Monday, August 28, 2006

Just what I needed to hear

From my friend Kathy's Quote of the Day email:

Jesus came to the disciples at the start of "the fourth watch," or around 3
a.m.... Many people seem to become unsettled during "the fourth watch,"
that is, very early in the morning when they can't get back to sleep, but
it's just too early to get out of bed. In the darkness, problems seem to
multiply and magnify.... What more apt time to invite Jesus to come to us!
Even if sleep has abandoned us, Our Lord will not.

- Fr. James McKarns, from "Living Faith" January/February?March 2003

Celia Rivenbark

Celia Rivenbark is absolutely one of the funniest writers I've read. I'm in the middle of her latest book, Stop Dressing Your Six-Year-Old Like a Skank and Other Words of Delicate Southern Wisdom.

All of her books are written somewhat like a collection of essays, so they're perfect for anyone who loves to read but doesn't always have the time. I've been reading the book while giving Sass a bath, waiting in line somewhere, waiting for that pot of spaghetti to boil . . . . You get the idea. If I have a couple of minutes, I read this book.

Being a fellow Southerner, I know (and, sadly, am probably related to) most of the people she describes. And she is completely spot on. And they're Laugh Out Loud Funny. I can't even say how many times I've laughed aloud and had to explain why I was laughing. :o)

Read her; read her; read her!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Cute little girl

After Sass got out of the bath tonight, she said she wanted "Mommy's after shower hair."

It took me a moment to figure out that she wanted me to make my usual after-shower towel configuration. LOL! She was thrilled with her "long, pink princess hair."

Thursday, August 24, 2006

It's the simple things . . . .

We've had a little bit of a reprieve with the weather lately. Temperatures are only hitting in the low to mid 90s, and it feels practically cool compared to the 100+ days we've had.

My children play outside quite a lot, usually in the clubhouse or on the swingset. Lately though, they've discovered the joy of mud puddles. Yesterday when they went out to play with the water hose, they ended up filling a hole (created by those blasted canines) and turning it into "The Big Muddy." Oh, dear heavens. They played in the mud, muddy water, and grass clippings for almost two hours. Their only tools were a trowel, a garden rake (with a broken tine), and a skateboard.

I love it when they do things like this! In what seems to be an age of technology overload, it's wonderful to see them enjoying the simple things.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Agent Cool Blue

Agent Cool Blue is a new plaque revealing rinse that (I believe) has only recently come onto the market. Agent Cool Blue is made by Listerine, so I was a little bit skeptical in buying it. Listerine is a great product, but it hurts to use it! It makes my eyes water, and I very seldom make it past 15 or 20 seconds of swishing.

But hey, Spyder was interested in trying it, and I'm all for anything that makes him want to brush his teeth.

In a word, it's wonderful! We got the bubble gum flavor, and the taste isn't that bad. I think Spyder has brushed his teeth more in the last two days than he has in the last week! And it's all been willingly, not me with the continual reminders of "Did you brush your teeth yet?"

Normally, I'm not a person who feels the need to buy the New or New and Improved things on the market, but this is one that I'm glad we did buy!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Church activities

I started a new bible study at our women's group tonight, The Incredible Power of Kingdom Authority by Dr. Adrian Rogers. I think that I am really, really going to enjoy this study. We did the introduction this evening, and I was absolutely captivated by the lesson.

The group is also focusing on memorizing Bible verses, which I haven't done since I was a girl. I've helped Spyder and Sass with their Awana verses, so I haven't completely strayed away. It just hasn't been my focus. I have to admit that I was a little intimidated when the study leader said she'd be keeping track of who was memorizing! It should be good practice for my limp noodle though. :o)

In child news, Sass started her second year of Awana Cubbies, and she was thrilled! Her little friend Olivia is now in the class with her, and they were both excited about that. I'm not sure that the teacher is going to be all that thrilled with it though. :o)

Spyder began his first year of Truth In Training, and he was absolutely over the moon about it! He doesn't get his book for another two weeks, but he's been practicing memorization by using his book from last year.

I'm still the director of the Awana store, so I'm having to work that into the bible study nights. I'm also working in the nursery one Sunday per month, as well as working in Junior Worship one Sunday per month.

Whew! Another church year starting off with a bang!

Reliving my youth

Lately I've been getting older movies from Netflix, the library, and the video store, ones that I loved when I was younger. Skeeter and I have had such a blast watching these oldies but goodies. So far we've seen (in no particular order)
  • The Princess Bride
  • Real Genius
  • Sixteen Candles
  • Can't Buy Me Love
  • Back to the Future
  • Beetlejuice
  • Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure
  • War Games
  • The Goonies

I'm sure the list isn't complete. We've been on this kick for a few weeks, and we haven't even gotten to Explorers or Better Off Dead!

