Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Humility on Easter Holiday

We had an interesting Easter Sunday, not bad exactly, just humbling. It was sort of one of those lessons that God gives you to let you know that no matter how prepared and organized you are, you have no control. We woke up early, and we were determined to get to the early service. We got the kids fed. Everyone was dressed. Yet, by the time we were out the door, we were already running five minutes late. HOW? Time just escapes when you are not looking. That's all I can figure. That, and I probably shouldn't have taken the time to toast and butter my bagel. Twenty minutes into our thirty minute drive, "Mommy, where are my shoes?" Sure enough, Child #1 is wearing white socks and nothing else. Well, where did you put them? I looked at the seat and floor, but it is all in vain. I still didn't quite understand. Child #1 has been putting on his own shoes for over a year, but for the first time ever, he forgot. On Easter Sunday. So do we go to church with no shoes or turn around and start over for the late service? Well, there is no gurantee that something else wouldn't stop us from getting to the late service, so we march on! As I said to my husband, "Nobody looks at kids feet anyway."

I was wrong. Everybody notices a little boy hopping around in white socks. So we bring #2 and #3 to the nursery and take #1 to church with us. By now, we have already missed the invocation, etc. so we are going in during the meet and greet. The ushers have a quizzical look when they see the white socks, and they seem like they would love to hear the story of why. Thankfully during the service, no one can see feet. Unfortunately, after the service, during the special coffee and pastry Easter brunch, everyone does see them. As if that wasn't enough, Child #2 decided to have a classic food freakout. That involves the ear piercing scream from being frustrated with food. Specifically a cookie he really wanted, that kept breaking. I know what you're thinking, but he is not normal. So we tried to make a hasty exit before any more people noticed what a mess our family was on this particular Sunday.

But a hasty exit was not to be this morning. As we drove to the entrance/exit of the parking lot, something tumbled down our roof. My dear husband had been carrying the miscellaneous church distractions that we had brought for Child #1, and he had set them on the roof while we got kids in the car. He seemed to have forgotten to put them in the car. Specifically, there was a trace erase board with papers, two board puzzles and a puzzle book. Yep, puzzle pieces all over asphalt. We were blocking the entrance and exit as we scrambled to pick up all the pieces, and I tried not to flash anyone driving by. (I really hate wearing skirts, but it was Easter.)

Ah well, at least we were both giggling, and not blaming each other. It was so ridiculous, that I couldn't help laughing. I have been embarassed so many times in my life that I am mostly past humiliation. Mostly. I just don't like feeling like a bad mother. We dyed hard boiled eggs for Easter, went to a church egg hunt, and did our own indoor egg hunt. We talked about Jesus dying on the cross, and the tomb being empty three days later. My oldest played with the baby for an hour because he likes her. They are sweet, kind and obedient... usually. But nobody saw any of that. My public moments are my worst. Child #1 with no shoes, which he repeated on a trip to Home Depot because he thought it was funny. Apparently, we did not clearly explain that you cannot leave the house without shoes. Seriously! Child #2 with the food issues. People in Kroger don't understand why a boy is shrieking about a cookie he's holding. (It's because they only had the heavy frosted kind, which falls apart and gets all over his hands. It's very frustrating to him.) Usually, they just look at me like I am raising a self indulgent brat. I think to some extent, I can understand how some parents of autistic children must feel like. Thankfully, Child #3 never embarasses me. She makes me look good. I should just take her shopping and leave the others at home with dad. Nah, that would be the easy way out. God likes to remind me that I have no right to feel so smug about being better. I have no right to compare myself to other moms. The minute I start doing that, I get knocked off my high horse.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Garage Sale 3/29 and That's Not All

So, we have had a really good week. First of all, my poor husband has been working lots of overtime because it just happened to come up the last couple of weeks. Convienient how that coincides with money going out for the van problems and termites. He also found out that he is getting a merit raise. Granted, it is just the yearly raise, and it probably won't even cover inflation this year, but still, it is better than nothing! May I just mention that I am sick of hearing about these great companies with $4000-10,000 in adoption benefits? Who are these companies? Adoption benefits at his company are non existent. They were not even open to considering it. Just be grateful to have a paycheck. Thanks guys! If a great company ever comes knocking, that will be the first question I would ask (probably not my husband's first question), but I digress.

