August 25, 2011

little boys are NOTHING like little girls

I babysat a little boy today. He's about 9 months old and looks like a 3yr old.
He walks.
He has teeth.
He pulls me over when he grabs my legs.
I call him Hulk.

Here's what little girls do when they walk into my house...

1. Can we watch a princess movie?

2. Go straight to the ballerina magnets on my fridge and start playing with them.

3. Can we play with the ballerina magnets while watching a princess movie and eat pink cupcakes and wear your high heels too?

That's it. You wanna tell me I can't play with your leatherbound, 18th century
Charles Dickens collection? Watch my waterworks.

Oh... you wanna play this little piggy? Nevermind about the waterworks.
I'm all fun and games now.

Here's what Hulk did when he lurched into my house on his unsteady 9 month old feet this morning...

1. Made a beeline for the fan whirring in the back door and stuck his fingers in it.

2. Made a beeline for my snowglobe and attempted to smash it into forty million pieces.

3. Stuck his fingers in the fan again... while grabbing for the snowglobe... and pullling his shirt up to show me his chest. All at the same time.

Okay. You wanna tell me I can't have your orange roll? I'm bringing out the big guns.
Here it is... my manly man chest. It's big. It's handsome. Try not to lust.

Here's what little girls say when they poop...

Ansid... hannvrgondstdflaijhgb..... oiranand????
That's code for, So... I pooped and I hate it so could you change my diaper... like pronto???
Then they whine and complain until I clean them up.

Here's what Hulk did when he pooped this morning...

First off, he didn't tell me. I smelled it.
Second, he wasn't done. So I told him to go away in a corner somewhere and finish his business.
Lastly, he never finished. He grabbed his blankie and laid on the kitchen floor and took a five minute power nap.

I mean, who does that?
A little girl could never say, Oh, what the heck. I don't care what's stuck between my hiney cheeks. I'm takin' a nap.

Hulk, in his first hour here, opened and closed every cupboard door and every drawer in my house. And squashed his fingers in every single one too. He never tried to take anything out. And he never even cried, just laughed every time. Like squashing his fingers was fun or something.

Hulk, in his first hour here, flushed half a roll of toilet paper down the toilet.

Hulk, in his first hour here, tried to run away from home. No really. I opened the door and he made a run for it. He's amazingly quick for a 9 month old.

Hulk, in his first hour here, flashed his chest at me approximately ten times. I finally took the hint and removed it from his need-to-be-free body.

Hulk doesn't like to have his shorts put on. His big sister said, He's an angry octopus when you put his clothes on. I'll help you hold his legs.
Good thing she held his legs because Hulk would've gone to the park in the nude otherwise.

Hulk doesn't like me to close the door when I go pee. He cried dramatically and I had to let him in with me. Then he smiled and proceeded to squash his fingers in all the cupboards and drawers. And he tried pulling my shower curtain off the rod. And he knocked over my clothes hamper.

Hulk didn't want to take a nap. He had other business to attend to. Like stuffing all my ballerina magnets underneath the fridge as far as his fingers could push them.

Hulk ate rocks at the park. He also ate grass. And leaves. And dirt. And some random unidentifible object that looked like lint. He gagged on all of it, spit it out, and then ate it all again. And smiled the whole time.

I've spent the entire day in awe (and terror) of the difference between little boys and girls.
And here's the weirdest thing.
I think I'd like to have a little boy one day when I grow up.
I never wanted one before today. I, personally, like little girls.
But Hulk makes me want one.
I know... weird, right? I don't understand it either.

August 21, 2011

is good

I watched The Phantom of the Opera with Shelly the other night.
She lives 3,000 miles away, in Alabama, so we had to improvise.
So at 7 pm my time and 9 pm her time, we both popped the movie into our DVD players, said 123 go, and hit play.
And watched it together.
Gerard Butler's unsurpassed hotness gets me everytime. I want to marry him when I grow up. So does Shelly.
And Minnie Driver is brilliant in The Phantom. Brilliant.

He looove-ah me.
Dees tings do 'appen??? Maawk! For da pas' tree years, dees tings do 'appen! An' do you stop dem from 'appening??? Nooo!
Okey! Bye-bye now. See, watch, now I really leaving!
Why you always spray dat on my chin?
Your part is silent, little toad.

I looove-ah her.
Then the movie was over and we sighed blissfully just like every other girl who wants to marry Gerard Butler when she grows up.
Then I frantically played the air violin to the credit music.

