Thursday, January 29, 2009

Desert and Rain

I've been thinking a lot about a time lapse video I saw at some point in my life. I can't find it, of course. It was of a desert. It starts dry and brown. Then in sweeps a huge dramatic rain storm complete with lightning strikes and a deluge of water flooding the land. After the torrents of floodwaters are gone, there is a brief pause as the desert seems to try and figure out what the hell just happened. And then...well then, life bursts out every crack and crevice. Out of no where flowers who have been dormant for years just start exploding into bright ridiculous colors. There are no other words to use but exploding, bursting words. It's life unable contain itself.

So, I've been sitting here for a couple of hours drinking my Godiva chocolate liqueur infused milkshake, searching the internet for this video. I need to see this video. It is the time lapse version of my soul. As I have read back over my "Matter of Faith" posts, I noticed one very strong theme. Fear and Drought. We've talked about God poking me in the eye and saying, "Now wait one minute, Little Lady. You are the one standing far off, not me!" (Yes, God calls me "Little Lady") And it's true. It's all true.

We've also talked about the fact that I have been diagnosed with OCD manifesting itself as Obsessive Morbid Thoughts and Religious Scrupulosity. In essence, my brain has turned God into my adversary. Instead of thinking of God as a protective loving force over my children, he is this maniacal super villain just waiting in the dark to snatch up one of them. After all, he has already done so six. times. As much as I want to believe that God loves my children even more than I do, it just can't be possible. I have to prove that I love them more so that he will say, "Ok. You win. They should stay with you." Like some sort of twisted custody arrangement.

I wasn't raised with this God. This is not the God of my formative years. I was raised with the feel good father of the guitar Mass years. No, this is the God of my childbearing (and not-bearing) years. In the past, I have fallen into the camp of praying prayers like they were magical spells and wearing medals as if they were talismans. Both complete heresy. But now, I've taken a new course.

Shhhhh. I'm hiding from God. Do you think he can see me? It reminds me of Ladybog playing hide and seek with her brothers and sister. She puts her face into the pillow and assumes no one can see her. That's me. I've become a runaway. I've made myself an orphan. I am in the desert of my own making. And as much as I want that rain storm. And need that riot of life renewal. As much as my soul is withering away to nothing in this arid landscape, I am too afraid of what that rain storm might look like. So, I am careful not to ask for it. I'm very cautious not to mean it. After all, what would the lightning strike? My husband? One of my children? What would be washed away in the flood? Just my fear? or also my life? leaving my children motherless. Which of my idols would I have to sacrifice to this God?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Snow Day!

My kids have been home from school two days in a row. It's funny for us, because we live right across the street from the school. But, snow days are always fun. We actually got 6 inches of snow last night which is a lot for us. It made Chowder and I miss Minnesota so much. Last night we put the kids to bed and decided to take a walk while the snow was showering down. It was such a beautiful evening! We ended up at our neighborhood drinking hole and went in to have a couple of glasses of wine before walking home. It was perfect.

Humphrey has been having a blast at the dog park running around like a lunatic! He is so funny to watch!

Today, the kids were outside from about 8 am until they finally became too cold around 2 pm. There was sledding and snow ball fights and snowman making! The perfect Snow Day.

The gorgeous day even got Skaterboy out of the house!

We finished off with a walk down to our neighborhood bakery to get some cupcakes to drink with our hot cocoa. My new favorite is devil's food with cream cheese icing dipped in Oreos! Yum!

Hoping for more flurries tomorrow!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

My Apologies

I have been so self absorbed lately that I have only been peeking into my dear friends' blogs and I have fallen very behind. My Bloglines shows that I have 567 posts to read! That kinda freaked me out so I marked all read. And will begin reading anew.

If something happened you want to tell me about post a link in the comments. I really don't want to miss anything!

Monday, January 26, 2009


I have hit a serious case of the winter blahs. The kids have gotten crabby. I have gotten shrewish. I seem to yell more right now than whisper. Well, we all do. I am having to force myself to go out and socialize. A week ago, I whipped out the last of my steaks and I invited several friend families over for dinner just to get around people. The food was amazing including, Steaks with Kalamata-Olive Chimichurri, and these amazing biscuits (seriously, I could eat my weight in them.) A couple of good bottles of wine and we had a wonderful time. Just what we all needed. We stuck with tradition and the women drank wine and cooked and the men drank beer and watched football. And the kids...well frankly, I don't know what they did. We patched them up when they bled and occasionally told them to stop throwing something at somebody.

