Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Honey Do

I read the other day in Family Fun magazine that children tend to mirror their parents moods.

The author of this particular article is a mom of two girls. She lamented upon how crazy things get at her house when she is in a bad mood and how her girls tend to emulate her crankiness. Her simplistic reminder for us readers is that "You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar". She writes, " When you or your children are acting like vinegar, ask yourself...where is the honey?"

I wonder how she would handle four crying out loud when she became grumpy.

I am sitting in my parents upstairs office trying to change my mood. We leave for Mississippi tomorrow and I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed by all that needs to be packed for our 14 hour road-trip. My kids definitely picked up on my stress. Jack and Gus were screaming loudly at each other for some mundane reason, Rebecca was yelling at them to be quiet; Nick had decided to ignore my third command to take a bath, and my husband was taking a nap through it all. Grrrrrrr. Meanwhile, I'm working up a sweat doing the laundry, packing suitcases, folding sheets and finding Playmobil pieces that have been dropped all over the house.

"Where is the honey?", I ask myself.

I packed it in the suitcase.

If you want to see God laugh, tell 'em your plans.

A year of preparation and the big day came to celebrate my parent's 50th wedding anniversary. My mom did a fine job in coordinating all the details of the event: the D.J. was there, the food was yummy, cousins were laughing as we all reminisced about our younger years, the reception hall was decorated, the lights sparkled and even my younger kids stayed dressed long enough for pictures! (Gus and Jack have NO patience for dress clothes...I have about 5 minutes to take pictures and then they start stripping!) It was all wonderful and well-planned except for the part we did not expect: Dad was deathly ill and mom wasn't far behind him.

Me: (2 days before the party, en route from N.C.) Mom, are you ready for the big night?

Mom: Yes! But your dad is sick.

Me: What! You've got to be kidding! How bad is he?

Mom: (trying to sound upbeat.) Oh, he'll be O.K., he just has a sore throat.

Me: (interpreting her tone and diagnosis) Mom, get him some anti-biotics and Gatoraid. This is NOT good.

Mom: All he needs is some rest, he'll be just fine.

Well, mom tried to stay positive, but as soon as I arrived and saw my dad's lethargic body and "out of it" facial expression, I knew we needed to change the day's schedule and shorten the celebration. We called all of our guests and informed them that we had to cancel the Mass, but to meet us at the reception hall as planned. God bless my mom and dad. As sick as they were, they slowly dressed themselves for the big event and hauled their sick bodies in the car. My siblings and I pretty much propped them up in their chairs at the reception hall so that they could watch the dancing and tribute we had created for them. They smiled and laughed, but only my siblings and I knew how sick they really were.

The next day, my parents felt sick enough to call the the ambulance. They refused to let Chris drive them to the hospital because they felt they would get immediate care going in that way. They lay in two different rooms in the emergency room. "In sickness and in health", I thought to myself, "50 years together and there they were...sick as dogs."

My parents are fine now. They both had suffered viral infections that had zapped their energy and enthusiasm on their big day. They are not fully 100% a week after their celebration, but they are still smiling and loving each other as on every other day. The important news is that they have officially made it! 50 years of marriage, commitment and faith in God. Sick or not, nothing can change the power of love (or Gatoraide!) Below are some pictures from the reception:

My mom and dad have a small kiss before they drink wine.

The couple of honor after 50 years!

Rebecca and Chris during the father/daughter dance part of the evening.

Here are some of the grandkids with grandma and grandpa before we leave for the 50th anniversary reception. Jack and Gus are pictured up front, Nick is on the far right, and Rebecca is in the back row in her RED dress.

Jack in front of a knight in shining armor. Sooooo handsome!

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Glory To The Newborn King!

Merry Christmas to all and may we always hold the Christ-child in our hearts forever!

Jesus Under Wraps

When I arrived in Texas with my family a week ago, I noticed that my mom and dad had decorated the house beautifully for Christmas.

In the formal living room there stood the Christmas tree. My parent’s artificial tree was illuminated with colored lights and decorated with red and white ornaments, candy canes, icicles and pearl garland. There were very few Christmas presents under the tree, but that would soon change.