Lily doesn't say here, she says he-ah. She doesn't say there, she says the-ah. She doesn't say hair, she says hai-ah. As in, Mommy! Come he-ah! Can you put a braid in my hai-ah? Right the-ah?
Go ahead. You can say Awww. How dang cute is that?
I say it all the time.
So the other day, Lil was praying over her PB&J at my house with her eyes squeezed tight shut and her palms pushed hard against her squeezed tight shut eyes.
She opened them and said, The-ah's a tigah in the-ah.

In wee-ah, baby? (I have this tendency to talk like Lily when I'm around her. I'm trying to quit, but it's a tough habit to break. All you pot smokers should understand this.)

In my eyes. Right the-ah.

How'd he get in the-ah?

I dunno. He jus' jumped on the-ah.

She thought for a sec, Tigahs scwatch us.
She thought some more, Bad guys kill us.
She dug deep and very seriously said around her PB&J, But PINK bad guys don't.
She smiled all over her face, I like PINK bad guys!

I got to see my friend, Lydia, this week. I haven't seen her for years and years.
Her kids are loud. My underneath me neighbor complained to the office manager.
The office manager knocked on my door and said, Pipe down.
Me and the kids went down to my underneath me neighbor and apologized for being a herd of elephants. She said her sick husband, who is pretty much dying, really can't handle the noise.
I suddenly had the worst guilty conscience and thought of all those times I dropped the shampoo bottle in the shower. And the times I scraped my chair across the kitchen floor. And all the times I pretended to be an opera singer. And the times I danced crazily thru the house to Brahms Waltz No. 15 in A flat.
I felt bad.
But at least I walk quietly.
But I was super happy to see Lydia and to have her family stay with me.
Lydia's one of those life friends. We don't talk much and see each other even less, but still... we're always friends.
When I was about 16, our church had a six week long meeting. So like, church every night for six weeks.
I was running out of clothes to wear.
At sixteen, it's pretty important to keep up with the Jones in the clothing department. I mean, we couldn't have me wearing the same thing more than twice in that six weeks, could we? No, we could not. I started to panic and breathe into my little brown paper sack. I needed to go shopping or start loving to sew, stat.
But after a couple weeks, I noticed Lydia's clothes.
A long khaki skirt and a navy tee every. single. night. for six weeks.
I stopped feeling bad about my clothes and to this day I'm grateful to Lydia for getting me over that huge teenage hurdle.
She's a good friend to me.

You probably think I'm just rambling on about nothing again. You're so wrong! These three stories actually tie together.
This past Sunday, Tim preached from Psalm 119:65-72.

Thou hast dealt well with thy servant, O LORD,
according unto thy word.
Teach me good judgment and knowledge:
for I have believed thy commandments.
Before I was afflicted I went astray:
but now have I kept thy word.
Thou art good, and doest good:
teach me thy statutes.
The proud have forged a lie against me:
but I will keep thy precepts with my whole heart.
Their heart is as fat as grease:
but I delight in thy law.
It is good for me that I have been afflicted;
that I might learn thy statutes.
The law of thy mouth is better unto me
than thousands of gold and silver.

What's that got to do with anything? It's just that... see those two lines in bold up there? Dealt well and art good?
That was the whole point of the message Sunday.
God does well, and God is good.
Sometimes I... don't exactly forget... but I lose sight of God being so good. I get distracted from it by every day life- the hurts, the sorrows, the frustrations, the impatience.
I ask God, God... why'd You let her better half walk out because he found himself a new better half? Leaving her with five kids and me so far away that I can't even, like... make her pancakes or anything?
God... why'd You let that pastor fall and all those church members march in on that Sunday morning with their mouths wide open and with the intent to hurt the ones who were down? Causing a hurt that still hurts 14 or so years later?
God... why'd You let those babies die before they had the chance to be born? When they were wanted so much?
God... why'd You let the uncle die in a ditch, alone and in pain? Breaking my heart to even think of it?
God... why'd You let the husband, the daddy, say those words that will never be forgotten?
God... why'd You let this or that?

God... please... can You explain Yourself?

And here's the dealio. He doesn't always explain. But He does something better.
He just is good.

He says, Why all the whys? What about the movies with your sister, and pink bad guys, and life friends? The delights? Can't you see the way you have Me to turn to? A strong tower to run to and be safe? Can't you see that when you call Me, the earth shakes and trembles, the heavens bow down, and I come to you and take you in My arms? Can you see how I delight in you? How I am for you? How you have run through a troop, your enemy scattered before you... because of Me? How My gentleness hath made you great?

And He's like, Remember, lovey, I love you. I do only what's good for you. Remember that, and when the trials or struggles or hurt comes- the whys- remember I do well. And be thankful. Thankful for the good and for the bad. Because in the end, the seeming bad... can be good. I can work all things together for good.