I am totally cocooning, which is good because it appears to be a snow day tomorrow. And starting next Sunday I will be doing a little experiment. For one whole week, I will not tell any of the kids, "not right now." Unless of course I really can't do it right now. But usually I am doing something that really could be dropped to take a moment and read a story to Ladybug or teach Jellybean to knit or let Porkchop help me in the kitchen. I will mark the difference it makes in our relationships and in the house. I will find another time to vacuum or blog or watch tv. I've fallen into a really ugly pattern with this and I am excited to force myself out of it. Want to join me?

Monday, January 19, 2009


Right before I got the camera out he was jumping around the kitchen "shocking" anyone who came in and singing "Shock the Monkey" in his Axl Rose voice. I can't explain this phenomenon, but for whatever reason when Chowder tries to imitate a particular singer, no matter who, it sounds like Axl Rose. "Sweet Caroline" in his best Neil Diamond imitation really just sounds like Axl Rose. "Sunday Bloody Sunday?" Bono becomes Axl Rose. "Mexican Radio?" by Axl Rose. Have you ever heard "Unforgettable" sung by Axl Rose?

notice at the end he is even annoying the dog.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The one about Skaterboy.

People always comment on how hard hard it must be to have so many littles so close in age, but the reality is that that is a piece of cake compared to one teenager. With a teenager, you always have problems and worries. If it's not one thing it's another or ten. To quote a previous entry about Skaterboy:

I've told you before about the sweetness and goodness of this young man. And he really is. But, this child of mine seems bound and determined to have no future. What I wish for this 16 year old is the life of a regular old teenager. One where he goes to school with his friends and then drives to work a couple of days after school and then out with his friends on the weekend. Maybe to a football game or a homecoming dance. Sure I might have to get on his case about his grades. Maybe ground him for curfew violations or even have to deal with issues like drinking or sex.

He really is a good kid. Never in any real trouble. But, this is actually a frustration for me. Not that I'm looking for a hellraiser, but a kid that...does something. He has no motivation toward anything. I even told Chowder once that at least if he was a drug dealer he would be like an entrepreneur. He'd never steal a car because it would take to much work.

It was good to read this from back in March because at least part of my worries are gone. He does hang out with friends, he's at the movies with them now seeing some 3D horror movie, and he has gone to a couple of dances with a couple of girls. Now, of course I have to worry about him out with friends! He called two weeks ago from the site of a car accident involving the other car of friends he was with. Brand new driver got spooked by another car in her lane and she spun the car three time before it slammed into the median on the highway. Luckily, no one was seriously hurt. And luckily, Skaterboy watched it happen. Hopefully giving him a greater sense of the dangers of driving (but probably not). I'm still happy with the friends he chooses. I think.

But school? Well, that's where the issues still are. He started off first quarter so promisingly. And then ...well he ended with a B in English and F in Biology and a D in everything else. (Fortunately, he is in a sucky failing school district, so D's count for credit.) It kills me because he has dreams! He wants to go to Mizzou where half of our families went to college. But, the chances of him getting accepted are slim to nothing with the way things are going. At his school, a tech math and science magnet school they have to declare a major. He wants to declare aviation. It sounds pretty good.

Aviation Majors will specialize in navigation, radio, radar systems, and other electronic and computer instruments and controls. Aviation majors check for wear and tear, using x-ray or magnetic equipment to look for cracks and punctures invisible to the human eye. Most Aviation Majors are certified by the FAA as airframe-and-powerplant mechanics, or A&P mechanics. They can work on any part of a plane except the instruments.

Helpful High School Courses:

. Electronics
. Computer Science
. English/Composition

Related Careers:
. Air Traffic Controllers
. Automotive Technicians
. Automotive-Body Repairers
. Computer-Repair Technicians
. Electronics Technicians
. Heavy Vehicle and Mobile Equipment Technicians
. Urban and Regional Planners

I don't know how much he is really interested in this or if it's just the the most interesting major, to him, that they have. It's also an Air Force JROTC school. They have actual planes and helicopters in a hangar at the school for the Aviation majors to work on. That could be a pretty great career for him. But only if that's what he WANTS.