Underneath the tree is a ceramic foot-long baby Jesus laying in his crib. His arms are outstretched as if he were reaching for his mom. He has a smile on his face and his head lays on a bed of straw and cotton. Wrapped in his swaddling clothes, that ceramic baby reminded me of the real reason we celebrate this season. I was glad to see Him there when I came home to Texas.

As the week progressed, more family arrived and placed gifts under the tree. I noticed that Jesus was looking a bit cramped underneath the tree. I thought, “hum, maybe I’ll put a gift in his arms so that we don’t accidentally cover him up with gifts.” And so I put a small box in his outstretched arms and was satisfied with my attention of Him.

Alas, more family came and generously brought gifts. In no time, Jesus was completely covered up and forgotten under the tree. I happily ran off to visit, eat, play, and plan for the big day of Christmas! The big day came with all the fanfare that accompanies the day: Mass, family, gifts, mounds of wrapping paper, food and laughter. It was a wonderful celebration of Christ’s birth, but as I look under the tree at the end of the day, I see that He is back….uncovered again…sitting in the same spot… still smiling…arms outstretched….waiting.

I learned a good lesson about human nature today that I think symbolizes our human relationship with Jesus. We cover him up when we are busy or concerned with worldly things but there He remains under all the ‘stuff ‘, waiting for us to reach for him. My prayer for all of us this Christmas is that we be more conscious of Christ in our lives on the good days when we tend to forget that His is there…waiting for us to notice.

Merry Christmas to everyone!

Friday, December 23, 2005

Money well spent.

There are many gifts to wrap before Christmas Day. Having four kids with at least 4 gifts each makes for at least 16 gifts to wrap. Add to the equation gifts for grandparents, brother, sister, nieces and nephews there must be at least 30 gifts that await a lovely wrapping paper and bow. As I ran errands today with my mom a sense of dread overcame me and I realized that I still needed to wrap all those gifts. I thought to myself, Do they have to be wrapped? Would it be THAT bad if some of the gifts were simply creatively placed under the tree without wrappping?

Later my sister and her daughter came over to my parents house to visit. After a few hours, Rebecca and her cousin, Kelcie decided that they were bored.

Then the idea struck me....I said, "Girls, I have an idea...how about I pay you guys $5.00 to wrap some of my Christmas gifts?"

The girls excitedly ran off to find tape, scissors and paper. I left to sing for a wedding and to pick up a few things from the grocery store. When I returned, everything was wrapped and placed under the tree ready for Christmas. Thank you God! As I looked closer, I noticed the girls used duck tape on the gifts instead of scotch tape, but hey...it worked.

Money well spent.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Until the hour of our death...

There are some things that will always remain a painful mystery.

We were informed this morning that a well known family from our parish tragically lost their oldest daughter in a car accident yesterday. While this is tragic in itself and an unbearable pill to swallow, it is partnered up with the fact that this same family lost their youngest son to cancer a year ago after a long battle against the disease. Just when the family was beginning to heal and smile again, this bitter news comes from behind and kicks them back down again.

Please pray for the Minta family and their remaining daughter. They will need as much of God's grace during this time of trial more than ever. Pray that their faith stays strong and that they feel God's presence during this painful time. Mother Mary hold their deceased children in your arms and send your angels to the ones left behind.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

File Under: You got TOLD!

We are in Texas enjoying family and friends. As we enjoy our dinner, Gus, who is five, decides that he would disobey his father. Here is the conversation between the two:

Chris: (half-joking, half serious)Gus, since you disobeyed me, Santa will take one of his presents back and you get less for Christmas.

Gus: (snidely) That o.k. 'cuz I'll still get alot.

Chris: No. You were only getting FOUR presents and now you'll get THREE.

Gus: Oh yeah? Well, you are not going to get any presents either 'cuz you spank us with the belt.

Chris (realizing the logic in Gus's argument says jokingly): Well since I'm not getting any presents I can spank you all the time then.

Gus: (totally silent)

I think Chris won that debate.