Lately, the children have fallen in love with Scooby-Doo and Tom & Jerry. Scooby is fun, but Tom & Jerry make them laugh and giggle like I've never seen before. I need to introduce them to Fred Flintstone. :o)

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Back to school

We had our annual homeschooling "back to school" party on Friday, from 11 am to 4 pm. And let me tell you, that is a long time to be in a gym with 60+ children. It was a great party though.

The gym is made for roller skating, so my urchins had a wonderful time learning how to skate. Sass was doing very, very well by the time we left. Spyder, on the other hand, wasn't faring as well. I think we're going to be doing skating more often though. It was loads of fun! Ah, I do remember the roller skating days . . . . Friday nights at Skateland. Oh, the memories! Sadly though, I didn't get out there to skate. I was very busy trying to hold up my children. Plus, I was a little bit afraid that I would make a fool out of myself!

We also had a mini-curriculum fair, and I found an excellent science curriculum that I can use for both children. It is engaging enough that Sass should be interested, but we can make it challenging enough to keep Spyder working as well. We're saving so that Spyder and Skeeter can attend the Father/Son Space Camp, so I chose the Apologia Astronomy curriculum. Several people had recommended it, and I had looked at it online, but I couldn't really decide if it was for us until I actually held it in my hand. (Being a tactile person is a detriment at times.) I ordered it immediately, and I can't wait to get started on it!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

That bookstore job

I love it. I really do. But on nights like tonight, I wonder if I'm not really cut out to be in a customer service job.

We've been incredibly busy for the last two (almost three) weeks. Busy like Christmas. Schools are starting now, and everyone who procrastinated and didn't do his/her summer reading is rushing to get the book. Teachers are handing out new reading assignments. And none of the teachers actually give us a heads up so that we can order additional copies.

Tonight I was besieged with customers who wanted me to get books for them with almost no information. Here are three of the most extreme requests (with a little extra rudeness thrown in for good measure):

#1: A book from on the high school reading list that has "My" in the title. The customer -- the student's mother -- scoffed at my first guess (My Antonia). I started offering others (Bless Me, Ultima; Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry; Black Like Me). My customer got angry that I couldn't come up with the title immediately. "I have places to go!" While the mom was on her tirade about how useless I was, the student came up and immediately picked up my first choice (My Antonia) and said, "Hey, that's it." The mom paid and left, with no apology to me for her rudeness.

#2: A customer called and asked for "a book that was on one of your displays with M&Ms on the cover." She couldn't remember if it was a hardcover or a paperback, on which display she saw it, or anything about the title or author. While I was looking for that elusive book

(Aside/digression): Another customer came to the desk to use the phone. She didn't ask anyone if it was okay. She just picked up the phone and hung up on my customer. I was walking into the area when I saw her and I yelled, "NO!" She jumped, and I said, "You just hung up on my customer." She giggled and said, "Oh, you scared me. I thought something was wrong."

#3: A book with "ruby" in the title. I came up with several titles, but none were what she wanted and she walked off in a huff.

I am usually pretty good at figuring out what someone needs. I've been working with books for years, so I have a pretty broad knowledge base. But I'm not clairvoyant.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Well, I did it.

I quit the Bunco group last night. It's the best decision, but it was a lot harder than I thought it would be. And to top it off, I won a prize last night. The category? Last Bunco.

I called Skeeter on the way home and told him that I really did it. I think he didn't believe I'd actually go through with it. We both decided that I needed to find something else to do just for me, at least once a month. I'm pleased that he's realized that I need the time away. When I first started Bunco -- and for the first year, really -- he moaned and whined every month when it was time to go. And it was just for one night, for about 4 hours.

He's come a long way though, and I'm really glad that he can see that time for myself is good for me.

Sunday, August 13, 2006


I'm quitting Bunco tonight.

It doesn't sound like a big deal, but it is to me. I've been with this group for three years, and really it's my one night a month to just go hang out with friends.

The problem is that it's on Sunday night, which is when our ladies group has Bible study at church. It's been bothering me for quite a while that I've all but dropped out of the ladies group, and I decided this morning (at church) that it was important that I start going again. I'm still doing the Awana store, so I'll need to miss once a month anyway, but twice a month would just be too much.

Most of our original group is gone anyway. I think there are only three or four of us left.

So tonight is the last Bunco for me. I'm a little bit sad over it, but I know it's best. Maybe I can start another group that doesn't meet on Sundays!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

It's so hot

One can't do much more than complain about the heat. And poor Skeeter works outside in it every day. The temperature supposedly isn't hotter today than it has been for the past two weeks, but it certainly feels a lot worse.

