We don’t mind you saying no - we understand not everyone can buy cookies. What we do mind is when you walk straight past us without even acknowledging our presence. Please don’t ignore these girls. They’re working hard and most of them are way outside of their comfort zone. A smile and a simple, “Not today, but thanks anyway!” in response to their cry of “Girl Scout cookies!” is all they need.
Well, there you go.  Now, when you're out this weekend (or whenever cookies are on sale near you) and you run across a couple of uniformed girls enthusiastically hawking their wares, you'll be prepared.

This is the last week you can get cookies here in Oregon, so if you don't have any yet, or, better yet, need to stock up for the year, time is running out!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Random Thoughts Thursday

Our 2-year-old babysitting friend keeps talking about “Sleeping Booty” and it’s so hard to not fall over laughing. Ellie, on the other hand, doesn’t think it’s funny at all and keeps trying to correct her. It’s not working out so well.

I’m getting really excited for Girl Scout camp next month!

I love the book fair at the girls’ school. I love that each kid takes home a free book, whether or not they actually buy anything. I love that Ellie couldn’t wait to spend her $5 from grandma on a book. I love my friend Erica for putting the whole thing together. What I don’t love is all the non-book junk offered at the book fair. Thank you, Scholastic, for making me the bad guy for insisting that my children purchase actual book-type things, even though it’s their own money, instead of a $5 PDA (how long before it fell apart or died, and guesses?) and a little tiny stuffed dog in a bag (as if we don't already have several tiny little dogs which came in bags.)

Can you guess which girl wanted the PDA and which one wanted the dog?

Today, in addition to the usual laundry, I get to wash (and then iron) over 25 yards of fabric. This should be fun.

Haiku of the day:
The smell of soil
Makes me feel I could grow things
Or hide dead bodies.
(I didn’t write it, but it makes me laugh.)

Thinking of getting an iPad? Then you definitely need this product. No doubt about it.

I feel like I've been neglecting my blog lately.  Life is busy.

From the “things I shouldn’t have to tell them to stop doing” category: don’t sing “Hap-py Birth-day Mister Pres-i-dent” Marilyn Monroe-style in front of your kids. Just take my word on this one.

Ellie got in bed with me at 5:30 this morning and wiggled and whispered and loved on me until she finally fell back to sleep, about two seconds before I had to get up. I just keep reminding myself how much I love her.

Carrie should not have posted that video on her blog.  Now I'm all weepy.  (But it's a good weepy!)

There are almost no Girl Scout cookies left in my house.

Everyone is someone else’s weirdo. Am I yours?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Gospel According to Ellie, Part 2

Part 1 can be found here.

For someone so young, Ellie has a fascinating take on gospel principles.

(I should state right here, for the sake of eliminating confusion, that some of these principles are unique to Mormonism. More information – and the non-four-year-old take on said principles – can be found here.)

For example, she seems to be pretty secure in the idea that she didn’t just live with God and Jesus before she came to earth, but that she was some sort of special sidekick to them. She claims that she did a lot of kicking of Satan in the head back then. You go, girl.

She also talks a lot about how she chose to follow Jesus, rather than joining Satan and his miserable 1/3 of the hosts of heaven. She talks so much about this that she’s kind of freaked out a few of her friends, who first of all do not belong to our church and therefore don’t seem to have any background in any sort of pre-existence teachings, and second of all, don’t seem to have quite the imaginary personal history of being a literal warrior for Christ. To them, Satan is The Devil, and The Devil is kinda scary. End of story.

But not Ellie. To her, Satan is someone we kick in the head and shout at to Go Away! And if people listen to him they do bad things, but she’s okay because she never listens to him, only to Jesus. So she might make little mistakes, but she’s not going to do really bad things. Oh, how I pray that attitude continues all her life.

But I digress...

Apart from her Satan obsession (which does seem to be lessening these days, thank Heaven (unintentional pun)), she’s also figuring out about the power of prayer. I wrote a rather lengthy post on this, which I’ve yet to actually post, but one day I will. Basically, one day not too long ago, she had a problem, decided to pray about it, and was then able to solve her problem. To a four-year-old, this means that God will solve all her problems if she just asks. If only that was how it worked.

On Sunday I roasted a chicken, and the drumsticks were in high demand. There are three girls, but our chicken, being of the normal variety of chickens, had only two drumsticks. Ellie, unfortunately (and due to the fact that she didn’t actually eat the last drumstick she was given) was the loser this time. Despite her despair, she volunteered to bless the food, and, through her sobs, asked Heavenly Father to please bless that Mommy and Daddy would give her a drumstick.

She finished the prayer (and her sobbing) and looked expectantly back and forth between the two of us, grinning. You could just see her thinking, Ha! I DARE you to say no now! But Heavenly Father, who I know without a doubt has a sense of humor, because He gave us the daughters He did, did not pull through for her on this one. Lesson learned, admidst a new flood of devastated tears. She got over it. I don’t think she really wanted to eat any chicken anyway, hand-held or fork-fed.

One last thing.  The other day I heard her telling our little babysitting friend, as she was leaving her alone in a room, “Don’t worry, if you get scared you can just pray and Jesus will help you not be scared anymore.” There’s nothing wrong with this except that I really have no idea what this family’s religious inclinations, if any, are and I really don’t want them to think that I’m preaching to their daughter behind their backs. There’s nothing wrong with a four-year-old talking about Jesus, but I sure don’t want to step on anyone’s toes.

But at least Ellie knows what she’s talking about and isn’t afraid to share her beliefs.

Another kick to the head for Satan right there, I think.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...