Monday, December 19, 2005

A Visit With Cooter

Sorry I have been gone for a while, but we’ve been traveling to from Chapel Hill, NC to New Braunfels, Texas by car for my parent’s 50th Wedding Anniversary. Here is one of many stories from the trip:

Day 1:

The kids love to travel by car. They are well equipped with their favorite toys, a VCR and screen to watch movies, a game cube complete with 4 controllers, MP3’s and gameboys. They create little nests around themselves with all their gadgets and gizmos ….most of which need to be plugged into the electrical outlet in the car. I even had my computer adaptor so that I could work on my parents’ 50th anniversary slideshow. (I had promised to have it done 2 months ago, I now have two days before the event and am under the gun to finish it.) My four children rarely “cry out loud” when they are enjoying the magic of so many options for entertainment all in one spot. That is, until the electrical system fails in the car and you are stranded between nowhere and nowhere.

To be exact: The Conoco Truck Stop at Exit 69 off of Interstate 65S, Alabama, US of A!

All in all, this place is a lovely place to be stranded. There are gas tanker trucks all around, mangled trees left over from Katrina, piles of rocks 20 feet high, and truckers. Not only that, the Conoco has a small dining area with two tables featuring “delissio pizza” and “dogs and burgers”. The lucky family stranded here have ALL their needs met with an array of items including beef jerkey, hunting supplies, confederate flags, bumper stickers that say, “ BEER, allowing ugly people to have SEX since 1821”, (Nick: Mom, what does that mean?) and baseball hats advertising Viagra. It’s a one-stop bonanza where you can have your ‘delissio’ pizza, have educational moments with your kids AND do your Christmas shopping. How did we get so fortunate?

In what seemed like no time, a mechanic (we’ll call him “cooter”) and his sidekick arrive driving a beat-up pick-up truck looking like they had pieced it together with pieces of other cars. I said to Chris, “ Well, if they keep that hunk of junk running, they must be good mechanics.” Our saviors are bedecked in cammo suits with long filthy hair, a shotgun rack in the back of the truck holding a twelve gauge shotgun for “protection”, tool chests, and the one guy was missing his front teeth and wore a hat that said: Why can’t I attract women like crazy instead of attract crazy women.

They inform us that the alternator is dead;which is what we suspected, and that the only place to find one is 1 ½ hour way in Mobile. Well, we had no choice but to trust those guys and wait. So we did.

Seven HOURS at that truck stop = a bill for $650.00 and a fixed car.

It was worth it when I saw that truck stop in the rear view mirror.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Just one of those days...

Ever have one of those days where numerous things happen worthy of writing about? I'm telling you, TODAY was one of those days so I'll try and give you a taste of what went on:

Gus has been so hyped up about our impending trip to Texas, that he packed himself (well, his toys) two days ago. Today was his last day of school before the trip and he WAS NOT happy about going to pre-school. Normally he is eager...

Mrs. Brown (his teacher): Um, Georgie, does Gus not want to go to school today?

Me: Why he does, Mrs. Brown, but he is really excited to get to his grandparents house in Texas.

Mrs. Brown: Oh. Well. UM, see. We've been wondering if he has a hearing problem because he has been speaking really loudly in class lately and has been having problems following directions.

Me: (trying not to laugh) Yes, well, he IS a loud child and he IS a boy. But I'll talk to him about his voice volume and behavior when he gets home.


A couple of neighbor friends and I decided to visit a local Craft Store for last-minute gifts and have lunch afterwards. I'm not big on local artisan craft stores mostly because the pottery bowls and other items are high priced and mostly kind of ugly. I went along because I'm an optimist and thought that I MAY find something that someone on my list would like plus...I'm always up for lunch with the girls.

As I entered the store, I noticed that it had a variety of items, but as I suspected, nothing interested me at all except for one thing: a spoon. It was not any ordinary spoon, it was embellished with stones and silver wire. Very unique, somewhat expensive, and heavier than I thought when I picked it up. Before I knew it, the spoon slipped out of my hand into a pottery bowl displayed on the FLOOR. (O.K. why would anyone display pottery on the floor? sigh.) Well, my heavy spoon severed the bowl in half with a mighty crash. The store employees looked at me in pain knowing I would have to PAY for the item even though it was an accident.