I can't say I'm always thankful for the bad. Because I'm not.
It is good for me that I have been afflicted.
Good for me? What.ever!
Obviously, David had had a late night when he wrote that. He must've just been getting over the flu and probably had a Nyquil hangover. Probably he meant it was good for everyone else. Yeah.

I've been reading this book, One Thousand Gifts.
I like it. It's not something you can breeze through though. In a nutshell, it about being thankful for, and in, everything.
The author, Ann Voskamp, writes about how she wished she could change some things in her life. She wished she could write the story different. Make the dead babies alive, take the hurt mama out of the psych ward, make the teenage girl stop cutting herself, make the dad see the importance of God, make time slow down.
But then her brother-in-law reminded her of King Hezekiah- how he begged for more life when God told him he would die, then God gives him the extra 15 years, then Manasseh is born and when he becomes king... the people are led astray by him more than by any other king. What would have happen had Hezekiah not asked God to write the story different?
Changed Ann's life to hear that. She started to realize that what she thought was a curse,was really just God knowing. Him knowing what she needed, Him knowing the whole story with its ending too, Him knowing the big picture with infinite understanding, Him being merciful.
She started searching for the goodness of God.
Goodness like movies with my sister 3,000 miles away, and pink bad guys, and friends in my house. And goodness like, The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, the hard to be thankful for things.
She started listing the blessings, the gifts that God gives in a notebook. Her goal was to reach one thousand gifts, but she's way past 1,000 now because it's not like God is limited to a mere thousand.

I ask God why, and all those whys are really just an echo of my ungrateful, untrusting heart.
But I don't wanna be so ungrateful, forgetting His goodness. Letting the every day life get in the way of my eyesight.
Things are never too hard to bear... if you got Him on your side.
So I've started a list, my Thankful List. (I love lists. I don't know what it is about those things, but I just love them.) You wouldn't believe how cool it is to see, in blue ink on a lined paper, some of the goodness of God written down.
It's helped me settle my focus on Him just that much more.

I can't say I've got a grip on this because the other day when the knob on my laundry closet door came off in my hand and then I pulled on the second laundry closet door and the whole dang door came crashing down on my head and my foot and my toes... I didn't say, Praise God for frustration. He giveth and taketh away laundry closet doors. Blessed be the name of the Lord.
What I said was, Blankety, blank, fill-in-the-blank.
But a few days later when I got a phone call that filled my heart with tears and made my throat close down and it seemed like a curse was biting at my heels, I could say, God help me be thankful. Because You're good. Because when I call You, You're there. And right now... I'm calling. Please, let this be well.

And He said, It's well.

And let me tell you, there's alot of peace in knowing He doeth well and is good.
Alot of peace in knowing His goodness is a wall of protection around me and mine.

God is good all the time.
And I'm thankful for it.

August 11, 2011

vacation, the end

Vacation's over.

Here's the last of my pictures.

Is this not the cutest picture of Molly?

Ten of the twelve kids, getting ready to go swimming. They piled into the truck bed like Mexicans.

Leah, the champion swimmer.

Making friendship bracelets. Let me tell you, making those things takes endurance. And a million years.

We went into Sisters to do some shopping one day, and I found these flowers growing in the cracks of the streets everywhere. I loved them!

I happen to have very cute nieces.

Paulina Springs.
 Call me pathetic, but I was enthralled by this spring. One minute you were standing on dry ground, and then the next step was a spring bubbling up out of the ground. It was awesome! Those swirls of water by Leah's feet are where the spring bubbles up.

Playing in the spring.

Posing in the spring.

Posing by the spring. I loved the spring. It was my favorite thing on the whole vacation.

Here's a great picture of me. I'm like a supermodel or something.

Karen's a nerd.

Yeah... Karen's a nerd.

We went to my parents for the last couple days of vacation.

Hey look... me n' Moma were taking pictures of each other.

Lily and Molly were being dogs. They were even barking.

Karen, interrupting Molly's dog antics.

Lily, undeterred and still being a dog. Dogs are the funnest things.

On the way home, we stopped by Stonehenge. The American one. It's a WWI memorial.

Lily and her moma.

See the little boy arm behind Hannah?
He was the cutest little Asian boy and wanted to be in all my pictures so he nonchalantly posed behind Hannah every time. And smiled big.

We had to have a picture at the American Stonehenge with a bag of American McDonalds.
It is written.

A big white cloud. It was pretty.

I liked vacation.
But I like more to be at home.
Home is my place.

