Saturday, August 30, 2008

Coma free...

Well, I was hoping to be in a caramel and pecan induced sugar coma by now, but alas I am being thwarted. You cannot know the pain I am in right now. They are two weeks behind schedule. two weeks! The apples apparently did not meet the confectioner's standards and they were searching out new apples. Supposedly a shipment was coming in tonight. Supposedly I will be in a coma by Monday.

I need to have a good cry.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Seventeen.

Yes.
Seventeen.




My thoughts are all a muddle.
My prayers are focused.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Yay! Yay! Yay!



I just got home from welcoming my newest niece into the world!! I am so happy for my dear sister and her family. They've had such dark moments over the last six months but tonight I got to see God's hope and glory all over the faces of these people who mean so much to me.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

When do we stop blaming familes on the state of the world?

So, today on MSN.com the "stars" have decided to discuss "When is a family too big?" Whatever. But, I find it ironic that the opposers of large families kept siting food and water shortages and environmental concerns as the reasons behind their opposition. Including calling people who have large families "selfish."

Now, please know I couldn't possibly care any less about what Lily Tomlin thinks about my family, but I would love to know how big her house is. Where is her house built? What are her utility bills? Does she have a pool? What does she drive? How often does she fly? How far? What does her menu look like? etc. etc.

The reality is that my family of soon to be 8 has a much smaller global footprint than my suburban friend who is in a family of 4. And I can guarantee that is waaaaayyyy smaller than Mary Wells.

Monday, August 25, 2008

"The days are long but the years are fleeting"



Well, they're off. Meatball and Jellybean started school all day in Primary classes (they don't have traditional grades at their Montessori school) and Porkchop is every day mornings in the preschool room. I think we were the only one with a child crying because we were taking her home. Poor Ladybug. She'll start a couple mornings a week in January.

There are 24 kids in their class and 3 teachers. They are all so excited, though Porkchop is having a hard time getting left behind. But, I have a feeling that several days a week he'll be in the twins' classroom after preschool to continue working on his reading and math.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

This is the week...

It's finally here!

No, not the week that Sweeting is to be born. Much much bigger than that. This week is the week that the apples go on sale. That's right. I was there last week picking up my weekly fix of dark chocolate non-pareils (I don't understand why I don't have prenatal diabetes, either) and casually inquired about when they would be ready. She told me "Some time next week. Why don't you take our card so you can give us a call." and before I could think, I answered, "That's ok. I have your number in my phone from last year." whoops. embarrassing.

And I just want you to know that right now, standing on the edge of this most blessed of blessed seasons, I am feeling generous. So, here's what I'm going to do. I am going to give away two of these delicacies. I'm thinking that you have to live in the US to win because I don't know anything about smuggling divine produce across international borders.

Just leave a YUMMY comment and at the end of the week I'll draw two names from a hat and then drive directly to the confectioner's and then directly to the post office because if these babies ever make it home with me, you will never see them.

Only one rule. If you win, you must eat it the way I would. When you see the postman coming up the walkway with a box in hand, you distract the children with something on TV, grab the box and head for the upstairs closet where you hide the box until everyone else is sleeping, then you sneak upstairs and get the box out, slice the piece of heaven into nice little even slices, and savor each and every slice. (If it's possible to chill the apple before eating, then do that but it's not worth the risk of being discovered and having to share.)

Under no circumstances are you allowed to share. I must insist on this.

(My friends did me the favor of estimating how much money I spent on these apples the year I was pregnant with Ladybug. It came out to around $300. Don't judge.)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Nail biter...

Well, I did it.
I actually submitted my application for college. I need to mail out my transcript requests and finish up my resume, but everything else is in order.

I can't believe how nervous I am about all of this.

*********************************************

On another nail biter note,
Ladybug has taken to exposing my belly several times a day to tell Sweeting to, "Get out! Get out Baby! Can I have? Baby! Baby! Baby! Can I have?"

Yes Darling, soon enough you can have the baby. She will come out. And then you'll be the big sister.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Last week of Summer

We headed out to a place everyone calls "The Rocket Ship Park." Can you guess why?