My friend Nancy said, "OH, you know, I have some great glue that could patch that bowl right up."

Me: Nancy, I don't like the bowl. It's brown and ugly.

Nancy: (laughing) OH I like it! In fact, I have 3 bowls similar to it.

Store attendant: Yes, you know, you could glue it and place it high on a shelf and no one would know.

Me: But it's ugly. I don't want it in my house.

Defeated, I paid for my ugly brown bowl. They were nice enough to charge me the wholesale price of $21.50, but it was still a painful sale. I told myself that I was DONE with craft stores and when they gave me a coupon for 20% off on my next visit, I gave it to Nancy....along with the broken brown bowl. She was delighted!


I had explained to Chris that Mrs. Brown had mentioned that Gus was really loud at school and was having trouble following directions. Gus sat there sheepishly wondering what Dad would say about this problem.

Chris: Gus, have you been having problems in school?

Gus just stared at his dad wondering if he was going to get another spank from Dad's belt.

Chris: Why would you behave like that?

Silence. All the kids were staring at Gus. Finally Jack spoke up....

Jack: (matter-of-factly) 'Cuz he's a devil.

Everyone burst out in laughter.


We are off to Texas in the morning to celebrate my parents 50th. Please keep us in your prayers. I'll post as soon as I get to a computer.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Hot Halapenos!

I made dinner tonight and the menu consisted of chicken fingers, broccoli, peas, and jalapeno poppers. I warned the kids that the poppers may be a bit spicy and to be careful that they not get burned. Nick took and bite of his jalapeno popper and proclaimed with great confidence:

I know why the jalapeno poppers are hhhhhot, because they start with 'h'.

Time for spelling lessons.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy, down in my heart!

Trying to keep Christ the center of Christmas is always a battle in my home this time of year. I try numerous subliminal and not so subliminal tactics on my children so that they know that Advent is about waiting on Christ, on his Incarnation, his birth on Christmas Day. Here are a few things that are working...sort of...

1. The Advent Wreath: During a Generations of Faith family session at the parish, we built our own Advent wreath with Magnolia leaves and golden baubles to make it pretty. I added a gold bow, and wallah! The Clemens Advent Wreath. It's on the center of the table and the kids take turns blowing out the candles at the end of dinner. As I light the candles, we sing, Oh, Come Oh Come Emmanuel as our dinner prayer. It's a nice addition to our Advent traditions.

2. Oh Little Poster of Bethlehem: I have a poster of the town of Bethlehem taped to the window next to the dinner table. Each night, the kids and I count down to Christmas by reading a short scripture verse afterwhich a sticker symbolizing that scripture is placed somewhere on the poster. I tend to hear, "It's MY turn to put on the sticker!" They really LOVE that one.

3. Our Nativity Set: I purchased a very small, child size Nativity set this year which I placed in the family den. The younger children love to stare at the figurines..gently touching the angel and baby Jesus. It was inexpensive, so if it get destroyed, no harm done. But it's good to have a Nativity in the room they spend most of their time in...a good reminder of the time of year.

4. Reading Christmas Books: Gus always hands me the book, "Who was born on this special day"
It is a lovely picture book about Jesus' birth.
Reading religious books along with traditional books add a mystery and anticipation to Advent for kids.

The final thing that I have out is NOT directly related to Advent at all, but entertains my kids and bring them that ineffable joy. Last January, I purchased a cute miniature skating rink with miniature skaters on it. It was 90% off! Who could resist! Anyway, these skaters skate in mezmorizing circles with the help of unseen magnets under the rink. But the influence this small item has on my family is funny. Becca comes in from school and turns on the Christmas music that accompanies the skaters, eats her snack and decompresses by staring at the skaters for 10 minutes or more. Nick comes, turns up the volume and moves the figures around by lifting them and dropping them to see where they land.

I never know what I'm going to find in that rink on any given day.

The other day, Chris thought it would be funny to put my rounded refrigerator magnets in the rink and watch the skaters crash into them and push them around. Sick puppy that he is.

