Wednesday, October 31, 2007

And so I wish you all a happy day!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Let's do the Twist

Halloween is not my favorite holiday, but it marks the beginning of the march towards my favorite holiday; Christmas! Halloween is fun for the kids. We've already started our pre-Halloween activities such as pumpkin carving, and I've made a couple of costumes this year. The inventor choose Link, the guy from the video games. My daughter choose to be the Ice Princess, the wicked lady from Narnia. I did not make the ice princess costume, however I did make her a poodle skirt for a 50's dance that about 100 kids from her grade (that would be just about everyone) attended. There's a local dance instructor in town that teaches ballroom dancing to kids and she is enrolled in that class, and yes they have to dance with the boys. It's done really well, the kids switch partners every 3-4 minutes so that a girl will dance with every boy in the room by the end of the class. They also teach manners; thank goodness. The boys and girls are given etiquette lessons, how to introduce themselves and others, how to behave at the punch table, the boys have to bring the girls the refreshments, open doors and escort the girls out of the room after class. They are taught how to accept a dance and how to cut in on someone. It's a lot of fun to watch (there's a window into the dance studio that parents like me peek in on the class, and I duck every time my daughter looks to see if I'm watching). There's also a dress code for class, the boys have to wear dress pants, shirt and tie and the girls have to wear dresses. After the 50's dance class, about half of the kids and parents went to a local favorite pizza place. This is a great group of kids and parents, and we are lucky to have such a fun, safe introduction to preteen socializing.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Remember Headless Barbie

I've often heard that in order for a person to overcome a problem they first have to acknowledge that they have a problem. They have to own it, before they can fix it. So I would like to confess that I am a pack rat. Not only am I a pack rat, but my daughter has picked up on my pack rattishness and she too has become a pack rat. I have to admit that I have trouble throwing away something that I think is perfectly good, because I fear that one day I'll wish I hadn't thrown it away. I know logically that I could run right out and buy something if I needed it, but I can't help thinking, why buy it again if I have it now and can store it for some undetermined amount of time, that doesn't seem like such a long time, especially if I could possibly need it in the future. Right? So that leads me to tell you the story of "Headless Barbie"...

I can't remember exactly when "Headless Barbie" lost her head. I remember it was awhile ago, OK, several years ago, and there were lots of tears and glue. I can't even remember which brother pulled her head off, but my daughter was very sad that Barbies' head could not be successfully glued back on. My daughter absolutely refused to throw "Headless Barbie" away, so she lived among the other Barbies, in the Barbie Box in my daughters room. This Barbie Box contained more Barbies that I care to count, along with all of the different Barbie clothes and accessories. What's a Barbie with out her clothes and accessories?

As you can imagine, "Headless Barbie" did not get invited to participate in any more pageants or fashion shows. She lived a quiet and isolated existence in the Barbie Box, virtually untouched for years. Luckily, her fellow Barbies accepted her and loved her unconditionally, and overlooked her most obvious beauty flaw. Had my daughter not been a pack rat, "Headless Barbie" would have been history. But as fate would have it, "Headless Barbie" was one day called into service, thus making every pack rat's dream come true, the ability to produce something out of the closet that should have been thrown away years ago!

You see, my youngest son had to enter a pumpkin carving contest and he wanted to create a Carnivorous (Girl Scout eating) Pumpkin. Thus the need for a sacrificial Barbie. When my daughter heard of his plan she jumped to her pack rat little feet, and said "I have just the person for your project!", wouldn't you know, she dug out "Headless Barbie" who hadn't seen the light of day in years, and she offered "Headless Barbie" to her little brother, to use in his Pumpkin Contest. I could tell she had that thrill of digging out something she had saved, and finally putting it to good use, and doing that had made her little heart go pitter patter. It's the sign of a happy pack rat.

So, after all those years in the Barbie Box, "Headless Barbie" finally had a purpose. She did a good job as "Headless Barbie" in the Carnivorous Pumpkin, and she and my youngest son won first place in the Funniest Pumpkin Category.

It just goes to show you, that old saying "haste makes waste" could possibly be true, and the next time I'm cleaning out my closet I won't be so hasty in tossing out my old junk, because I'll remember "Headless Barbie"!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Please don't pet the pumpkin

A chill is in the air, at least in the mornings and it dosen't hit 80 until noon, so it must be fall. Time for pumpkin carving, and stocking up on our favorite Halloween candy. Tonight was the Cub Scout pumpking carving contest and I present to you the 1st place winner in the "Funniest Pumpkin" Category... The Carnivorous Girl Scout eating Pumpkin.

Ladies and Gentlemen please do not pet the pumpkin.

Friday, October 12, 2007

The State of the Fair

I love looking at scrapbooks, because each page holds so many memories. I haven't scrap booked my pictures in a long time, but for awhile I was pretty good at keeping up with it all. I don't know about you, but I re-live the moments when I look at pictures I have taken of our family. I think that's what appeals to me about Blogging, it's a little like an online scrapbook. As I finished downloading my State Fair pictures, I had to laugh, because looking over the pictures made me remember the day...