And Chowder re-learned an important lesson, when Humphrey gets a drink....run away.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Another lame post...

Tomorrow morning I have to go be the smiling, welcoming face of my kids' school for new parent/student orientation. The threesome will also be welcoming the new kids into the classrooms and helping them feel at home.

Problem is, I'm feeling more like being the whining, lazy face that I really am. Did I mention this is during my usual naptime? You know how I am about my nap. Chowder summed it up best when he said to me, completely serious, "Why didn't they ask someone who was actually, you know, friendly?"

I'm really really good faker. (Don't tell Chowder)

*****************************************************

So, I talked to Chowder last night about the appointment...
He gave me one of those, "You goofy lady" laugh/hugs and said, "Let's get this baby here first before we start worrying about your seventh child. I told you we should wait until after the baby is born." He doesn't want me to feel pressured by anything and then end up regretting my decision. That doesn't mean the decision will change, but that I'll feel more confident in it.

So, looks like we will be postponing his appointment.
God, I love him.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Peek-In-Monday

video

Friday, August 15, 2008

*sigh* Well, I still have a huge crush on him

Mark Foster started and finished his 2008 Olympic swim yesterday.
Amazing though. 5 Olympics. That's pretty darn cool.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I've been bugging him and bugging him and today he made THE appointment.

For Sept 17th. For the big V. I really really know that it is for the best and just yesterday I was thinking how wonderful it will be to clean out all the boy baby clothes and what a relief it is to be almost done with my reproductive years. Like, I actually felt a physical relief.

As most of you know, getting pregnant is such an endeavor and then there's the whole staying pregnant part that I'm not so good at, followed by the difficult pregnancy itself.(prenatal asthma, varicose veins everywhere, and I mean EVERYWHERE, carpal tunnel, headaches, etc. etc.) I'm actually worried about how long I'll breastfeed this time because I'm not feeling particularly enthusiastic. Usually the mere thought of nursing a baby just melts me, but this time it seems more annoying. (I'm hoping that holding the baby herself will change that.)

I've been looking forward to being able to be on my OCD medication again, and be able to sleep again so I can be a MUCH better mom than this crazy exhausted shrew I have been. I was so psychologically and physically done this morning.

But still...

This afternoon I had that dream again. 6 chairs were filled. 1 was empty. Am I going to spend the rest of my life staring at that empty chair? I'm a completely rational person. There is no real reason for having another child. It wasn't like anyone, including me, really noticed at the table. Or felt sad. or even acknowledged that there was someone missing. But, my mind's eye could not stop seeing it.

empty.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

ahhhh...ignorance really is bliss

Tonight I sat down to rework our budget.

So much has changed (by "changed" I mean gotten more expensive) and I have been naughty by not reworking my budget since last year. Boy, was it an eye opener. and angering. I had worked out of our budget last year, enough money to hire a cleaning woman to come in twice a month. Of course, all of that money is gone now. I went from having a $400+ a month surplus to a $134 a month shortfall. And Chowder's income has not increased for three years.

From groceries and gasoline (up $100 a month each and that's with us pulling back quite a bit) to our utilities and taxes (my water billed doubled, from $48 a quarter to $92, and natural gas is scaring me for the winter.)

My monthly reserve amount (the amount I put in savings every month to cover non-monthly expenses like insurance or birthdays) went up $250 a month. Granted, I added in Sweeting's estimated cost of birth and her first year of co-pays, as well as some new activities and lessons that the kids want to try. But, still the increase is a significant increase nevertheless.

Though I'm not panicking, I am definitely feeling the stress of trying to make it all come out. Especially, Christmas. I just spent $500 on school uniforms for the kids and school clothes for Skaterboy. Luckily, I don't have to pick up anything major for Sweeting. But, all the financial worries are on me right now. Well, all the other worries, too.

Our primary care doctor has decided to do one of those "Boutique Practices" where you have to pay him for the privilege of being his patient and having his email. So, we are without a doctor at the moment and Chowder's anti-depressants ran out a couple of months ago.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

First big social decision for my daughters...