The other day, Gus and Jack were playing with the figurines by sticking one skater on top of the other...and another....until finally when I walked by; there was a dogpile of skaters floating on the rink.

Gus: Hey mom look! The skaters are all on top of each other skating...its SO awesome!

Anyway, these things seem to be having SOME effect on the Advent spirit in my house. But the rink brings that extra-special JOY that is required this time of year. Get yourself a rink (I bought it at Dillard's last year) and bring joy into your home this Advent. The joy is contagious!

Welcome Home

It can be a lonely process when you search for truth and the truth finds you.

Chris met Chad many months ago when he was asked to be his confirmation sponsor. Chad was raised a Presbyterian--religion was a part of his life growing up, but not as central to his life as it has become.

One of the reasons Chad started looking into the Catholic Church in the first place was because of his sister. His sister was going to marry a Catholic and wanted to convert to the faith for reasons of the impending marriage and because she had been attending Mass with her fiance for many years and felt she could no longer call herself a Protestant. Chad was worried about his sister entering the Catholic church. He was totally against it and decided to talk her out of it by exploring the faith himself to prove to his sister that it was the 'wrong' faith.

What began as a mission to 'save' his sister, ended tonight in his coming home to the truth of the Catholic faith by making his first profession of faith, getting confirmed in that faith, and partaking in first Holy Communion. In front of God and everybody in the church. Fr. John slathered him (and 7 others) with chrism oil in the name of the father, son, and holy ghost. Tonight he is a full blown Catholic and knows more about the Catholic faith and his relationship with God than most people I know. You see, Chad was looking for the truth...truth to save his sister from making the wrong choice...but the truth surprised him and swept him up. The more he dug, the more he realized that the Catholic church held all that was good and right. The teachings of Jesus in scripture. Tradition, that keeps us from making the same old mistakes. Reason, that helps us make sense of it all.

Chad is a smart guy. He's 28 and is in the Ph.D/M.D. program here at UNC. Many of his good friends are from the Intervarsity Christian Fellowship Group on campus....all of varying Protestant religions. These guys form a wonderful support group for Christians to gather, pray and hang-out. Most of these guys were supportive in his decision to become a Catholic, but only one actually came to STM this evening to witness his conversion. In his world, Chad stand alone as one who broke ranks and became the man God wants him to be and he will be given grace throughout his life. No doubt there will be more lonely times on the horizon. It's hard to be a Catholic today. But as a wise friend told me many years ago, "Those who honestly search for the truth, cannot help but find it in the church Christ established 2000 years ago."

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Happy Birthday Chris

Happy Birthday you sexy beast. Oh, and for those of you who read the previous posts,...he returned the leather jacket this evening. Awwwwwh. Women are cry-ing all over Chapel Hill at the sadness of it all!

Immaculate Conception

An interesting insight by Peggy Noonan in her book, "John Paul the Great" regarding Jesus'mom:

"It is interesting that the countries whose Catholics love Mary most ardently, and who have by tradition been most public in that love, have tended to be those that have known intense political oppression and poverty: Poland, Ireland, Mexico, Italy, the Philippines. Why would this be? Maybe protracted trouble helps human beings admit they need as much help as they can get, and if a father, a son, and a mother are availabe, they'll take all three. Maybe in part it's that families under daily duress experience more deeply the crucial importance of women because they witness it each day, in the home, and in the form of decision making and direction. When you live close to the land, you tend to absorb a strong sense of gender, of the differentness of the sexes."

It is no accident that my husband was born on the feast day of the Immaculate Conception. It is as if she sent him straight from her hands to my own as a gift. Mother Mary, thank you for that gift.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

A night in Italy

Tonight is our anniversary. 14 years = 4 states 7 cars 4 houses 3 pets and four crying out loud!

Chris came home and reminded me that we had to leave the house at 6:30 even though we have dinner reservations at a mysterious venue at 7:30.

Why? I asked. You'll see, he said.

The kids were hyper while they ate their dinner giggling about the fact that mom and dad were going on their anniversary date.

Gus: Mom, kiss dad!

Me: OK (Chris and I gave each other a 'showy' kind of kiss for the kids.)