I only made $63 doing the consignment sale, but it's $63 more in the bank. Plus, I have lots of clothes left over that are already tagged for the garage sale we're having on March 29. Speaking of which, if you have anything to get rid of, call me and I'll pick it up or you can drop it off. I need to update you on my garden, but I have been lazy in uploading my photos. I will try to get to it this weekend. I hope you all have a wonderful Easter, and remember this as the time that Christ's ultimate sacrifice allowed us to be adopted into the family of God. Jesus was His only son, but God loves us all as His children. You know what I mean?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Silliness for Spring Break

Apparently there are people on Spring Break this week, so the kids and I decided to do nothing today. And I mean nothing. I should be doing all sorts of things with my free time - call the insurance company, work on the cookbook, list things on Ebay, price things for the garage sale, fold laundry, and on and on. But the kids and I have actively chosen to have a useless day today. We caught up on American Idol performances on YouTube, and we spent lots of time making doggie and kittie mail for people at
You will get just as addicted to it as we did. You pick the animal, background, and voice. You can write the text of what you want them to say. Here's one I made for you:

If you are feeling really irresponsible and silly, go to the McDonalds on FM1488 and 2978. They are having Hard Hat Specials, and today is $1 Hamburger Happy Meals. Friday looks good too. Filet O Fish Value Meals for $1.99. It almost makes it affordable to go out for dinner :)

Okay, now I really do need to go fold laundry, and I think one of the kids just tried to break my fan.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Back on Track

Well, our weekend was sort of demoralizing, and Monday was like a hole had sprung in our bank account. On the flip side, the kids were really well behaved and got oodles of schoolwork done.

I bet you're wondering how our at-home car repair went, aren't you? Everything was ready to go on Saturday, and my husband started right when the sun came. We inevitably ended up running to Wal Mart to find a wrench. There is about 73 wrenches in our garage, but apparently they aren't metric. Go figure. Wal Mart doesn't have it, so we go to Home Depot. They only have a set for $50. Eeek. Okay, so now the sun is high in the sky and it has turned unseasonably warm, like sweaty hot summer warm. The baby needs to eat and the kids are sick of running errands. We go home to regroup. Hubby stays at home and tries to find another thing he can work on. Baby goes to sleep and Child #1 "helps" work on the car. I get to take Child #2 to some more stores to find the elusive 18 mm combination wrench. Along the way, my husband calls to tell me we also need a Really Big pair of channel locks and a very specific socket. After going to about three stores, I am successful in finding only the wrench. (Sidenote: Auto Parts stores are not good places to take a three year old. They do not have shopping carts, and no matter what you think, it will not just be a quick stop. You will have to stand there for at least ten minutes staring at hundreds of things that look the same, but each has it's own special number and function. And only one will work for you. Three year olds don't like to wait while you look. They like to pick up that anvil and see what it does or maybe that ball pen hammer. Because that is what they put right next to the floor in an auto parts store. You will also probably need to ask an employee for help, and the three year old that is trying to run away while you hold the shirt collar, will defenitely distract the employee from answering your question.) The whole day sort of went like this, but somehow by sundown, we had all the required tools and the left side completed. Sadly, it meant he still had another side to do. We were so sapped of energy that we all went straight to bed. Thank goodness the kids were as tired as us! Sunday was a different story. He had the right side done in two hours. What a difference experience and the proper tools makes. I kept waiting for a tire to fall off, but it actually drove. The total including parts, tools, Gatorade, and new windshield wipers (I'm still not sure how that relates to fixing the wheel alignment) was $250. According to our the estimate, Christian Brothers Auto is charging 350% markup on the same parts. Unless they have those parts custom-made in Luxembourg and plated in platinum, which I guess is possible. Another funny point, they charge $100 per hour for their labor rate, which is more than the $75 per hour average rate that avionics service companies charge to work on multi million dollar jets. That's right, they charge more to work on our junky minivan, than most companies charge to fix a millionaire's Gulfstream.

As it turns out, it's a good thing we saved $650 fixing the car because that is exactly how much it will cost to get rid of the termites we discovered on Monday. Thankfully, it is a very minor infestation, so we can kill em all and set up a perimeter. I love how pest control always sounds like war. Chemical warfare, I'm told, is costly but effective. Oh, and I forgot to include the new tires, but I'm sick of talking about all the money going out.

Tuesday, I stayed up way too late tagging 93 items for the Second Blessings consignment sale (at Stonebridge Church on Friday 9am to 8pm and Saturday - Half Price Day! 7am to 10am). They are being really picky with what they accept and all toys must have working batteries, so it is a fantastic place to find great deals that are like new! Check it out here:

So that is why I have been away from my blog. I was really tired and bummed. But I got a rebate check in the mail today, so I am feeling better. I think things are on the upswing again. Also, I need all recipes by March 17, so I can work on organizing, etc. What's up with all you people who haven't sent one yet?? I figured I needed to give you a deadline to motivate you :)