We had to leave the house for about two hours. I had promised Sass a milkshake, and we had some things we needed from Target. When we got back home I let the doggies in again, and the poor things were miserable from being outside! Poor Lucy camped out at the water dish and didn't move for 15 minutes! Brownie didn't seem to have fared quite so badly, but he was definitely glad to be inside again.

Unwarranted guilt

I'm such a pleaser. Sometimes it's fine. I actually do like to help other people. But why do I feel guilt when I say no?

Yesterday afternoon, the manager at the bookstore called me with a nicely convoluted story about how they were a person short. I had plans for the evening, and I truly didn't want to go in. We had dinner plans with friends, two stops to see more friends, and family time all planned out for the evening. Nothing was unbreakable, but really I just didn't want to. I asked Skeeter's advice, and he just asked the basic question, "Do you want to go in?" No, I didn't. So I called and told them that I couldn't come in.

Another example: on Monday I was supposed to keep a friend's children during the morning so she could see a relative in the hospital. She didn't call, but I stuck around home thinking that she'd be over any time. I finally called around 1:30, and she hadn't made it out yet. She asked if she could bring them over around 2:30, and I had to say no. We had errands to run that day that I had already put off because I had thought they were coming earlier. And I was working that night, so I had to get the errand running done before 4:30.

So why did I feel selfish in saying no in those instances? I still haven't figured it out.

Sunday, August 06, 2006


My friend Julie gave me John Langdon's Wordplay for Christmas a few years ago, and it's one of my favorite books to peruse.

I love words. I love wordplays and puns and word puzzles and creative use of language. John Langdon's word art brings in all of these, as well as the artistic sense of the word.

Langdon's book brings in another aspect of his word art: philosophy. Philosophy within vocabulary and art and science.

This isn't your typical "sit down and escape" type of book, but it is definitely a book for those who want to think about language and art and its impact on our thoughts.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Family Day

We spent yesterday at my parents' house. My sister was visiting, and we don't get to see her very often, since she lives about 6 hours away. The only day that the rest of the family was available was Friday, so we decided to have the big family cookout then rather than waiting until Saturday or Sunday.

Skeeter fell at work on Thursday and twisted his ankle very badly, so he spent the morning at the minor medical center. (He's fine; he got the usual "keep it elevated" directive.) He got home at about noon, and we headed out just afterward.

We got there around 2 pm, and the children immediately headed to play with Ranger, my sister's dog. He's a beautiful chocolate lab with a great personality. He's only about a year old, so he's still playful enough that he and the children really enjoy each other. It was hot though, so we brought the doggie inside not long after.

We spent the day doing what we usually do at Mom & Dad's house -- chatting, watching the children explore the bean field and climb the trees, and playing with the dogs.

The children were, of course, absolutely filthy by the end of the day. It's a very good thing that I believe in the "always prepared" mantra when it comes to the children, and I had extra clothes and underwear for both of them. There is absolutely no way that I would have even let them into the car without a bath. Spyder's feet were black from all of the dirt, and his whole body had a layer of grey dirt. I had to wash his shoes! (Luckily, he wore his Crocs, which are pretty easily washable.) I still don't know exactly what he got into that made his feet so black. Sass doesn't like to wear shoes when she's playing outside, so I didn't have to clean her shoes, but she did have a nice layer of dirt everywhere though. :o)

It was a very full and fun day, but it's left me confused on the days of the week, since yesterday felt like a Saturday!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

24 hours in a day

And sometimes I need far more. The blog has been sadly neglected.

We "officially" started school again this week, although truly we never stopped. But it's quite a bit different doing "official" work four or five days a week rather than one or two! I can't imagine how hard it would be if we had completely stopped over the summer!

Sass is absolutely thrilled that she's doing school this year. She picked out a backpack at Target, and she's organized all of her workbooks into the backpack. She's still doing mostly what we did last year, but she wants to feel as if she's just like her big brother, so it works out well for me, I suppose. :o)

Spyder has gone into school with a vigor that I hadn't expected. He is doing about twice the work that I expected for him. I'm sure that will wane in time, but for now, it's nice. He's even getting up an hour earlier to get a head start on the day. (Is this really the same child that I had last year? LOL!) I am rather proud of him though. He's still having some difficulty memorizing his multiplication tables, but he's moved into double digit multiplication with no trouble at all. We started division today, and he completely got the concept right away! ::happy dance::

It's so interesting how I can see Spyder growing up. He's started taking notes for all of his learning. I hadn't realized that until he got his planner book out today when I was explaining division. He wrote down all the steps as I explained them, and I could see that he'd written out some of the multiplication tables and the steps to double digit multiplication.

It seems like every day is another time for me to say, "Oh my babies are growing up!"