The boys: ( laughing ) EEEWWWWWWWHHH! Nasty!

While the boys were seemingly disgusted at the fact that mom and dad had kissed, Jack hurriedly jumped up from his chair to get HIS kiss....then came Nick...and then Gus! They ALL wanted a part of that action. Afterwards they all laughed at themselves and went back to the table to finish their dinner.

Me: Chris, open your anniversary gift.

Kids: Yeah Dad, open it! It's so cool! We know what it is and it's awesome!

Gus: You'll be a sexy beast in it! (Nick taught him that phrase and he repeats it during the most inappropriate times...but it's pretty funny.)

Chris: OK

The gift I purchased for Chris was a leather jacket. I was totally at a loss as to what to purchase my groom after 14 years of marriage, so I decided to take a risk and buy him something that he would NEVER buy for himself. (I kept the receipt.) I knew that he didn't really like it when he saw the gift, but the kids assured him that he looked great in it. (Quite frankly, Gus was right. Chris looked like a sexy beast to me when he put it on.)

Chris: I don't know...I look like a metro-sexual in this.

Me: Ha! No you don't! But think about it, if you'd rather buy a tool with the money, go right ahead. (Chris has been working on building a bathroom on the 3rd floor and is in need of certain types of tools that I'm totally ignorant about.)

Chris: Now you open your present.

Me:OK....(Chris hands me a metal tin which I recognized was from my favorite store: Brighton.) SW---EET! I exclaimed! Chris had purchased a gift card for me to use for anything in the store. We left the house early to make that purchase.

I bought some earrings and a cell phone case that I had been wanting for awhile. I was totally happy and thrilled with my husbands thoughtful gift, but knew that we still had dinner to share, so we started walking toward a mysterious venue that only Chris knew about. We walked fast since it was so cold outside and Chris started talking: "You know how much you loved visiting Rome and how much you love anything about Italy and Rome?" We stopped in front of Maggiano's Italian Resaurant. "Yes, of course", I replied. "Well, I've brought you here because you love Italian food and" Chris opened the door of the restaurant where we both found ourselves in front of a display Christmas tree with numerous gifts placed underneath. Chris reached under the tree and dug through the gifts and pulled out two wrapped items and handed them to me...much to my astonishment "these are for YOU." I opened the first gift and cried as I read the title: Pope John Paul II in the Vatican. I love this gift because every picture has a place that I'd visited this past summer while on pilgrimage there. The second gift was a book on Tuscany...a region in Italy I plan to visit one day. Chris had secretly placed the gifts under that tree in Maggiano's the day before...as a surprise. What a wonderful surprise!

I can't wait for the next 14 years! Goodnight all ;)

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

I will be here

Tomorrow Chris and I will celebrate our 14th wedding anniversary. Below are the words from a song written by Steven Curtin Chapman performed at our wedding on December 7, 1991.

Tomorrow morning if you wake up and the sun does not appear
I will be here.
If in the dark we lose sight of love, hold my hand and have no fear
I will be here.

I will be here when you feel like being quiet, when you need to speak your mind; I will listen and I will be here, when the laughter turns to crying, through the winning, losing and trying, we'll be together...because I will be here.

Tomorrow morning when you wake up and the future is unclear
I will be here.
As sure as seasons are made for change, our lifetimes are made for years
I will be here.

I will be here and you can cry on my shoulder, when the mirror tells us we're older
I will hold you.
I will be here to watch you grow in beauty and tell you all the things you are to me
I will be here.

I will be true to the promise I have made, to you and to the one, who gave you to me.

I will be here.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Lost and Found

One does not ever realize "how much" they have until they go through an organizing spurt.

I've been meaning to go through the playroom toy boxes for months and months to purge and clean, but it wasn't until Chris bought me some clear storage boxes did I get the 'bug' to sort the kids toys. I knew that my kids had many toy favorites, but never realized the number of PIECES that accompany these favorites. Many toys are ignored because the boys can't find the one crucial piece that makes it interesting. Because of this well-known toy problem, there are many great toys in the toy room that have needed MOM to come through and find the missing pieces. We worked on that tonight. (You can imagine the enthusiasm of the kids----it was not pretty.)

