Friday, May 21, 2010

Embracing Technology

Did you know that I'm hesitant to embrace technology? Right now, just the thought of a Kindle sends me into convulsions. I can't even think about reading a book without first sniffing it! The smell of the pages is half the enjoyment of reading!

Let's see. What else? Oh, sure. Texting and smart phones. I just don't do it if it don't have to. Let me embarrass myself and tell you something I uttered about a month ago. Brett and I were talking about getting one of those new fangled phones. I looked at Brett, and honest to goodness, I said, "Ya, I'll get a blueberry." Brett laughed in my face. He never hides his delight in my less than stellar moments. "Uh, honey, I think you mean Blackberry." Well, you say to-may-toe I say to-mah-toe.

Hmm, more techie stuff...Oh, MP3 players. We have a knock off--not an iPod. I like it. I gave it to Brett as a gift so he can listen to good stuff while working. I'd like to have one for each of my kids for travel. They love to listen to their music on Daddy's music machine.

Rechargeable batteries--ya, I've embraced those.

I also embraced digital cameras. Which I now do not totally enjoy. The reason is in the hard tech side of it. All of these pictures on hard drives and memory cards, not printed out. It's just so easy to take thousands of pictures and not have them developed, er, printed. I've instituted a plan of action to alleviate these digital woes of mine. Slowly, but surely I'm processing them.

GPS--My mom and I gave one as a gift to Brett for Christmas. He doesn't use it or like it, generally speaking. He likes it when I have to use it to navigate my way through our homeschooling world. With out activities, trips, and adventures, he likes to know that I'm not reading a map and driving at the same time. And the fact that it locates the nearest police station is reassuring to him. What does he think I do with our kids?! Oh well, I like his over protection. Makes me feel loved.

And the last piece of technology I'd like to mention is very dear to me. Well, it's been dear to me since Monday. I wish I had not rebuffed this device for so long. And that my friends is the spinning toothbrush. Yes, that 'baaaaaaaaahhhhh' you hear is a chorus of angels singing at the greatness of the spinning toothbrush. My teeth are ever so happy. Since I'm overcoming morning sickness, this doo-dad has helped improve my hygiene. I can do a 30 second brush, get a good clean and miss the gag reflex. Pretty sweet set up there!

I'll let you know when and if I ever get a Blueberry....


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Monday, May 17, 2010

A Little Rain Dance

I can't explain, they are just nutty. While tidying in the kitchen, I noticed this scene outside. Once I realized this was going to go on for a little while, I went to grad the camera. I think it's funny...strange...but funny! Oh, and it's even funnier if you play them both at once.

video video

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Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Boys' Days

We finally finished with our Homeschool 2009-10 school year! Big deal in this house! Let the fun and exploration begin!

The boys fill most of their days being outdoors. Even though we live in town, we try to get them out into the thick of it as much as possible. But, hey, even your backyard is an adventure full of discovery in itself! Just yesterday we found two snails, watched the birds swoop in after the rains to gather twigs and worms, sucked on honeysuckle, and splashed in puddles, puddles and more puddles. Yes, the backyard is a wonderful place.

We were able to go fishing with Daddy last week. Oh, this Momma was still overwhelmed with morning sickness, but I had to get out of this house. I do spend a good heap of time under the shade trees during the day in the back yard. Life is just better when there is fresh air. I may be sick, but I feel worse when I'm inside. Anyway, back to fishing, I sat in my chair with my sun hat on and tried to read some Jane Austen. I didn't get much reading in because the boys needed help casting.

First location didn't works so good.
Off to another area.
I love pictures like this--of the boys following their Daddy--just special to me.

I stopped to love the clover.

Because I'm silly like that.

Setting up fishing camp.


Cheesy McCheeserton

T-Bird has become quite the angler. And he's not afraid to put color in his wardrobe. Nice tie dye shirt with a tropical orange short. Nice.


All that fishing makes a guy hungry.
I happen to be in love with the way this kid snacks. He totally gets into that relaxation place. Nothing exists except him and his food. Brett and I often share a laugh about this.

What else is a big hill made for other than rolling down it!
Altogether it was a good time. We only caught one fish, but I think the big accomplishment was just in the fact that the boys were *mostly* still and quite. I'll now do a big, big celebration dance!!