August 05, 2011

blog nerd

I'm a blogger nerd. I admit it. Not to be confused with a blogger geek though. A geek knows what he's doing, nerds don't. Nerds just fumble around and stumble upon the right answer occasionally, by accident.
Anyways, I'm always completely, super duper, out of my mind excited when I figure something out.
And today, I figured out something! A couple somethings! I'll share them with you so you can be a blogger nerd too. Unless you already happen to be a blogger geek, in which case... you can disregard my feeble attempts at being a blogger in the know.

Thing One: Navbar removal. Easy peasy. I googled it.

1. Sign in to your blog> Click Design> Click Template Designer> Click Advanced> Click Add CSS.
2. Copy and paste this code into the text box  #navbar { display: none; }
3. Click the orange Apply To Blog button.
Voila! No more navbar messin' up your design and streaking across the top of your header.
You can just go straight to to sign in.

Thing Two: Share buttons. Removing your navbar also removes your sharing options- if you don't already have share buttons in place. Which I didn't before today.
You might already have blogger's share buttons in place at the bottom of your posts.

They're grey. How nice.
If you like grey, blogger makes it easy.

1. Sign in> Click Design> Click the Edit button in the Blog Posts area> Click Show Share Buttons> Click Save.
There you go, boring and grey.

But if, like me, you don't want grey...
And if, like me, you have a custom template which makes blogger share buttons a little difficult to add...
I'm yo mama!
I found this site, AddThis. Free! Easy! Colored share buttons! Woohoo!
I danced around for awhile over this.
I'll walk you through it because it makes me feel smart.

1. Join AddThis.
2. Up at the top left hand side of the page it'll say, Get AddThis. Click it.
3. Select your platform option. In my case, Blogger.
4. Select your style. In my case, the first option. It was small and kinda cuter than the rest.
5. Over on the right, you'll see a Grab It button. Click it.
6. Then do this...

(Don't log out of AddThis yet! Just open a new window. You'll need to copy and paste the code from the text box that you see above the Grab It button.)

Sign in to your blog. Click Design> Click Page Elements.
Click on Add a Gadget (in any of the areas. Different templates may require moving the widget to a different area). A new window will open for you to insert the widget
Select the "HTML/JavaScript" widget. Leave the title area blank and copy and paste the code from AddThis into the content box. Click save.

Now you have these!
You're so welcome.

Thing Three: I found this site Picnik.
I don't have photoshop. Heck, I don't even have a camera. So when it comes to creating a new header, I'm seriously frustrated. Takes me twenty-five thousand years to make one.
But I made a new header today (See? It's up there.) in about ten minutes on Picnik.
I died and went to heaven.
Photoshop is in my future. So is a camera. But until then, it's my cell phone and Picnik.

Thing Four: A signature at the end of every post. I'm not certain if I like this one, yet. I have horrid handwriting, so I stole someone else's on My Live Signature. And if you want to add a signature to your posts, go here to Kevin and Amanda's Blog. I got tripped up trying to combine My Live Signatures and Amanda's tips so I'm not gonna try to walk you through it.
But there is one thing you should know.
You'll see where Amanda says to do this...

That works unless, like me, you've added the AddThis share buttons.
Copy and pasting exactly where Amanda said to, put my signature below the share buttons.
So I messed around with the HTML and found the right spot for my signature code.
It's just a little ways above where Amanda says to put it. You can see the line in her picture there.
I pasted my code right under this line of code -- clear for photos floats --><
Worked like a charm.

If you want to know things like: how to make your blog wider, how to add a slideshow header, how to make a simple header, customizing your blog in general... go here- The CoffeeShop Blog.
If you want to know all about custom (and free) fonts and fun stuff like that go here- Kevin and Amanda's Blog.

Thank you all for listening to my boring blog nerdiness. I'm so happy with it all, I had to share.
It doesn't take much to float my boat.

school paper

Ladies and gentlemen.
May I have your attention.
(please silence all cell phones and keep your bathroom breaks to a minimum, thank you.)
Introducing Mikenzie, My Niece... author and artist.

She would shoot her tongue out to eat two flies. Two, not one.
She's ambitious.
If she were a frog, I'd kiss her and she could be my... well... the whole prince thing doesn't really apply here.
Anyway, if she were a frog, I'd hope she lived in my water and stream.
So I could see her alot.

August 03, 2011


I asked Molly to smile for me.

I asked her again.

Like this??? Is this a good smile, Sun?

We've been taking alot of bike rides.
The littles love it even if my thighs don't.
Geez, Sun, can't cha ever stop taking pictures of us? Get on your dang bike and go.

The kids went rock wall climbing.
Our kids were the best out there. Full of stamina, determination, aggression, and athletic prowess.
They get all that from me. I was the #1 benchwarmer on the softball team a couple years ago.

All us vacationers after a rousing game of kickball.
(My athletic prowess came in handy here.)