I gave each child a clear plastic box and gave them direct orders on what to fill the box with.

Me: Jack, fill this box with all the leggo pieces you can find. Becca, fill this box with any Star Wars toys you can find. Nick fill this box with knights and anything associated with knights. Gus, put all the playmobil items in a box.....etc.etc. etc until the boxes were filled with the same kind of item. I announced that no one was to do anything but organize. (You probably heard the groaning all they way at your house.)

Puzzle pieces were found. Dominos and Army men were found. Itty bitty pieces to the playmobil pirate ship were located and it seemed that we found more Match-Box cars than we ever thought one family could own! We also found lost socks that were eaten by the couch, leggos by the thousands, game pieces, and stuffed beanie babies. When a crucial piece was found...you heard, " Yes! I've been looking for that!!! But what really struck ME was how well each of the children could identify toy pieces. I mean, I would have some discombobulated piece of plastic in my hand, and my 5 year old knew what toy it belonged to and promptly attached it. This happened over and over again!!!

You would have thought it was Christmas today in the playroom after all the toys were found and put in their respective storage units. I thought to myself, " Man, who needs Christmas...just look for any lost pieces and you have a whole new toy again!" AND despite all the groaning, the kids eventually got in the spirit of our "family activity" and ALMOST enjoyed themselves.

They certainly enjoyed having their completed toys and will enjoy them until.....
we have to organize again.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Santa Baby

Gus had NO desire to sit on Santa's lap today. I encouraged him tell Santa what he wanted for Christmas with no luck....

So my friend Jackie and I decided to try Santa's lap....I asked for a diamond ring.
I think I've been too naughty for that.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

My lesson for the day

Why is it that when you are most overloaded, you find out that there is not one stick of food in the house worth eating? That's how it was tonight and to be quite frank, I was NOT in the mood for cooking, nor did I have the energy. So I announced to the kids that we were "going out!" They all voted to eat at Chick-fil-a at University Mall mostly because the toy store is located next to the restaurant and it has their favorite toys: Playmobil!!!! (I confess that all the employees at Chick-fil-a know my name..we go there alot.)

Dinner goes like it normally does: Gus gets so excited about sharing a thought that he ends up standing the whole time to which I respond, "Gus, sit down. Gus, sit down. Gus, sit down...over and over again." Jack sits, but with only one "cheek" on the chair as if at any moment he will need to dart out to conquer some imaginary bad guy to which I respond, "Jack, sit with both cheeks on the chair. No, Jack, that is still one cheek; I said BOTH cheeks". (Can you imagine what people are thinking around us? Nick sits nicely, but tends to overeat...which in turn makes him need to use the restroom. (I don't EVEN want to know what happens in there when he's bloated. All I know is that he comes out happy.) Rebecca stayed home to do homework and eat her favorite: PBJ. She wanted nothing to do with the boys tonight.

Dinner was relatively pleasant, so we decided to stroll about the mall and pick up some black pants that Nick would be needing for his performance in the "holiday" parade this weekend. (He'll be drumming with the elementary school's drum core...should be interesting since I've never heard Nick seriously drum. That, no doubt, will be another entry in the blog.) Anyway, as we were sorting through boys clothes at Dillard's, I spied a good sale of summer clothes. There were some Ralph Laren Polo boys dress shirts at a great discount, only problem was that they were multi-colored and very "springy" and feminine looking. I thought they were nice and would be good for the summer, but when I asked Nick if he liked them, he looked at me seriously and said, " No. Too many colors make me nauseas. I can only handle one or two colors." "OK." I said trying not to burst out in laughter, "we'll look for solid colored shirts from now on."

"Thanks mom. I don't want to throw up." (Nick has always had a weak stomach, but I NEVER knew multi-colors made him sick) I learned that the things that overload me as a mom are quite different than what overloads my child Nick. Either way, we both avoided the thing that made us feel woozy tonight. For me it was the thought of cooking another meal, and for him......girl colors on a guy's shirt. Somehow, I can understand that.