Here we are in front of "Jack's French Fries" one of our favorite haunts

The State Fair is an annual event for our entire family, and has been for many years. My Dad (now 76) used to tout the fact that he hadn't missed a State Fair since he was in 4th grade (because of health reasons, he missed for the first time last year).

We usually start at one end of the Midway, ride a few rides, and eat our way towards the exhibit halls, craft tent and finally the car show.

Every year they have the "new" food...this years new food was fried coke. I didn't try it, I stuck to the old favorites. The kids on the other hand, had a bit of almost everything, candy apples, corn on a stick, cotton candy, Fletcher's Corney Dogs (of course), French Fries, Hot Dogs, Grilled Cheese, Nachos, Chocolate dipped cheesecake on a stick, chocolate milk, you name it someone in the group had it. It wasn't long before the heat and the smells got to "the inventor". I have to admit he is prone to this type of behavior. We were leaving the food court when he announced the he needed to go to the bathroom real bad.

This is "the inventor" with a mouth full of cotton candy, just minutes before his "I need to go to the bathroom real bad" announcement.

I am apparently incredibly dense about these subtle hints of impending doom, because I turned around to him and said that classic mom statement, "why didn't you go before, when everyone else went?", and with out another word, everything he had eaten came up and out. Well we couldn't have been in a worse place, right in the middle of a crowd of people in a food court trying to buy their lunch, while my child was in the process of loosing his lunch. I'm sure sales plummeted at the Gyro stand, which we were standing in front of, when this calamity broke forth. He had that wild eyed look on his face, like there was more where that came from. So, I hurried him outside to finish up, and he did.

This is "the inventor" about 5 minutes later( notice the new shirt, moms think of everything)

As you can see within moments he was back to his usual self, and having fun, but sadly no more snacks for this boy, or for the rest of us for that matter, we were all sufficiently "grossed out". Except for that one little tiny, itsy bitsy incident, all went well at the Fair and I look forward to next year.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Thrill Of It All

At the request of my daughter, and against my better judgement, my mom, my sister and I took all the cousins to the State Fair on the hottest day imaginable. Not only was it hot, but The Jonas brothers were performing a free concert out on the Main Stage and it was crowded. Crowded actually doesn't even begin to describe the claustrophobic atmosphere. I've never, in person, seen so many tween aged little girls swooning over a teen idol. It was a throw back to the Elvis or Beatles early days where girls would line up screaming and jumping up and down with excitement and with the anticipation of seeing someone up close and personal, that they had previously only seen taped up to the walls of their room.

The heat was so bad that before the concert, the concert organizers were out on the stage telling the girls to hold up their hands if they felt dizzy or felt that they needed medical assistance. Then they proceeded to spray down the crown with fire hoses, which 30 years ago I would have thought that was great fun, but not anymore, so we kept our distance. Luckily, I had been to my share of out door concerts as a teen, and had come prepared with lots of water, sunscreen and snacks. My sister and I also didn't let the girls out into the wild crowd until the very last minute. The mistake outdoor concert goers make, is they cue up early to get a good spot, then they end up waiting a long time for the concert to begin, all the while getting sunburned, hungry and dehydrated. What the newbie little girl concert goers don't know, is that if you travel light, you can shimmy your way to the very front at the last minute. So my sister and I filled the girls up with a good lunch and lots of water, and sent them packing with extra waters and a cell phone, to brave the little girl crowd of concert goers. As I expected, the two of them worked their way through the crowd and ended up front and center with a great view. My sister, my mom and I and the boys then sat at the back in the shade, sipping lemonade and eating popcorn in our portable soccer chairs that we had brought with us. It was great. They got to get up close so they could sing along, yell and scream, and we got to sit in the shade and relax. Sometimes it's good to be old.

Sunday, October 7, 2007


A lot of people have weighed in on the war that we are in the midst of. Even as I sit here typing in the morning hours of the day, in the comfort of my own air conditioned home stocked full of clothes, food and plans for friends and fellowship in the next few hours, I realize that it is almost 9pm in Afghanistan. It's hot, humid, dusty and dangerous. I have just finished IM'ing my nephew who has sent these pictures home. He is stationed in Afghanistan. The people there cannot move about freely, with out fear of harm. The majority of the inhabitants of that land do not recognize Jesus and his saving grace, and they have been thrown headlong in to a battle for their land, between the Taliban/Al Quaida and it's bondage and US, who we perceive as being the good guys. It's hard to keep that perception of being the good guys, when we do bad things (I'm thinking of the horrible prison incident in Iraq). I wonder often if the people of Afghanistan and Iraq know that the average American on the street really does not wish bad things for their country and their people. The average American, I believe, just wants to live in peace. So we send our family and friends to war, to hopefully help the people of Afghanistan and Iraq. We are at war to protect our own safety, as well as the hope of helping people we do not know or understand, but we wish for them to live as freely and comfortably as we do, and we hope that they will come to know the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

We should all take inventory of the comforts around us and then give thanks for all that God has given us. Pray for the safety of all those who have gone to war for our country, that they will make us proud and that God will protect them and bring them home soon.