He is so creative and so into his guitar. Honestly, the music thing is the only thing that he has been motivated enough himself to pursue. And because of that, he is very good at it. For the most part he is good to be around. He goes through is bouts of teenage asshole-ness that I don't think they can control. We haven't been fighting a ton like we used to. The rage only bubbles up occasionally and not as violent as a couple of years ago. I don't know guys. We're all over the board. I feel deep in my heart that he will find his place in the world. But it's really, really deep down in there and most of the time it is too deep to be able see and focus on and gain hope from.

and always in the back of my mind stabbing stabbing stabbing is my greatest fear. the one that could have come true. the one that could still come true. the one I will never forget or recover from.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

OK. Here we go. The Kitchen.

So, my starting point with my kitchen is the big blank wall. It is parallel to you when you walk in the door. It is big and blank. see? (Please ignore giant dog butt.)

So, on this wall I wanted to put a new pretty paper.
These are my top choices..Anzio From Ballard Designs

and from Linda Barker: Tempting-Celadon

And from Design Your Wall are these choices

Once I pick the paper I can choose the paints. I'm leaning toward 2, 3, and 5. I like the muted cool tones of the celadon. I think that has a lot to do with the fact that my entire house wall to ceiling is painted yellow. It's a nice, soothing yellow. But I'm done with all the warmth already! But, at the same time I like the bam! of the red. I've ordered samples so we have to see what they really look like once I get them.

The big, blank wall will also be getting some shelving. Something along the lines of Elfa.

I'll paint the island thingy some sort of complimentary color to whatever scheme I come up with. Then I'll throw in a couple of rugs and some new canisters, tea kettle, trash can and such. And then, as the kids like to say, "Bwalla!" (you know, Voila!)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Well, I may never be able to blog again...

My next blog post is supposed to be about my 2009 Resolution. It was going to tell you all about how finally I'm going to bite the bullet and decorate my house. It was going to tell you how I'm picking a room a month and I'm starting with my kitchen. It was going to tell you my big plans and have you help me pick out some stuff. It was going to have a before picture of my kitchen....and that is where we keep running into problems. I've been waiting for my kitchen to be clean so that I could take a picture. I keep telling myself, "Tomorrow, Cakes. Tomorrow you'll finally get it all clean." You see, I keep getting it almost clean. But then it so quickly becomes un-clean again and I just haven't been able to get it to that all-clean place.

So, here it is almost midnight and my kitchen looks like this

and instead of using this time to get it done I have been chatting with my brother on Facebook and planning my application to my next job. Don't you think we would be perfect for it?! I'd have the greatest blog ever!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

The Resolution of last year's Resolution...

Last year around this time I made one very big and important resolution. I resolved that 2008 would be the year that I went back to school to finish my degree. And I am going to check that off my list, even though officially I did not go back in 2008. I did however, apply and get accepted in 2008 and I will be starting this month.

Should it have taken an entire year to do that? well, no. But, it turns out that I am a really big chicken. I can't tell you how many times I sat in front of this computer to write the stupid essay and ended up just sitting here. orrrrr poking around on various message boards. orrrrrr playing games on my kids Webkinz accounts. (I rock Home Before Dark!) I was paralyzed. I have no idea why. Well, maybe. I mean, I still feel such weird insecurities from my first college career and the whole teen pregnancy thing. My how those doubts get themselves so dug into our spirits that they become interwoven with the threads of ourselves. It doesn't take as much courage as I expected. It takes...persistence. And patience. And precision. To go back over that fabric and pull out those threads one by one. It takes time.

It took me 2 years. 2 years from when I realized that I wanted to attend St. Mary of the Woods and then actually getting it done. I would keep going back to the website. Keep looking at the application. My biggest dread was awakening the old demons by requesting my transcripts. I finally had to sit myself down and force myself to send the forms. And in the end, there was no big overshadowing monster. There were instead, 2 years worth of credits! And to think I was so afraid of this demon I almost just pretended I never went to school!

So, I am officially a co-ed. Do you think they'll let me join a sorority?

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Happy New Year!

We have so much to catch up on!
I'll be back blogging next week. We were out of town last week and in and out of Children's hospitals because Sweeting is fighting off RSV. She seems to be getting the upperhand now. Please keep her in your prayers.

Next week:

  • The Evolution of last year's Resolution.
  • 2009 Resolutions
  • Update on Skaterboy
  • My new favorite things.
until next week a quick peek into how my family helps me get dinner ready while listening to Ok Go...

looks helpful, doesn't it?