The number that gets quoted and sited in all the literature and articles I see is 25%.
or 1 in 4.
That number is the number of women who are sexually assaulted/molested by age 18.

from National Alert Registry

The statistics say that one out of every three to four girls has been sexually assaulted by the age of 18. One boy out of every six will be abused by the age of 18. Although we have some reports and convictions to base these statistics on, they are actually not accurate. So many cases of child molestation go unreported each year, so we really cannot estimate the real numbers. The FBI reports that the National Institute for Mental Health found that only 1% to 10% of victims ever tell that they were abused. Boys report far less than girls.

  • The average child molester will molest fifty girls before being caught and convicted.
  • A child molester that seeks out boys will molest 150 boys before being caught and convicted and he will commit at least 280 sexual crimes in his lifetime.
  • The standard pedophile will commit 117 sexual crimes in their lifetime.
  • Most sexual abuse happens between the ages of 7 and 13.
  • There are over 491,720 registered sex offenders in the United States.
  • 80,000 to 100,000 of the above offenders are missing.
  • Molesters known by the family or victim are the most common abusers. The Acquaintance Molestation accounts for 70-90% of reported cases.
I have 5 friends who were sexually assaulted as children. 4 of them were at sleepovers.

Up until today, Chowder and I had tossed around the idea of a No Sleepover policy. It is actually a little hard for me, because I don't normally go extreme in parenting. But 1 in 4? That is way too big of a real risk. And because I can't trust myself to say, "Oh, well, that dad looks nice." or "Gee, her big brother is an honor student." (only to find out that the brother had a friend spend the night, too.) So, rather than getting into an awkward pick and choose which friends we think are safe enough and really quite possibly ending up wrong, and since we won't have double standards for our sons (who are also at risk) we thought it would be best to just eliminate sleepovers all together.

Today, one of Jellybean's new friends invited her for a sleepover. And I said no. I actually said, "No." It was hard at this age because she is only 6 and though we have had the Private Parts talk, it is not something I am ready to put out there just yet. But, I did explain to the mom and she wasn't offended. She said it made sense. And instead we arranged for Jellybean to go over and have dinner, watch a movie, and I will pick her up at 9:30p. A good substitute plan.

I know it will get harder for my kids to accept this rule as they get older and slumber parties become the norm, but we'll just have to deal when we get to that point. Slumber parties can be pretty nasty social experiments all in themselves and many times nothing nice is happening between midnight and 8am. We can always bring them back for breakfast in the morning. I just really feel that God put this in my heart, and that I am protecting at least one of them from something really horrible that could of been in their future.

Ho Boy...

Things are going to be crazy busy for the next two weeks as we gear up for school and various other crammings (like an end of summer camping trip). My posting may again become sporadic. But, I will have a couple of issues I'll want your opinions on.

School issues with Skaterboy
School options for Porkchop
School opportunities for Ladybug
And a couple of pregnancy/birth things

There will probably be some whining and little bit of desperate financial wrangling, and hopefully a pretty picture or two.

What's up for today?
9:00-10:00 am family worship service
11:00 am traditional worship (Chowder Only)
11:00-1:00 pm my sister's baby shower (she is due first week of Sept)
1:00 pm worship service at retirement home (Chowder only)
1:00-5:00 pm Back to School picnic for little ones
3:00-5:00 pm Watermelon Social for our block

Anybody seeing any room for where I can cram my daily nap in?
No?
me either.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

My Official 2008 Olympic Crush




Mark Foster, 38 yrs old, swimming, Great Britain

...and Chowder approves.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Silly Car Thieves...

They found our car...
TWO BLOCKS AWAY! LOL!
I told you it had no gas in it. I wasn't lying.

They actually didn't mess it up too badly. All of Chowder's stuff was laid out nicely in the trunk! Isn't that hilarious! Stealing the car was ok, but we don't want to mess up the robe and stole. Whatever.