{Side note: Notice the hair styles in the above pictures. Geez Louise, just a little unkempt. They look like stereotypical homeschool kids, don't they. Ya, I guess, we are THAT family. Hahaha}

{Notice in the following pictures, as their Daddy says, their ears have been lowered. Aka, they got haircuts over the weekend}

This week we journeyed downtown to the Farmer's Market. The boys had a great time.

Intense.





Feeding the ducks.

A dandelion for you, Momma!
And after shaking it around, little dandelion fluff flew back at him. That's the hazard that comes with dandelions. Just beware.

Just a glimpse into their days. We're looking forward to making the most out of our summer vacation!!!!

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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Dreams of a Little Boy

T-Bird: Hey, Mom, guess what.

Me being the compliant mother: What?

T-Bird: I want a handlebar mustache. Handlebar mustaches are so cool! I would look so good singing this song if I had a handlebar mustache!

Brett is just now able to grow out some kind of beard/facial hair. We just don't have hairy genes. I want my baby's dreams to come true, but I'm not sure how this one will turn out.

Only time will tell.

And, yes, I did burst into laughter when he told me this. Definitely not what I thought the what would be.


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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Keepin' It Real

Here is a little story about how quickly pride gets squashed. A couple of weeks ago, I was edified and praised in Barnes & Noble by a public school teacher for being a homeschool momma. I tell you what, it put some wind in my sails. With beautiful words like, "you are doing an amazing job" and "raising straight arrows in a crazy world", how could I not feel as though my toes were leaving the ground?

It's so wonderful to be lifted up by someone with stature and credibility.

And then days like Tuesday, May 4th around 3 pm happen. I just needed to go to the post office to get something to my Uncle quickly. Hence the actual NEED to step into the post office. Problem 1, Professor X cannot wear shoes because he sloshed around in rain boots without socks when we were on tornado detail Sunday. He has the biggest, nastiest blisters from his water frolic. {My kids don't understand that rain boots are not containers for water, you are supposed to let them keep your toesies dry!} Which led to Problem 2, I had to carry the Professor everywhere.

In turn that leads to Problem 3, the one where the Professor asks nicely to sit on the middle counter while I take care of business. As I make small talk with the post office lady, it finally dawns on me that I am hearing an uproarious party in the background. I turn and see the Professor running up and down the middle counter while being cheered on by Hoot! Hoot's always ready for a good time with a dose of danger. Of course, Mr Straight Laced T-Bird is trying to kill the party. Oh, dear. These are the moments in my life where I want to shrink down tiny as a bug and disappear.

NO, I do not {strive very much not to} allow them to behave like that.

YES, they can smell weakness. Guess I was having a weak moment.

Problem 3 is followed up by Problem 4. The one where I went to the grocery store after the post office adventure. You know the one where Hoot took his sandal off and threw it across the produce section.

Oh ya! My kids are straight arrows. And I'm an awesome mom. We are also REAL...and have off days. If every day were like this.....Well, I don't want to even think it....

However, I'm trying to remember to keep my pride in check. Thankfully, the boys keep it real.
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Monday, May 3, 2010

Twister Tale Part 2

Woo-wee. Well, we did head down south to help with the tornado clean up. Let me just say again and again, God is so great and we thank Him for protection. Two things that are obvious blessings: One, that my uncle was NOT home when the tornado hit. Two, that the family who lived just down the way had left 30 minutes before it hit. (and they just moved in two weeks ago)

Here is their home...er...I mean lack of home.
Completely gone.
But the beautiful thing about it is, as we walked by you could hear laughter coming from the group gathered in the driveway. Just like at Uncle William's place. Laughter. How beautiful!
Back to Uncle William's.
This is looking toward the completely destroyed house. Obviously the tornado didn't completely touch down on my Uncle's or it would have been destroyed as well. I guess it was just coming in for a landing. But all this once wooded area will be a field now.
My childhood playground.
My kids kept trying to swim in these 3+ feet pools under up rooted trees. Geez Louise! Gimme a break kids! I ended up loosing one of my legs to a plummet inside a pool. I was trying to fish out a kid when I lost my foot and in I went. Story of my life...
Guess the power is out.
The entrance to my road.