The only real damage to the car is what they had to do to steal it. But, instead of just breaking out the freaking window the took a crow bar and actually bent back the door frame. I think that's really going to cost us.

ah well. What are you going to do?

Monday, August 04, 2008

Keep it Simple, Stupid.

I've been working on my college application and I am happy to report that I am making great progress. I have filled out the application and finally wrote the essay that I have been dreading. It's amazing how much I can really over think a process like this. I have finished my financial aid application. (The beauty of having no money is that it makes filling out these types of forms extremely easy. It took me like 1.2 seconds to calculate my real estate investments and it only took that long because the TV was on.)

So, all I left to do is write a resume. Which has me a bit freaked out because I haven't put a resume together in so long. I want to make sure that all of the community organizing and volunteering I have done since I left the workforce gets credit. And I have to print out and send off my sad little transcript requests. (This is the part where I could start railing about how much I hate printers because they only seem to work about 20% of the time and they are always running out of really, really expensive ink.)

I have set a deadline for myself of Friday.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Look, the kids are all going to end up in therapy anyway...


I only speak the truth.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Discernment (or what will it take? Green goo oozing from the walls?)

Whenever I have watched haunted house movies (which isn't very often. because, well, because they're scary and I don't like scary.) I always look at the people in the movies with complete disgust. I mean seriously. If the flies covering my walls wouldn't get me out of there the voice yelling, "Get OUT!" would. I can attest to this because the last house we lived in was haunted and as soon as Jellybean started having conversations with imaginary people who had no feet and she would yell at them, "Don't touch me your hands are so cold!" Guess what we did? That's right. We moved out.

Now every now and again there comes a time in Chowder's ministry that is a crossroads of sorts and we have to decide whether it is time for us to move on or whether we should recommit ourselves to the place that we are. Chowder's original position when we came was to help the church decide whether it was time to close or whether they could reinvent themselves and let the Holy Spirit drive them in a new direction. The chose the second option, but not with their hearts.

I wrote about the last time we recommitted ourselves to this place about 18 mos ago. The time before that, we bought a house across the street from the church. The day after the sale went through we received a notice from the city that our property taxes had tripled. The next time, as I wrote, we had our van window broken out and Chowder's iPod stolen just 20 minutes after he had come home from the gym. How could we have expected that someone would break out a window that quickly when it was 7:30 in the morning and there is a near constant stream of traffic down my little one way street while everyone is leaving for work?!

This time Chowder and I sat down and talked it over. The church is running out of money and the 150 yr old building is in desperate need of major repairs. The congregation is not able (or perhaps willing) to do the work necessary for a redevelopment and Chowder is bored and unsatisfied with his ministry. So, after much discussion we decided that he would right a letter to his church council before the next council meeting about approaching the neighboring church (same denomination) that is just on the other side of the park about merging our congregation with theirs. He would stay on for a year to help with the transition and then move on. The whole process would probably take 2-3 years in which time he would be able to complete his Doctorate.

This would also give the school (the one my kids go to) time to find a permanent location and possibly time for Skaterboy to graduate from high school (But Kids, that's a whole other sad and sorry tale). Plus, since this congregation isn't demanding much of Chowder's time and they are paying us a livable wage, it is the perfect place to be while raising a young family and doing his doctoral work. And even more than that, he will be much more desirable as a candidate to other congregations if he doesn't leave here as a pastor of a failed church (no matter HOW little fault that is of his) but that he completed his job to merge the congregations and on top of that he then has his doctorate.

It's a good plan. a sound plan. a plan that gives us flexibility as a family, as well as leads his congregation to healthier place.

So, what would you think if you woke up and the car that Chowder's parents had been lending us, until Skaterboy got his license, so we wouldn't have to drive the gas guzzling Behemoth if we weren't taking the whole brood somewhere...
was stolen.
from the church parking lot.
with Chowder's bible and bible commentary on the front seat.
and his robe.
and the materials for the Regional Disaster Relief conference (he's on the regional committee) he had been attending on the back seat?

What would you think? Is this the green goo?

at least the car had no gas in it. and I mean no gas.