I don't have pictures from the first day. My Aunt has some pictures of it, and they were startling. There were five trees on top of his house!
But amazingly, most of the structure is there. And there has been lots of hands rally around to help. On Saturday there were six chain saws going at once. Someone brought out equipment to help lift the trees off the home. Thank you Lord for your Body who has a heart to serve. {PS, that shirtless guy belongs to me.} {PPS, It's HOT and HUMID in Lonoke Co}
Now to the laughter.
Jody, me, and Scott.
These are not just my cousins, but my childhood playmates. {and yes, we're a redneck family...don't disparage}
We had to do the ever popular, let's get the redheads together shot.
This is Scott. True story: when we arrived, he came up to give me a hug and honest to goodness as he stretched out his arms I jumped back and flinched. Obviously, I'm scarred for life.
Why?
Because he did stuff like this:
Chase me, pick me up and spin until I cry. Oh, puke-y...Notice my oldest son delighting in his Momma's woes. ;)

This chase also reminded me of all those Easters where he chased me down and smushed eggs into my hair. One girl and 6 boys...Ya, it was a blast. I had no choice.

T-Bird had found a worm and put it on my cousin Jody's arm. I high-tailed it out of there while trying to not gain attention. Once again, too many tortuous childhood memories came back to me. Jody armed with a worm and me in the vicinity was about to spell disaster for me.
See, I have a secret. Well, I've shared it upon occasion. My boys don't know that I have an aversion to creepy, crawly, slimy, possibly jumpy things. I pretend to be totally engrossed with whatever yucky thing we are investigating. I'll even put my hand down super close but not touching, and then suggest that one of the boys pick it up. There you go. I play it cool and they think I'm cool. It's a win win for me.

However, these cousins know the truth. I hadn't found my wisdom back then. They had already smushed a grasshopper on me and made me scream at an early age and I lost face. Then and there, they had discovered a new game. Hey, let's play Smush Grasshoppers on Adelia. We love that game! Oh, we played lots of fun games along these lines. Fun is open for interpretation in this sense.

Here are my kids and their cousins doing exactly what I did in exactly the same ditches with my own cousins. This is the way I grew up. Look at my pool and playground all in one.

He's getting tired.
He hasn't had enough.
He's nutty. {story coming up in a sec}

And the home I grew up in is completely squashed. Bizarre to look at. You can hardly see it because of all the trees on it.

My Uncle taking a break.

Aunt, Uncle, Momma.
Why are the kids looking a little alerted?
Because the news has arrived to do a piece on the situation.
He wandered down the wrong road at the wrong time. This is my cousin Warren who was selected by the committee of family elders to be the one who looked the least like the quintessential 'tornado story' teller, he was dressed mostly acceptable and didn't have too much of a drawl. I declared to all the women folk to lay low and don't say a thing. You're cleaning up after a tornado in muck, of course you're not going to look your best. I mean, I didn't want to make my reappearance to all the Central Arkansans as I looked yesterday.
Notice my little Hoot meandering about. Yes, that Hoot! Here comes a good story. As soon as Warren started his interview, Hoot moves from his above location to the water directly behind Warren. He then drops his drawers and starts peeing right there with his hiney facing the camera!!!!! I ran over to stop him, but he couldn't stop. Then pee sprayed all over me, so I stood there trying to block the insanity. I scooped him up and moved him out of the shot just as soon as he was finished.
After the interview ended, I asked the news guy if he had the camera zoomed in on Warren's face. He then cracks up and says, No, no I didn't. We got it.
Well, needless to say, they edited out Hoot's shining moment, but you know the news guy took that back to the station, showed everyone and they enjoyed a good laugh together. I wonder if that tape will resurface in a decade or so...
Like I said, story of my life...



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Saturday, May 1, 2010

Tornadoes

How I do not like tornadoes!


Last night a handful of storms rolled through my childhood home. My Momma called me early this morning and said, "I have to tell you something. It's bad, but everyone is fine." Oh, sure that's comforting. Being like my Momma and her sixth sense I said, "A tornado hit our area." Momma answered "Yes, and..." Me, "Uncle William's?!" Momma, "Yes, but he's okay."

Ugh.


So, here are some first pictures of his place and the woods joining our properties. The trees are just gone...I've never seen so much sunlight shine through. It's appalling.



Wow. Praise the Lord for His protection over my Uncle William! Thank you, thank you, Lord!
So, armed with rubber boots, waders, work gloves, an ice chest, some food and lawn chairs we're off to visit that mess of an area. We plan on doing some work and huggin' lots of necks.
It's just a reminder that things are temporary. Make the most of today. Hug someone's neck and tell 'em you love 'em. {and I'm not even the huggin' type!}

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